Speaking truth with power.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Professor, The Cop, and The President

Recently, Harvard professor Henry Louis "Skip" Gates was locked out of his home in Cambridge, Mass., and forced his way in. A neighbor, seeing a black man break into a home, caught fright, and dialed 911. The officer, Sgt. James Crowley, arrived on the scene and asked for Skip's identification. Tempers (and egos) flared between Gates and Crowley, with reports that Gates might have mentioned Crowley's "mama."

Here's what's wrong with what is being dubbed by this blog as Henry Louis Gates-Gate. First off, a man got arrested in his own home. That shouldn't happen. Secondly, Gates shouldn't bring up a cop's mama. That's just dumb. But it wasn't just any black guy put in cuffs. It's Skip Gates. The guy is one of the most prominent voices on race relations in America. So naturally the cop was portrayed as racist by the court of public opinion, and as stupid.... by the President of the United States.... on national TV.

Sgt. Crowley's job is to diffuse situations like these, not take part in them. He should have put his ego aside and sought out the facts, rather than hauling off a 60-year-old Harvard professor to jail. But he's not a racist. In fact, he teaches racial sensitivity courses to the Cambridge Police Department. Boston, and her police force, have a checkered past when it comes to race relations. But not Sgt. Crowley.

So the leader of the free world, Barry Barack Obama, realizing the error of his ways (and words), did what most adults should do in these types of situations. He called Crowley up, expressed regret over his choice of words and invited the guy, along with Gates, to the White House to discuss it over a beer. That's pretty cool. Obama came right down into the fray of Henry Louis Gates Gate, and settled it like a leader should. He said let's talk.

And hey, look. That's cool, Barack. You're aiming to squash this. But why in the hell is the tempest in a teacup even on your agenda? Isn't there still health care, the economy, the environment, Pakistan's nuclear weapons falling into the hands of al-qaeda to worry about? Isn't your dance card already a little full, Barack? I can't imagine you would have much free time to settle, let alone even get involved, in such a minor incident. But, if you've got the time, cheers, my man.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Crowley's job is not to diffuse situations like these. His job is to respond to 911 calls. And when he does such, if a suspect is not cooperative and becomes belligerent, he is well within his rights to arrest said suspect. I've heard the tapes and seen all the videos: the only person to ever bring up race is Gates. "Is this how a black man is treated in his own home?" I believe that was his question. Why should it matter what color a man is? Why does Gates continually and repeatedly go out of his way to emphasize "black" man and "white" police officer?


July 29, 2009 at 8:18 PM

Blogger daniel (gigo08) said...

I agree that this shouldn't even register on the radar of a dude with as much to accomplish as 'Bama. But yo, this is America, people get all crazy about anything to do with race. And beyond any logic, reasoning, righteousness or actual racism, you have a bunch of (pardon the term) cocksuckers out there trying to fan the flame. These people I speak of are the American media, that devote hundred of hours reporting on Michael Jackson, or why maybe eating babies is a dangerous new trend, or whether some little bullshit news item should be foremost in your thoughts. Rather than doing some real reporting to discuss real issues, be they good or bad (a little more good would be nice actually) these people make their living by putting millions of people on edge with their crazy sensationalist "news reports".

With their ability to whip up something out of literally nothing, its no surprise that Barack had no choice but to react to this.

Maybe in a more reasonable time or a more balanced national culture this would have gone no further than the neighborhood wives hashing out last nights brouhaha over a cup of coffee or a tiny block of text in the local police blotter.

Was this racial? I don't think so. Was this unfortunate? Sure, it was a misunderstanding.

Did all of America have to stop everything for an hour and think about this? Hell no.

Which is sad because it's likely that there was more discussion about this in four days than all of America have talked about the real issues (civilian deaths in foreign wars maybe?) over the past year.

July 29, 2009 at 9:29 PM

Anonymous Shut your mouth said...

Obama needs to shut his mouth. He comments on every god damn thing that goes on whether his words are needed or not. I personally don't give a shit what his views are in this situation or many others. Shut your mouth and do the job I voted for you to do - keep the country safe, kick some Afghan ass, and catch that motherfucker Osama Bin Laden.

I pray that nothing happens to this country or its soldiers while these three idiots sit down and have a beer.

I get the feeling that Obama will have plenty of time for beer in Jan. 2012 when his ass is out of the White House.

July 30, 2009 at 6:21 PM


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