The Emerson Avenger

The Emerson Avenger is a "memory hole" free blog where censorship is scorned. This blog will "guard the right to know" about any injustices and abuses that corrupt Unitarian Universalism. Posters may speak and argue freely, according to conscience, about any injustices and abuses, or indeed hypocrisy, that they may know about so that the Avenger, in the form of justice and redress, may come surely and swiftly. . . "Slowly, slowly the Avenger comes, but comes surely." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

In 1992 I underwent a profound revelatory experience of God which revealed that the total solar eclipse "Eye of God" is a "Sign in the Heavens" that symbolizes God's divine omniscience. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan of the Unitarian Church of Montreal contemptuously dismissed as my "psychotic experience" here: - This revelatory religious experience inspired me to propose an inter-religious celebration of Creation that would take place whenever a total solar eclipse took place over our planet. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan and other leading members of the Unitarian Church of Montreal falsely and maliciously labeled as a "cult" here: - I am now an excommunicated Unitarian whose "alternative spiritual practice" includes publicly exposing and denouncing Unitarian*Universalist injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy. The Emerson Avenger blog will serve that purpose for me and hopefully others will share their concerns here. Dee Miller's term DIM Thinking is used frequently and appropriately on this blog. You may read more about what DIM Thinking is here -

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s Arrested Development. . .

ChaliceChick and I are having an interesting discussion about the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. over on the Henry Louis Gates Speaks Out post on CC's ChaliceBlog. Here are a few snippets pertinent to the unjust arrests that The Emerson Avenger has been subjected to thanks to the highly misleading and even outright false and perjurious testimony of Montreal Unitarian U*Us. . .

As someone who has gone through the exact same process a few times now I can say with authority that it is by no means meant to be "terrifying and humiliating." If Gates felt terrified and humiliated by being booked, fingerprinted, and given a mug shot etc. it says a lot more about him than the police. This is standard procedure that happens to everyone who is arrested, regardless of their race, social status, or indeed guilt or innocence. . .

When I was arrested for the second time I went through the same process that Gates describes as "meant to be terrifying and humiliating." I was neither terrified nor humiliated nor do I expect the vast majority of people who go through the same boring methodical process feel either terrified nor humiliated. Gates is either terribly insecure, even paranoid, or milking his arrest for all it's worth, or both. . .

:Is it still paranoia given that he was absolutely correct to be worried given what happened afterwards?

Really CC? Just what "danger" was Gates in afterwards? Had he cooperated with the police from the get go I doubt that he would have been arrested and hand-cuffed.

:I think once the police saw his ID, the encounter should have been over, but they kept treating him like a criminal for no reason. A lot of people would have lost their tempers at that point.

According to his own testimony posted above Gates lost his temper, or at least lost his head. . . as soon as the cop first spoke to him by asking him to step out onto his porch. Why did the situation escalate further from there? Let Gates' own words tell the tale -

It escalated as follows: I kept saying to him, ‘What is your name, and what is your badge number?’ and he refused to respond. I asked him three times, and he refused to respond. And then I said, ‘You’re not responding because I’m a black man, and you’re a white officer.’ That’s what I said. He didn’t say anything. He turned his back to me and turned back to the porch. And I followed him. I kept saying, “I want your name, and I want your badge number.”

Lends a whole new meaning to the term "police harassment" AFAIAC. It is clear that Gates called the race card, and effectively called the police officer a racist, very early in this encounter.

:If I were snatched from my own house having done nothing wrong, had my stuff taken away and had the officers rub it in that they'd gone through my things, I would have felt violated too.

Gates wasn't "snatched" from his own house. If he hadn't stepped out of his house in his Quixotic quest for the name and badge number of the cop he effectively "name-called" a racist he might not even have been arrested at all. According to his own testimony it was Gates' own "mistake" of stepping out of his house to go after the cop for his name and badge number that resulted in his arrest. If I was a cop investigating a reported break-in and was almost immediately accused of being a racist for trying to do my job I might feel just a tad violated too. . .

It is standard procedure to count the money in the suspect's wallet so that the suspect has the full amount returned to him upon his and/or her release CC. There's no reason to feel violated about cops safe-guarding your possessions while you are in custody.

