Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett is the second African American – that we know of – who has had a negative interaction with the police. He is the second African American who had done nothing even remotely criminal and yet the police came to his house twice and forced him out and incarcerated him. The second time for five weeks.
The first we heard about was “Skip” Gates.. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder.
The attempt was to arrest Skip Gates. There are now pictures in the papers which show him on his porch in handcuffs with the police standing around.
Even if they could not be held, their images could be tarnished and it gives jokes among white supremacists.
And, by the way, how come the police in Cambridge, Ma. are becoming whiter along with Blacks being “arrested” for no reason.
Why was Gates “arrested”? For breaking and entering into his own home.
And Bennett? To be “sectioned” at the local and apparently ‘going along with the program’ hospital. He who had never had a hint of any kind of mental problems was picked up by the police, forced into the hospital to be psychiatrically examined because he was considered a threat to the public. Someone who might do harm to those around and about.
Both are living in areas of Cambridge which are known to be “for white patrons only.” It is an area which traditionally was and is “red lined.”
Rev. Dr. Bennett lives in that area and he is not Harvard connected. Well, except for a Harvard doctorate, however, he was supposed to live in faculty housing so the neighborhood would be confident he and his family would be moving along once he retired. Disappointed and having to come to grips with the reality of where they lived, they decided to sell their house, but then took the house off the market. Shortly thereafter white anger was unleashed and this is the result?
What is incredibly disturbing in what I have read about all the things happening to Rev. Bennett is the fact that he had a probate attorney draw up a Health Care Proxy – which we are all advised to do – and that was drawn up months before he went into the hospital for surgery. Apparently, a judge, at the request of an attorney- who really seems ‘sketchy’ – invalidated that Health Care Proxy and put in its place a Health Care Proxy that Rev. Bennett did not want, had not signed, with a proxy he did not want and that Health Care Proxy was the reason Rev. Bennett had this new Health Care Proxy drawn up. Rev. Bennett was forced by the judge’s decision to have that proxy. Rev. Bennett apparently tried to correct that awfulness by having a probate attorney draw up a Health Care Proxy which invalidated the one he knew nothing about and the Court validated that proxy – the one not signed by Rev. Bennett, one he did not know existed and invalidated the one he clearly wanted. It is mind blowing! Are our attorneys and court that crooked? That said clearly to me this is all about setting up the situation to rip off Rev. Bennett’s assets and not about anything else.
Attorneys who have no ethics about what they are doing and who possibly have hidden interests in so doing can change our wishes to what benefits those attorneys and their clients. What kind of court system do we have? The way it is developing is that of an extreme dictatorship that wants to present a good “front” with no problems letting such things happen. Sadly, some folks have discovered the pots of gold at the end of United States citizens lives and have figured out how to put those citizens into extreme pain, make the end of their lives a torture and wind up with everything they managed to save so that end of life would be decently lived.
People who do not have endless money to be able to hire attorneys to go to court for as long as is necessary to correct this horrible wrong are at the mercy of tainted courts and -should we say ‘crooked’ attorneys? Even then, I suspect it would be a waste of money because the first attorney and judge did ugly things. Isn’t that illegal? Shouldn’t that be illegal? And what recourse do you have except continuing in court – bleeding money to attorneys – and even then – nothing.
Keep publishing. We need to know these things!
This entire thing has upset me and my family unbelievably because we have a probate attorney we hired to make sure we were all covered with what we need and want for those times we might not be able to or not allowed to control our own lives and this says to me that was just a waste of time and money. Money well into four figures. The court and an attorney can invalidate all of it in seconds.
Whatever happened to the United States and its honest court system? Was there ever such a thing and we only knew the image and not the reality?
Thank you for all of your postings about what is happening to Rev. Dr. Bennett. I was a student of his years ago and it grieves me to see what he is going through today.
He is a lovely person. Very quiet, self-effacing and extremely shy!
I was a student at EDS at the time and took his Hebrew Bible Class and a class on Racism he co-taught with his wife, Marceline Donaldson. They also taught that class at Trinity Episcopal Church in Boston, but it was more complete at Episcopal Divinity School.
At the time, when they invited the class to tea at their home, my thoughts were – one day this community is going to attempt to destroy them. They were the only African Americans owning a home in that neighborhood and I knew a few of their neighbors who were not happy with “those folks” living close to them. Besides their comments to me, they smiled nicely when they encountered the couple. I know that because I was with them when one of the neighbors greeted us. They didn’t know Dr. Bennett and his wife so I introduced them. I was so shocked at their response – smiling, lovely, welcoming and just two days prior they were bitter in their comments to me about “such people” living so close.
If there is any way I can help, please let me know. They can’t be left alone in this fight because it is one that affects us all.
My husband and I have been calling Robert and Marceline who we have known for years. At first, I could not believe what was happening to them. After some thought, I realized the same could happen to any of us. My work has made me aware of the result beginnings of these Guardianship Corporations which fly under the banner of “helping the elderly who are alone”. We had one problem in our church with a member who was fairly well off and all of a sudden was embroiled with one of these Guardianship groups trying to take them over. It became clear that they were trying to take over and drain off their assets.
Given what we went through with that family, please know that we are here to do whatever we can for Marceline and Robert. They have always been a very beautiful couple. Their sense of humor with each other is great! It is a shame that this is what they are experiencing at this time of life.
We are praying for them – however, we also want to know what else we can do. My husband thought about organizing a group in the church to work with them and keep that group going after their problems are solved to work with others in the same place.
Stay in touch and please keep those write-ups coming so we all can keep up with what is happening with Dr. Bennett and his wife. When I receive mine I send it around to as many people as I can think of who would be interested and the feed back has been dynamite.
Reading about all of this it is startling and very disturbing.
We have pictures of Skip Gates – from Harvard University – in handcuffs on his own porch – being arrested by the police for breaking and entering his own home?
And now we have Robert Bennett picked up in a huge drama, which we watched and were appalled at the Cambridge Police for allowing themselves to be so used. Or – were they a part of this whole drama before it happened and were attempting what was attempted with Skip Gates?
Do you realize how the Cambridge and Boston police are becoming “whiter”? Now that we are decades away from what caused these areas to attempt to diversify their police force, that has gradually slipped away and we see the whitening now happening. Will we now see more of this happening in Cambridge? Clearly, African Americans can be picked up in Cambridge, by the police, even though there is not even a hint of criminality involved and they can be imprisoned for indefinite periods of time for no reason. And what happens after that? Any and All Americans can be picked up in Cambridge, by the police, even though there is not even a hint of criminality involved and they can be imprisoned for indefinite periods of time for no reason. Do you doubt that? After this, I don’t!
I guess we consider ourselves so influential that we can make those same African Americans pay for their own imprisonment. Isn’t that what happened with Robert Bennett? I would love to know who paid for all of this? Hopefully, not my tax money and hopefully not the Bennett’s insurance money. Either way I am getting ready to protest all of this somehow.
If you are all sleeping and not paying attention to this and not intervening to make these things stop you could be next. I was raised with the saying – Nazi Germany is what happened because good people did nothing. You are seeing the same thing happening in these United States and what are you doing about it?