In Brief: What If Henry Louis Gates Had Had a Gun?:
Sitting in an airport, early morning, listening to a replay of Barack Obama's funny, angry, self-aware words on the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (the only bright spot in a pretty damn useless press conference), the Rude Pundit pondered not just the obvious question of "what-if-Gates-was-white," but a more intense one: what if Gates had had a gun? Go with this for just a second before it's time to board. Go beyond the also obvious "Well, he'd've been shot by the cops."
Instead, think like a gun-owning white guy who thinks that the government is trying to take away his guns and that a revolution is coming (and if you are that white guy, the Rude Pundit says, "Dude, get laid."). That ain't a fantasy person. It's the goddamned audience for much of the right-wing rhetoric these days. Now, think, if Gates had been armed, in his home, after having proven it was his home, what if he had threatened to shoot the cops for now engaging in a home invasion? Would he have been justified? Of course not. We in the rational world know this.
But now push it further: would those very real white guys have come to his defense? Or would they have rallied behind Gates only if he was white like them?
There's planes to catch. Miles to go. Perhaps more later.