:But I will certainly allow that different people find different things abusive.

No kidding. . . Apparently some U*Us think it is abusive for the UUA to use the word "standing" in its Standing On The Side of Love slogan/campaign. There is nothing particularly abusive about standard police arrest procedures if they are properly followed.

:Ok, I'm confused.

So what's new CC? You seem to be confused quite regularly. . . :-)

:Which premise do you disagree with?

I am not sure that anything I said indicates that I disagree with any of those premises CC.

:1. People shouldn't be arrested when they've done nothing that even seems illegal.

Needless to say I wholeheartedly agree with that premise CC. What "seems illegal" about a peaceful public protest in front of *any* church? What "seems illegal" in these emails that I sent to Rev. Diane Rollert or my account of my brief discussion with her on Sunday November 19th 2006?

:2. Being verbally rude to a police officer who is on your property doesn't even seem illegal as long as you don't physically threaten them, and Gates wasn't charged with threatening a police officer.*

I am not familiar with Massachusetts law or Cambridge municipal laws CC, but in some jurisdictions insinuating that a police officer is a racist, with little or no evidence to support that insinuation, might *seem* illegal if not actually be illegal. Taking a broader view it might well be illegal to be verbally rude to a cop depending on the nature of that "rudeness." If someone called a homosexual cop a "fifi" up here in Quebec, or used the N-word to "namecall" an African American cop, they might well find themselves hauled before the Quebec Human Rights Commission although it is apparently perfectly OK for an intolerant and abusive U*U minister to label an inter-religious event with the C-Word. . .

3. It is not unreasonable for someone who was unjustly arrested to be annoyed about it.

Again I do not disagree. I was a tad annoyed about being unjustly arrested a few times myself although my annoyance was reasonably restrained and directed more at the Unitarians who lied to the police and pressured the police in order to bring about those unjust arrests. I do not recall ever pretending that the actual experience of being arrested was "horrendous" or "outrageous" and I certainly didn't "terrified" or "humiliated" by the arrests themselves. Au contraire, I publicly commended the arresting officers who conducted the first unjust arrest saying that they "made it a pleasure to be arrested", I was considered to be a "gentleman" by the second set of arresting officers, and publicly thanked the third set of arresting officers for their "professional and courteous service which does the MUC police force proud."

:All three of those premises are true as far as I can see, and they lead straight to the conclusion that Gates was unjustly arrested and has the right to be annoyed about it.

But Gates was "annoyed", to say the very least. . . from the get go CC. He refused to cooperate with a reasonable request to step onto his porch. He effectively accused the cops of racism almost from the get go too. Maybe he was unjustly arrested but he was no more unjustly arrested than I and many other people have been unjustly arrested. I am not questioning Gates or anyone else's right to be annoyed about being unjustly arrested. I am just saying that he is blowing things out of proportion. Unjust or not was Gates' arrest any more "terrifying and humiliating" or "horrendous" and "outrageous" than my own and other people's just or unjust arrests? I think not. In fact it is clear from his own testimony that the Cambridge police were reasonably polite and professional in conducting the arrest whether it was an unjust arrest or not.

:And ignoring repeated requests for a name and badge number is also highly unprofessional, though we only have Gates' word on that one.

Indeed and I can't help but wonder just how much Gates' word is worth in light of all the hyperbole he is using to describe his arrest CC. . .

:*Court records show Gates was charged with "loud and tumultuous behavior in a public space."

Does what he was charged with have to match what he was initially arrested for CC? Maybe Gates' was guilty of being "loud and tumultuous behavior in a public space" (presumably aka disturbing the peace) on the sidewalk as he was getting into the police car. . .

:No court in the land would be willing to accept the officer's apparent decision that the inside of Gates' house and Gates' front porch constituted a public space.

See above. Maybe he was placed under arrest for a different reason initially. Anyway I am not disputing whether the arrest was just or not I am simply criticizing Gates' own questionable behavior as he has described it in his own words. . .

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


Saturday, August 08, 2009 8:08:00 am  

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