Well, well, well….today’s the day we head over at the White House, where everybody knows their names:
President Obama will welcome a well-known scholar and the police officer who arrested him to the White House on Thursday, in an effort to put to an end the racially charged controversy caused by the arrest near Harvard University earlier this month.
Obama, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge, Mass., police are scheduled to gather over beers at a picnic table outside the Oval Office, joined by their families. The White House hopes the meeting will transform a public relations misstep for the nation’s first African American president into a “teachable moment” for improving the nation’s race relations.
Obama invited the two men to the White House on Friday, the same day he publicly expressed regret for saying July 22 at a nationally televised news conference that Cambridge police had “acted stupidly” by arresting Gates at his home. The remark ignited a backlash from conservative commentators and law enforcement officials, who accused Obama of speaking rashly and being anti-police.
That controversy caught the White House by surprise, and initially the president, a friend of Gates’s, stuck by his words. But as objections continued to build, Obama discussed it briefly with friends while at his Chicago home on Thursday, a White House official said. Later, he also discussed the issue with his wife — who was said to be as outraged by the arrest as he was — before deciding to step back from his original stand. Obama told reporters that both Crowley and Gates, who reportedly berated the officer, overreacted.
While Obama has recalibrated his original statement, several civil rights activists say his instincts were nonetheless correct. “Unfortunately his comments were misunderstood or less than clear,” said John Payton, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “But I have not heard anyone who disagrees with the following statement: What happened in Skip Gates’s house should not have happened. It’s his home.”
The informal meeting, where White House officials said Obama will drink a Bud Light, Crowley a Blue Moon and Gates a Red Stripe, will not attempt to address larger racial issues in more than a symbolic way.
“I hope what is essentially a photo op will trigger a broader policy response,” said Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Council on Civil Rights. “And it’s Congress’s role to take that on.”
Even as the two men agreed to meet again at the White House, Gates has remained consistent in his position that, when he was arrested July 16 for disorderly conduct (a charge that was later dropped), racial profiling occurred. And Crowley has remained consistent in his position that it did not.
I heard Gates Jr. still thinks he is owed an apology. Just him?
Here’s a thought: Get the three of these men punch drunk….then let’s see what really comes out of them. That would make for an “honest” conversation.
What do you think/predict should happen?
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.
This moron is the reason there is such a controversy. Does anyone else get it? What a jerk!
The officer should have politely refused, Sitting down with the 2 pos is IMO giving in to the racist.
This will give O-Bum-Looker a reason for an extra beer (or two):
Actually, the “beer summit” was Crowley’s idea, so it would be hard for Crowley to refuse what he, himself, suggested.
… or from The Hill:
… and the version from the NewYorker:
But that doesn’t stop Obama and Gibbs for taking credit for the photo op because, as we all know, it’s always “all about Obama”.
No, wait! HotAir’s Allahpundit says Gate’s is trying to take credit!
Maybe after a beer or two, they’ll all just decide to “share” credit for this historic moment that shall forever alter race relations in America. The picnic that changed a nation…. LOL
BTW, since when is “racial profiling” a dirty word(s)? Afterall, what is affirmative active BUT racial profiling? Seems perfectly acceptable for that, eh? Oh yes… when 911 calls come in and a perp is described as a Hispanic, do ya think the cops ought to stop a Scot, Irishman and an Arab first just to apply equal “profiling”?
I hope that Crowley does not buckle. There is a very important principle at stake here, and he is up against to heavy handed thugs with brass knuckles. He needs backup.
Well, Crowley has the best taste in beer! But I think they should all be drinking Sam Adams, not only a good American beer, but also brewed in the area the two men live.
So, will Sgt. Crowley be carrying his piece and his cuffs?
@ John Cooper
Surely you jest! They will probably frisk him and put him in leg irons for the duration.
What I think should happen is they should slip some Sodium Pentothal in the beers, and there should be an army of media with shot gun mics (as in microphones) nearby.
Sodium P is very effective in the proper dosage. Obviously the Secret Service would never allow “beer boarding” but I strongly suspect that there will be no “learnable” or “teachable” moments there and more high minded disingenuous rhetoric than truth.
How much do we have to pay in order to get that done? Can we take a collection?
A stupid stupid stunt. When it is over Gates will still play the victim, still race bait, still financially enrich himself. Stupid is as stupid does. Heard that somewhere.
It’s exactly the scene the Liberal love to paint for us. Two really hip, cool, urbanly aware, black guys drinking a beer with the hayseed. Movies, TV shows, commercials all have this common theme – hayseed, dopey whites males with trendy, hip, knowing black dudes. The black dudes always dominating the hayseed. You know, cuz it reflects life as it really is.
It’s really getting old.
Very interesting piece offering some perspective on both men:
Gates’ quote from his Weisenthal Center speech:
Sounds like Gates’ talks a good game when in a particular environment, and behaves another way daily. There was no tolerance, nor respect, exhibited by him on July 16th. And to date, it’s still arrogance over penance.