President Obama is having second thoughts about his off-the-cuff remarks concerning a black Harvard professor who was arrested after breaking into his own home. The way I understand it, Obama still thinks the arresting cop “overreacted.” But he regrets saying the cop acted “stupidly.” Now, if the cop and the professor would just come see him at the White House, Obama would be happy to straighten out the misunderstanding over a cold one.
Hey, if that isn’t the American way, what is?
Apparently not. It seems the American way is for the self-serving media to exploit the President’s remark without regard for the harm they might cause. They know that “race” is a hot button issue in this country and they know they can use it to pump up their audience. So, they’re looking for a fight, and they are going to keep stoking the fire till the last ember dies.
If it’s a fight they want, I would be glad to give them one. I think Sgt. James Crowley acted like a racist.
Yes, I know that he once gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a black athlete, but that doesn’t change my mind. (Imagine such intimacy with a black man! Don’t the reporters who cite that incident as proof of the cop’s racial tolerance see how “racist” they are?)
I doubt very much that the cop would have charged a white Harvard professor with “disorderly conduct” for telling him off under the same circumstances. Of course, a white Harvard professor wouldn’t have suggested that Crowley was treating him like a suspect because of his skin color.
Why would he?
Do police all over America routinely stop a lot more white drivers that black and Hispanic ones? Is the vast majority of the prison population in America white? If neighbors had seen a white man forcing the lock on Professor Henry Gates’ door, would they have called the police so quickly?
You and I both know Crowley is subject to racial stereotyping. Who isn’t? Aren’t those Asians good at math but lousy at driving a car? And don’t black people have rhythm? And don’t we all know white men can’t jump? Growing up in Jamaica, I quickly learned that just because my skin “turn color,” I wasn’t to get “facety” with the lady on the bus. Racial stereotyping is as natural as breathing. So instead of denying it, we need to recognize it and overcome it. That’s part of being civilized.
Now, if the media would shut up about it, perhaps Crowley (photo above) and Gates (photo at right) could settle their differences over a beer while the President of the United States takes time from solving the world’s crises to soothe their ruffled feathers. It would be a small – but symbolically important – step toward more sophisticated race relations in this woefully unsophisticated society.