Here's a contrast for you.

Most folks know by now the story I wrote about in It's Not about Race, of the Harvard professor who got into an altercation with the Cambridge police while breaking into his own home, and ended up with an invitation first to a jail cell and second to the White House.  But here's a more encouraging tale from NPR, about an encounter between the New Jersy police and someone who might have expected more recognition and respect than a university professor.

Cops: You're Bob Dylan? Never Heard Of You

The link takes you to a transcription, but there you'll also have the opportunity to listen to the 2 1/2 minute show, which I recommend, if only for the way the journalist skillfully wove in bits of Bob Dylan's songs. 

Finally, in the end, the three of them all went back to Dylan's hotel where the staff IDed this man, who is arguably one of the most well-known songwriters of all time. The officers thanked Dylan for cooperating and later they said he seemed as kind as could be.

What chance this kindness and cooperation will get Dylan and the officers a beer at the White House?
Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, August 17, 2009 at 9:13 am | Edit
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While I agree that Dylan's cooperation helped keep things cool, I think there were other factors as well.

He's white.
The police officer (the first one on the scene) was a woman.
Dylan was described, at least by one report I saw as an "eccentric-looking old man". (Ouch).

I think they might have thought that he had wandered away from a facility of some kind.

Posted by dstb on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 at 7:29 am
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