Friday, 24 July 2009

President Barack Obama Stopped Short Of Apologizing To Sgt. James Crowley And The Cambridge Police Force For Publicly Accusing Them Of Acting Stupidly

Hopefully he will get around to properly apologizing down the road a bit. . .

Here is my point-by-point response to President Barack Obama's back-tracking from his assertion that the Cambridge Police acted stupidly in arresting professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. -

:I continue to believe, based on what I have heard, that there was an overreaction in pulling Professor Gates out of his home to the station.

I guess President Obama didn't hear yet that the Nutty Professor was not pulled out of his home at all but walked out of it under his own steam as it were to continue to berate Sgt. Crowley.

:I also continue to believe, based on what I heard, that Professor Gates probably overreacted as well.

To put it mildly. . . How about Professor Gates acted stupidly in painting Sgt. Crowley as a racist?

:My sense is you've got two good people in a circumstance in which neither of them were able to resolve the incident in the way that it should have been resolved and the way they would have liked it to be resolved.

I guess that's one way of putting it. . .

:The fact that it has garnered so much attention I think is a testimony to the fact that these are issues that are still very sensitive here in America.

Of course the attention that *this* has garnered has got nothing to do with professor Henry Louis Gates crying wolf at the top of his lungs in order to gain national attention, and indeed international attention, and President Barack Obama himself pouring gasoline on the fire that the hot tempered professor Gates started by asserting that Cambridge police acted stupidly.

:So to the extent that my choice of words didn't illuminate, but rather contributed to more media frenzy, I think that was unfortunate.

Definitely more heat than light with the 'acted stupidly' remark.

:What I'd like to do then I make sure that everybody steps back for a moment, recognizes that these are two decent people, not extrapolate too much from the facts --

Such as publicly declaring that the Cambridge police force 'acted stupidly' for example? It seems to me that the person who is most guilty of extrapolating too much from the facts is none other than professor Henry Louis Gates.

:but as I said at the press conference, be mindful of the fact that because of our history, because of the difficulties of the past, you know, African Americans are sensitive to these issues.

That is fair enough, but this national scandal arose because one Henry Louis Gates Jr. is hypersensitive to these issues, if not obsessed by them. . . as is clear from his own testimony.

:And even when you've got a police officer who has a fine track record on racial sensitivity, interactions between police officers and the African American community can sometimes be fraught with misunderstanding.

This was not an interaction between Cambridge police officers (at least one of whom was African American) and the African American community. It was an interaction between Cambridge police officers and one single insecure hypersensitive African American Harvard professor who overcompensates with arrogance and hyberbole.

:My hope is, is that as a consequence of this event this ends up being what's called a 'teachable moment,'

It's a 'teachable moment' alright.

:where all of us instead of pumping up the volume spend a little more time listening to each other

Hopefully Henry Louis Gates Jr. aka Mr. Pump Up The Volume Harvard is listening here. . .

:and try to focus on how we can generally improve relations between police officers and minority communities,

Surely you mean try to focus on how we can generally improve relations between police officers and arrogant pumped up Harvard professors. . .

:and that instead of flinging accusations we can all be a little more reflective in terms of what we can do to contribute to more unity.

Flinging accusations like the Cambridge police acted stupidly? Flinging accusations like Sgt. James Crowley is a racist?

:There are some who say that as President I shouldn't have stepped into this at all because it's a local issue. I have to tell you that that part of it I disagree with. The fact that this has become such a big issue I think is indicative of the fact that race is still a troubling aspect of our society. Whether I were black or white, I think that me commenting on this and hopefully contributing to constructive -- as opposed to negative -- understandings about the issue, is part of my portfolio.

May I suggest an actual formal apology to Sgt. James Crowley and the Cambridge police force for asserting that they 'acted stupidly' would be an appropriate contribution to constructive -- as opposed to negative -- understandings about the issue Mr. President?

It occurs to me now that that this (inter)national scandal would never have happened if Henry Louis Gates Jr. had simply followed the first five pool rules for this forum in his interactions with Sgt. Crowley and his subsequent crying wolf in the media. . .

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