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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Suds Summit

Henry Louis Gates Jr. apparently does have a way with words:
When he’s not arresting you, Sergeant Crowley is a really likable guy.”
And Sgt. James Crowley was a credit to his uniform:
“What you had today was two gentlemen who agreed to disagree on a particular issue. We didn’t spend too much time dwelling on the past, and we decided to look forward.”
With that, the White House Suds Summit has come and gone -- without a chance to hear from Jim Koch about his happiness to discover that Gates quaffed a Sam Adams Light to represent American brewers under the magnolia tree in the White House Rose Garden.

I would have a been shocked if the most-hyped after work beer in history had turned out any other way. Gates, Crowley and Obama all acted and spoke in unscripted ways on the afternoon in Cambridge and the press conference in Washington. Yesterday, the script was king.

I can't possibly know what went through either of their minds because I am not an African-American man. Nor can I know what Crowley thought and felt because I am not a cop. But it's clear they were all acting as real human beings -- albeit one with some particular training on how to react in escalating tension situations.

As Crowley said, we can agree to disagree on whether it was appropriate to arrest a man in his own home after he produced proper identification. I still think we have a constitutional right to mouth off in our own home, even if Gates would have been better advised to shut the heck up.

And I think Obama spoke from the heart, as a black man in America. I'd much rather have a president speak honestly, even if it leaves him with foot in mouth disease, than have one who concoct stories about weapons of mass destruction or parses the meaning of the word is.

Obama chose yesterday's words carefully and well. Ultimately, it was about:
" ... having a drink at the end of the day and hopefully giving people an opportunity to listen to each other. That's really all it is."
I think Rodney King, someone who knows a thing or two about making bad moves in a police encounter, may offer the best words:
"Can we all just get along?"

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16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the issue that first started all of this, the President of the United States made a comment that he never should have made in the first place. He wasn't there, didn't have all the information and should have just left it at that. Sometimes it's better to wait for all the facts before speaking as not to insert foot in mouth.

July 31, 2009 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

***************************************************************************IN OVER 200 YEARS OF GOVERNMENT...THOSE TWO LIBERAL ASSES HAVE DISGRACED THE OFFICE SECOND TO NONE. THANK YOU CLINTON
AND NOW OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!

July 31, 2009 8:30 AM  
Anonymous MikeInTexas said...

Gates and Obama are proven race-baiters. It is particularly insulting to have the President of the United States admitting he knows no facts, use the race card and then turn the White House into some New England pub. Regardless of what Gates and Crowley said, Obama should have APOLOGIZED to everyone.

July 31, 2009 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Memo to Obomba the Magnificent: Stop meddling in the private affairs of American citizens.Every time you open your pie hole,You show real Americans, That you have absolute no concept of our culture. growing up in a sanitized life in Hawaii or being surrounded by terrorists and anti Americans like William Ayers and Rev. Wright.Barry STFU

July 31, 2009 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just want to know where the organization MADD is over them drinking beer.lost respect for them. I dont want my president acting like a every day joe i want him to act like a president.

July 31, 2009 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps this is material for another reality show.
A big waste of time

July 31, 2009 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BO continues to act stupidly. Reports prove Gates refused out of the arrogance typical of a Harvard professor, to provide identification, then acted in a condescending manner to the police.

July 31, 2009 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

these posts are right on the monay - the President looks like a joke and Gates is an ass. What a waste of the governments time.

July 31, 2009 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Raul said...

The President is a lawyer by training and a Constitutional law professor. He was twice qualified to speak on the subject. He did make plenty of disclaimers before speaking. If I felt I was falsely arrested, I would want a lawyer like Obama to represent me because that's what he pointing out. It's "stupid" because the BS charge can blow up into a whole 4th Amendment issue (forget about civil rights. You don't need it here) and the City of Cambridge Police Depatment could land with a federal supervisory muzzle besides the city having to pay damages for violating those 4th amendment rights.

What this incident DOES prove is that, like the blog author says, it's only okay to speak freely when you are lying trough your teeth. Why? Because the average citizen is not even authorized to check for the truth. Sure, you can make an FOIA request, but what did that get the media? Nothing. We are still in Iraq.

July 31, 2009 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The President of the United States made the comment,the City of Cambridge Police Depatment acted stupidly in the case.This was before the President even heard the facts.I have listened to this on national TV,radio for almost two weeks now and the only thing I see that was done stupidly is the Predident of the United States trying to cover up his mistake.He should apologize.

July 31, 2009 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The idea and methods of Racism are various, and thus, cannot be accurately grasped via popular perception(s).
Racism is a socially constructed idea and an Economic practice historically enforced and maintained by the "ruling class."
The basic Human Rights of the disenfranchised were systematically denied and remained unobserved for Centuries!
Many aspects and issues stemming from America's Historic practice of Racsim remain unresolved due to the fabric it's been intricately interwoven into... the frabric Amercian psyche.

July 31, 2009 11:11 AM  
Blogger shermanfinn said...

Why must our children see the White House turned into a Bar room and our President as a Bartender? If the Cop had been black and the Professor white we would never have heard the word racism and they would have had to buy their own beer. Mr. Obama, remember, your Mother is white.

July 31, 2009 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG.. I can't believe people are tripping off this... I wish I was forty or over so I can understand the racial division. It makes sense though. Considering everything our country did for years was based on discrimination. Obama as the president should have gotten all the facts. But as a black man, its hard not to see the injustice. Getting arrested and going to jail may be o.k for some homeowners or renters. Not my house, I would definitely been in jail for the same thing. I thought our forefathers wrote something on a piece of paper that covers our ass or better yet our mouths from this. Gates might be an a hole but if he was a well off white guy.Every "Black" American (not African, save that for the people with green cards) would believe he would have been treated differently, even with the smart mouth.

July 31, 2009 1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To those wondering about the "Beer " thing and MADD.
Don't you know this is a "MAN" thing. not a "PRESIDENT" thing

Nice example to set before the youth of today. try and settle it over a "BEER"

As for the professor and the policeman, I would like to have been a fly on the wall, when this susposed educated man threw his temper tantrum. We will have more of these all because of a firefighters test that fighters of color did not want to study for and have rules changed to promote them. its an "affirmative action "thing. Not a "study hard and be rewarded thing"

I am indeed appalled and insulted and have so much fear now that the PRESIDENT of this FREE country would be so RACIALLY biased and not a PRESIDENT "by the people , for the people and of the people"

Has this been a white Professor in the wrong a Black policeman doing his duty would this have been considered Racial Profiling .
According to our constitution we are all "EQUAL UNDER THE LAW"

But he has to pander just as other politicians do to those who got him elected.

From now on Prof Gates' house should be non existant to the police of that city

July 31, 2009 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Tom Beebe said...

And the award for idiotic comment about stupidity goes to...
Not Professor Gates; one can "empathize" (Sotomayor's word) with being confronted in one's own home
Not Officer Crowley; one knows police have a right to quell verbal attacks on them while performing their service to the public
Not Joe Biden: for once we haven't heard from him, thank God
That leaves but one candidate at the beer summit for "stupidity of the month" title.

July 31, 2009 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Striking among all this is how Gov. Patrick missed his chance to be the peacemaker in Cambridge, a city in the state of which he is Governor. Again, he doesn't understand the symbolic potential of his office.

August 03, 2009 4:34 AM  

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