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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This reconciliation brought to you
by Budweiser.

Okay, we’re getting ridiculous. The president’s idea to share a beer with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley over racial profiling even has a start time of 6:00 PM Thursday? Yea live network coverage in time for old school news cycle! Promotional opportunities abound though: Sponsored by [ insert major beer ]. Seriously, Bud, no-brainer. The beer that crosses party lines?

As for the original inciting event, everyone’s right—and everyone’s wrong.

- Lynn Sweet. The reporter who asked the last question during the president’s address? Right issue, WAY wrong place.

- President Obama. Should have never taken the question, and instead told her to focus on healthcare. Compounded things further by calling out the officer in question. While his arguement about profiling is legitimate, it’s also not the place.

- Sgt. James Crowley. Gates seemed to be grandstanding maybe, but was not physically threatening in the police report, nor does Crowley sound like he’s in immediate danger on audio recordings. The show COPS let maniacs get away with far worse for refusing speeding tickets–without anyone going to jail. If Crowley was led to believe Gates lawfuly belonged there, the behavoir could easily be interpreted as someone pissed because they’re in their own house and being questioned about it. I would. How would anyone else react? I don’t see where Crowley told him that it was two men with backpacks either. The witness implied a break-in, but Crowley sure looked like one of the best-dressed burglars I’ve seen since Clooney in Ocean’s 11.

(I’m going by the police report, and yes, profiling is a problem, my intent isn’t to excuse it away. With several family members who are cops though, second-guessing the police 24/7 doesn’t help, because all officers are affected by that. They make split-second life and death decisions that are completely justifiable that don’t always make the news, yet nobody focuses on those stories. In this case though, it’s clear three different people have differing views on what happened and stuff’s not lining up right.

- Henry Louis Gates Jr. I can’t be inside the dude’s head other than to say the grandstanding sure read as calculated once things escalated. Maybe he felt he had to take advantage of the moment and draw attention because nobody would listen otherwise? They are now.

So yeah, Bud. Sign on for this mess, k?

(Image via.)

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