The passerby calls the police.
The police respond to a possible burglary in progress. They don't know you live at the house. They don't know you are a nationally renowned African-American scholar. You come to the door and the officer asks you to step outside.
The quickest way to resolve the situation is to provide the officer with identification that shows you live at the residence.
A driver's license perhaps.
Instead of getting indignant and becoming argumentative with the officer, pull out out your driver's license.
The conversation then goes something like this:
Officer -- I'm sorry Mr. Gates Jr. There must have been a mistake. I'm sorry to have bothered you. I hope you have a nice day.
Mr. Gates Jr. -- Not a problem officer. I understand these things happen. Hey, by the way, what's your name.
Officer -- It's Sergeant Crowley. Have a nice day.
Mr. Gates Jr. -- Stay safe.
But that doesn't make the national news.