Moulton Lava

Moultonic Musings

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Location: New England, United States

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stupid Arrest

Last night, at his televised news conference, President Obama characterized the arrest of Henry Louis Gates as a "stupid" act by a Cambridge police officer. The official charge was "disorderly conduct" which police privately concede is a bogus charge that they call "contempt of cop".

The word "arrest" has an etymology that means "stop" and is thus related to the corresponding practice on Wikipedia, where it's called "blocking".

In the case of Henry Louis Gates, the story made international news, and is now being touted as a "teachable moment" by those commenting on the case.

That "teachable moment" would also apply to Wikipedia admins who similarly arrest scholars and academics on specious charges.

It is unlikely the "teachable moment" will have any lasting effect on those who are most in need of an education with respect to the stupid practice that Obama was commenting on.