The Suds Summit
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?"