While the Professor and the Sergeant head to the White House today to make nice-nice over a beer the woman who’s phone call started the whole Gates-gate racial profiling controversy remains on her own.
Lucia Whalen finally stepped forward yesterday to explain what prompted her to make the 911 call about a possible home break-in – and WHAT SHE ACTUALLY SAID to the emergency operator. Whalen says she was pained to be wrongly labeled as a racist. So how come SHE wasn’t invited to the healing-ceremony at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
With a trembling voice, Lucia Whalen, 40, said she was out walking to lunch in Gates’ Cambridge neighborhood near Harvard University when an elderly woman without a cell phone stopped her because she was concerned there was a possible burglary in progress.
Whalen was vilified as a racist on blogs after a police report said she described the possible burglars as “two black males with backpacks.” Tapes of the call released earlier this week revealed that Whalen did not mention race. When pressed by a dispatcher on whether the men were white, black or Hispanic, she said one of them might have been Hispanic. “Now that the tapes are out, I hope people can see that I tried to be careful and honest with my words,” Whalen said. “It never occurred to me that the way I reported what I saw be analyzed by an entire nation.” via 911 caller in Gates case hurt by racist label.
Wonder what Whalen’s situation will do to others who pick up the phone to call 911. Maybe they won’t even bother to get involved now.