Happy Hour at the White House
It remains to be seen just how happy everyone is.
Seated at a picnic table just outside the Oval Office will be the commander-in-chief, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, and Cambridge, Mass., police Sgt. James Crowley.
The triumvirate will raise a glass of beer together, while trying to head off the nation’s latest racial disagreement.
All of this was predicated by the confrontation between Gates and Crowley at the prof’s home. He had just arrived from a trip to China.
When he had trouble getting a jammed front door open, he summoned his limo driver to give him a hand. A neighbor apparently spotted the two men and called 911 to report a possible break-in.
Of course, Gates is black. The responding officer, Crowley, is white.
Words were exchanged. Tensions elevated. Eventually Gates was handcuffed and arrested for disorderly conduct.
Then the president was asked about it at a nationally televised press conference. He threw a little gas on the fire when he described the Cambridge police as “acting stupidly.”
The nation has been talking about little else since.
I find lots of blame to go around in this thing.
I blame Gates for seeming to jump to conclusions concerning the white officer. I blame Crowley for seeming to overreact after Gates showed him the proper ID. He was in his own house, after all. Most of all, I blame Obama for using a most ill-conceived word to describe the whole thing.
However, I for one am once again glad that we’re having the discussion, or at least the beginning of one.
Maybe I’ll join these three in raising a glass to the idea of talking about race relations in this country.
It’s being reported that the president prefers Bud Lite. Guess it was too much to ask for him to request a Beck’s. But then that’s another race topic for another day.