On the whole Henry Louis Gates getting arrested thing:
1. The problem with life experiences is you can't run a control portion of the experiment. I remember getting hassled by a cop once as a young man, for getting too close to a film crew near the Lincoln Memorial. I pointed out a group of three white people who were even closer, and the officer told me to worry about myself instead. Had I been black, I might have thought it was racism, but instead it was just a stupid cop on a power trip. Of course if I had been black, maybe he would've arrested me instead of just throwing his weight around.
2. While Gates has an obligation as a prominent authority figure to keep his cool, the person who was the professional in that situation was the policeman. All the officer had to do was to walk away from the house of the grumpy old man who was yelling at him, but instead the cop went on a power trip. Sounds stupid to me.