Monday, August 3, 2009

An Obscene Summit

Is it just me, or did anyone else find the "Beer Summit" to be a thoroughly a transparent attempt by Obama to pose as a post racial figure? In fact, doesn't it seem so blatantly hypocritical and such a blatant effort at damage control as to be obscene?

The so called "Beer Summit," relating to the incident discussed in a post here, was a meeting between President Obama, Vice President Biden, Officer Crowley, and the race baiting Harvard Prof, Henry Gates. As discussed in that post, when Sgt. Crowley responded to a report of a burglary in progress, Prof. Gates played the race card, then, shockingly, Obama doubled down, creating a public furor. Obama quickly backpedaled, then tried to portray himself as above the fray instead of in the middle of it. As he said in a later press conference, "[m]y hope is that, as a consequence of this event, this ends up being what's called a teachable moment."

Obama was never clear about what he intended to "teach" the rest of America about the Gates race card fiasco. Indeed, it seemed the only thing he wanted to "teach" us was that, in contradiction to his initial remarks, he was really above all of this. And indeed, not only was he above it all, but he clearly implied that he has a wisdom and understanding the rest of us do not possess. The effort was brought to culmination when Obama invited Gates and Crowley to the White House for a "Beer Summit" - a photo op with, not surprisingly at all, no reporters able to hear to conversation.

I do not know why Police Sergeant Crowley decided to allow himself to be used by Obama and attend this meeting. Given the degree to which Crowley was wronged, first by Gates, then by Obama, Sgt. Crowley would have been completely within reason to have refused the President's offer for what it was - a throughly hypocritical effort by Obama to portray himself in a favorable light with Crowley's assistance.

Regardless, Crowley decided to attend. Here was his press conference afterwards:

Hats off to Sgt. Crowley for handling this whole matter with class. The same cannot be said for Harvard Prof. Henry Gates, who refused to speak with reporters but did issue a statement. According to Prof. Gates:

Sergeant Crowley and I, through an accident of time and place, have been cast together, inextricably, as characters – as metaphors, really – in a thousand narratives about race over which he and I have absolutely no control. [Gates playing the race card was anything but an 'accident.'] . . . It is incumbent upon Sergeant Crowley and me to utilize the great opportunity that fate has given us to foster greater sympathy among the American public for the daily perils of policing on the one hand, and for the genuine fears of racial profiling on the other hand [Gates has yet to explain how anything that Crowley did amounts to racial profiling. To use his logic, the arrest of any African American is racial profiling irrespective of the facts.]

. . . Thank God we live in a country where speech is protected, a country which guarantees and defends my right to speak out when I believe my rights have been violated; a country that protects us from arrest when we do express our views, no matter how unpopular.

And thank God that we have a President who can rise above the fray, bridge age-old differences and transform events such as this into a moment in the evolution of our society’s attitudes about race and difference. [This would seem the opposite of reality, but it is clearly the meme Obama wanted to portray.] President Obama is a man who understands tolerance and forgiveness, and our country is blessed to have such a leader. [Who is he tolerating and who is being forgiven? Gates seems to be implying that he is forgiving Crowley.]

The national conversation over the past week about my arrest has been rowdy, not to say tumultuous and unruly. But we’ve learned that we can have our differences without demonizing one another. . . . [Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't playing the race card "demonizing" the other by very definition?]

Having spent my academic career trying to bridge differences and promote understanding among Americans, I can report that it is far more comfortable being the commentator than being commented upon. . . .

I would lastly add that I would very much like to hear some of the substance of what Prof. Gates has taught in his academic career. Given both my experience with the curriculum of "African American Studies" programs - i.e., critical race theory - and the speed with which Gates played the race card on Sgt. Crowley, I would not be surprised to find Prof. Gates teaching in academia what Rev. Wright screeched from the pulpit.

In any event, the President will once again get a pass on all of this from the media. Perhaps that is the only "teachable moment" of this whole event.

1 comment:

OBloodyHell said...

> In any event, the President will once again get a pass on all of this from the media. Perhaps that is the only "teachable moment" of this whole event.

We've all been taught what "post-racial" means: "White people: bad. Black people: perpetually indignant."

Welcome to Obama's A-O-KKK Amerijjja.