Cambridge police responding to a call about "two black males" possibly breaking into a home ended up arresting the man who lives there – Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Harvard professor and probably the country's pre-eminent African-American scholar. The 58-year-old director of Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute forced his own door open after finding it jammed; he was handcuffed and arrested on a disorderly conduct charge by police who said they were investigating a break-in.
"Why? Because I'm a black man in America?" Gates responded.