Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What's A Beer Among Friends?

What's a beer among friends right? I mean, I'm trying to remember the last time I accused someone of acting stupidly before I knew all of the facts, then offered a pretty lame excuse for an apology to them, then invited them over for beer, along with my friend who hurled racial accusations towards this someone and for good measure, insulted their mother. Please tell me I'm not the only one that sees the incredibly condescending and disingenuous nature of this whole shameful debacle.

As a black man, I am ashamed and appalled at the careless attempt to paint this whole episode as one more instance of black victimization at the hands of an angry white police officer. Prof. Gates is a race-baiter who happens to be a well-respected intellectual and icon within the Black community. He uses his prominence within Harvard and within the Black community to play upon the fears, real or imagined, that Blacks have concerning the police, specifically white police officers, by painting himself a helpless, bewildered victim of deep-seeded white racism. What is more troubling to me is the irresponsible, careless, and reckless nature with which the President inserted himself into the middle of this whole situation. He's used the Presidential office as a way to verbally put a load of bricks on someone trying to do their job, while fully admitting he didn't have all of the facts. Now as a Harvard law student, I'm sure he had some courses that covered proper decorum regarding how to speak to and properly address a case or legal incident pending full disclosure of the facts.

Trying to soften the blowback from his previous statement, he comes back later to talk about how all of this has become a teachable moment while never saying the two words that would've sent an enormous message..."I'm sorry." For all of his brilliance, it baffles me how he could so carelessly offer judgement on a situation and on a person he knew nothing about while refusing to offer a sincere apology that could've spoken volumes to so many people directly and indirectly involved in the situation. And now, the President has invited Prof. Gates and Sgt. Crowley to the White House for a beer to talk things over and put things aside. Frankly, the one person I believe that has acted the most professional and most befitting of his stature and station is Sgt. Crowley, who has been vilified and demonized by two people who know full well the cruelty that is baseless accusations and slander.

No, this won't be a beer among friends. Rather, this should be an instructional for President Obama and Prof. Gates as to how to act in a way that's befitting their respective stations. Someone should take notes...they could probably learn something from a true professional.

1 comment:

  1. Well, there's only one truth to this story, and who knows what we're getting from the officer, the professor, or from the media. Without knowing exactly what happened, it's hard for me to form a real opinion, and I fear this will sound like a politican's answer, but here are my thoughts:

    The situation according Mr. Gates is far different from one written in the police report. It is my sincere hope that an officer didn't handcuff a man on his own property after a calm encounter before, during, and after the man gave proof of his residence.

    It is also my sincere hope that a man didn't lose his cool and insult a police officer's mama because he assumed racism was taking place, and decided to use this to his advantage. I certainly think Mr. Gates should stop using his special documentary film-making, highly-educated, Harvard faculty, I-so-obviously-have-a-hired-driver status to anoint himself and how special he is. It certainly isn't helping him fight the I'm-such-a-victim-here battle.

    It's sad that we have to worry about whether or not the officer only arrested Mr. Gates because he is black. It's equally sad that we have to wonder if charges were dropped against Mr. Gates only because he is.

    I agree it was in bad form for the President to comment on a local situation he knew little about before the process was complete.

    Idealist that I am, I don't think the issues borne by prejudice and racism in this country will be healed - except by a specific measure of grace from God. I believe it is the price we pay for writing up a fabulous Constitutional document that - while purporting to defend the rights of all citizens - was really only used to protect a white men.
    - Rhonda

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