Prominent Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates arrested at his Home in Cambridge, MA

From Wikipedia: "Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct following an incident on July 16, 2009, when he had trouble ...
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Prominent Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates arrested at his Home in Cambridge, MA 1

Why is this such a huge story? As I see it, both the police and Gates overreacted in this situation, but still, there was no reason this should have become a national story.

It was the implication that the Cambridge police arrested Gates because of his race that really set off the firestorm, and this is what caused Obama to make those remarks. That was something he really should have stayed out of.

But either way, this was a huge misunderstanding that was blown completely out of proportion, especially by the media and the White House.

UPDATE: Unbelievable. This small act is rapidly degenerating into racial mudslinging. Give it up to the media for fanning the flames. Obama didn't help matters by interjecting himself into it. Granted, if Gates weren't a high profile author and professor, probably it wouldn't have gotten the attention that it did, but now we seem to focusing the discussion back towards divisive subjects like race.

Politically speaking for Obama this is the worst possible time to have such a debate, as he's trying to pass his landmark health care legislation through Congress. This is what they call a major distraction, one that will only hurt his political standing.

UPDATE 2 (7/31/2009): When is this story going to finally die? Obama yesterday invites the police officer and the professor in for a round of beer, supposedly to break the ice over the impasse that exists between them. Not only that, but he invites the media in for the festivities, thus ensuring a circus atmosphere.

I guess that makes Obama the ringleader? With all the pressing concerns he has--the economy, foreign affairs, his health care plan, he wastes his time getting involved in some petty non-controversy? Actually, Obama is the one who is perpetuating this by keeping it in the news. And the media goes along with it because it is controversial and produces ratings.

Obama's efforts to help the parties break the bread didn't work, as both still disagree about their impressions of the arrest. Lets face it, both of them are bringing preconceived notions into the matter and they won't back down no matter. Better to let this dead dog lie where it may.

As for Obama? His actions in all of this has been nothing short of demagogic. Matters about race are better left in the past. Dredging up this crap constantly only fuels discontent and sets back the cause of civil rights significantly.

I believe that Officer Crowley's actions in this weren't racially motivated, but Gates saw it differently, and the whole thing took a life of its own afterwards. Dr. Gates was probably angry that his door wouldn't open and got even angrier when the cops questioned him about it.

The correct course of action for Gates would have been to show his identification that would have demonstrated that he indeed was the legal occupant of the house. That would have been the end of the story. Now Professor Obama is giving us a "teaching moment" for an act that wasn't really racially motivated, but is being spun as such, just to teach the American people.

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jimtaverna commented 8 days ago.
That's why I gave mine a three. I agree the issue itself should be one or none, but I figured the media would fan the flames and set the whole world afire just because some prof was pissed and decided to inject racism into the gameplan.

Once that happens we start getting the "Maybe this will be a lesson we can all learn from..." bullshit. Just what the states needed, another trumped up charge against someone doing their job. This shit never ceases to amaze me.

fitman commented 8 days ago.
I suspect there are precious few Americans who harbor no racial animosities.

ndazone commented 7 days ago.
It is a huge story because President Obama spoke up about it and I think it is the first racially charged event he has handled since his taking office.

FranksWildYears commented 3 days ago.
(Edited 3 days ago)
It's got legs because it neatly fits the agenda of several interest groups and gives them a battle ground where they can not only get up on their own soap box and filibuster, but they can also be within mudslinging distance of their opponent at the same time.

So far we have angry harrassed blalck people, angry put-upon white people, people who think the police are fascists, people who think the police are harried, people who want to disgace the President, the President himself, and yesterday the American Brewing industry got in on the show over the off-shore corporate ownership of the three beers selected.

I'm sure PETA is really frustrated that nobody was photgraphed kicking a dog during the episode.

abichara commented 3 days ago.
(Edited 3 days ago)
Yeah I'm sure PETA is disappointed that they don't have a spot on this three ring circus!!

FranksWildYears commented 3 days ago.
I'm waiting for the news to break that Sgt. Crowley is on the board of the NRA and the cabbie was from Iran.

abichara commented 3 days ago.
Don't worry, you'll hear it first on CNN!!

fitman commented 3 days ago.
Excellent review... except for, "Matters about race are better left in the past."

Despite the fact that we have an African/American president, there are many racial animosities and inequities yet to be dealt with.

abichara commented 3 days ago.
We're not going to move forward by constantly digging up past grievances. No one doubts that even today there is still a significant amount of racism within our society, but stirring up dissent for no good reason isn't going to solve the problem.

Time heals all sores. This is a dialog that began in earnest during the 1960's and continues even until today. But pointing fingers, blaming each other for perceived grievances is certainly NOT the way to address problems. That's what I meant when I said that such grievances are better left in the past.

These types of debates really never lead to any breakthroughs or constructive solutions. Instead they only seek to divide and embitter.

fitman commented 3 days ago.
I certainly agree that this tempest in a teapot has benefited nothing but the corporate media bottom line.

However, I still believe sunlight is the best disinfectant.

abichara commented 3 days ago.
Sunlight is the best disinfectant indeed, but it doesn't always clear the air the way you want it to. This episode only demonstrates that.

Actions speak louder than words at the end of the day.

And I agree that the media is the big winner out of all of this. They make their trade by stirring up controversy unnecessarily.

Obama isn't a winner in this, and neither is the cause of civil rights.

fitman commented 3 days ago.
OK, Obamaphobes have also benefited... and perhaps some more astute Obamaphiles have noticed he's not as perfect a Dear Leader as they formerly believed?

fitman commented 3 days ago.
BTW, I've been throwing out the reference to Obama as our "Dear Leader" for a couple of days now... just to see whether or not those who get their panties in a twist over Bush being called "Hitler" would object to my hyperbole as well.

The silence has been deafening.
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