When I first learned of the arrest of my colleague Professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates after he stood up to the fascist jackboots of a declasse, ill-educated Cambridge police officer, I was of course angered — but scarcely shocked. L’Affaire Gates simply aired, in public, the dirty 100-thread-count table linen of an American culture where Harvard faculty assholes still face a daily struggle against profiling, abuse, and insolence.
It will come as no surprise that Skip’s arrest was the talk of the Douchebag Room at the Harvard Faculty Club last Friday. I and a group of colleagues had assembled for our weekly lunch; I opted for their competently-prepared Ahi Tuna Tartare and an amusing glass of ’05 Hospices de Beaune Premier Cru Cuvee Cyrot-Chaudron. I had noticed that the Franz Fanon Memorial Booth — Skip’s long-reserved lunch spot — was uncharacteristically empty, and asked our waiter Sergio for an explanation.
“Professor Skeep, he no is come today,” said Sergio. “I tink he is in the jail.”