Friday, July 31, 2009

One reason I think Obama is a cool guy (and good for the country)

I spent part of yesterday complaining how the likes of Lou Dobbs are tearing apart the fabric of American society by perpetually demonizing and scapegoating those who are different from them, particularly on ethnic lines, which is why I'm happy to present an image to counter that. 

To be honest, I thought it was perhaps a bit beneath the President of the United States to get involved in a controversial arrest when he was asked about it at a press conference, even if it was that of a friend of his. 

Sure, the arrest seemed to epitomize the real concerns of Blacks (and Hispanics) of perpetually being regarded with suspicion solely on the basis of their apparent ethnicity or race, and that was a teachable moment. The Black guy was arrested for disorderly conduct after showing ID to a White police officer who thought the Black man might be breaking into what was actually his own house, in an upscale neighborhood. But it did seem to me a bit like the POTUS was using his pulpit to bully the Boston bobby, and that seemed a tad wrong, just for reasons of proportion. 

Well, I think Obama brought us another teachable moment, and that was when he brought two sides, each with grievances of their own, together to talk things out over a beer. When this whole thing could have been left for pundits and partisans to bitch and moan about in the media, and when he realized he perhaps had stepped over the line by going after the police officer, Obama took time out of his schedule and modeled the kind of behavior we need if we are going to mend the tattered fabric of an increasingly divisive society. Good on him.

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2 comments:

  1. You know, I'm sure opinions on this are all over the place, and I'm not sure any of us have enough of the facts to form an informed opinion. However, based on what we know so far, I think you way oversimplifed what occured at the home of Prof. Gates. As I understand it, when Gates was asked for some ID he proceeded to be an ass, accusing the police officer of racial profiling and stating something along the lines of "you don't know who you're messing with".

    Then, as the cops are leaving, Gates follows them out of the house and continues to berate them. I agree that he probably shouldn't have been arrested, but you have to admit that he was asking for it. Gates should have showed his ID, thanked the cops for investigating the situation, and he would have been fine.

    Then Obama, after admitting he didn't have all the facts, goes and says what the cops did was "stupid". If he doesn't have the facts, why state an opinion?

    There is a wealth of information about this situation on the internet, so although I could say a lot more, I'll leave it at that.

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  2. He hasn't uttered a peep about most of the injustices that occur each and every day in the U.S., but since this was his Harvard friend at the center of this lightwieght bruhaha, he put his foot in his mouth.

    And then a beer, instead of a full-fledged sitdown meal. Not cool in my book.

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