gates crowley

i’ve heard all kinds of talk shows in my head (& on the air) on this subject, so:
i’m glad the gates v. crowley thing is blowing over, if it is. obama did well today, talking to crowley, and trying to smooth it away.
i know and respect gates.
crowley’s a decent cop.
the rule for dealing with a cambridge cop, however decent, is don’t provoke, don’t confront, don’t insult, don’t raise yr voice and escalate.
in my recent encounters with yr basic decent cambridge cop i have found that rule to be unbendable — and yet i am not black (nor yet a harvard celeb) — no matter how trivial the occasion. they shine a light on you. you step out of it, seem to dodge, or even cover your eyes, yr busted.
but this was not an occasion upon which to hang major truths about race or confrontations about it. on the contrary, it was the sort of incident that cd further cynicism about the whole subject. how the right wing loves it — black celeb v. working class white. in this case, the right had something going for it.
by responding so warmly to it at his news conference — though note, he called the cops not racist this time, but stupid — obama guaranteed a next to nothing event endless zombie life.
as i say, he corrected himself pretty well.
“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,” Mr. Obama added. “I also continue to believe, based on what I heard that Professor Gates probably overreacted as well. 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.” (NY Times 7/25/09)
though the right wdn’t know it (or can’t) it’s nice to have a president with a brain and a tongue to express its workings.


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