Thursday’s beer bash on the White House lawn resulted in racial peace in out time sheepishness on the part of reporters and commentators, who had inflated a symbolic photo opportunity into a “Racial Summit Meeting.” President Obama, Vice President Biden, Harvard Professor Henry Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Cambridge Police Sergeant James Crowley merely chatted over a beer in DC’s summer heat, as planned.
It’s not like anyone elected Dr. Gates to represent Black America. And Sargeant Crowley is hardly the embodiment of racism — he has taken ethnic awareness sessions and trains fellow officers on avoiding racial profiling.
Nevetheless, since this local incident has been blown out of proportion, it might as well be used to focus on the very real issue of “Contempt of Cop” arrests and their race and class dimensions. Let us hope Sergeant Crowley and Dr. Gates are wise enough to look into this pervasive practice together in some forum other than the courtroom.
The media expressed disappointment that the event did not meet the unrealistic expectations they had set for it:
“Beer bash falls flat,” Boston Herald
“Obama’s beer summit’ yields symbolic image, but little else,” Kansas City Star
”Obama, Gates, and Crowley Beer Summit a Snooze,” U.S. News and World Report
On the positive side, Professor Gates took our advice and switched from Jamaican Red Stripe beer to a Boston brew named after founding father (and Harvard grad) Samuel Adams. Patriot Adams was maligned as a “master of propaganda” (Dr. Gates, take note).
Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
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