Was it race, attitude or circumstance that got Henry Gates arrested?

Posted July 27, 2009, at 2:51 p.m.

The arrest of renowned scholar Henry Louis Gates in his Cambridge home last week rose to national prominence when President Obama weighed in on the matter during a press conference. Did police act “stupidly,” as the president said, in arresting Mr. Gates, or was it prudent, given the report of a break-in? Was it Prof. Gates’ attitude – becoming

indignant and accusing the officer of being a racist – which led to his arrest? If so, was that action justified? What does this incident reveal about views about race in America?