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July 30th, 2009
08:40 AM ET

President, Police Officer and Professor Meet

President Obama is meeting with Sgt. Crowley and Prof. Gates at the White House this evening at 6 pm. There’s been endless talk about this so-called “beer summit.” But what will it really achieve? Will it simply be a meeting involving three people and one isolated incident - or a monumental moment in race relations?

We want to know what you think. In your opinion, could this meeting actually improve race relations in this country?


Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (364 Responses)
  1. Larry

    I hope it's a monumental moment in race relations.

    When we rid ourselves of racism in this country we'll get our position back as a superpower.

    July 30, 2009 at 8:52 am |
  2. Randall Williams

    As a citizen and parent, I am appauled that the President would associate himself with a "beer summit." I'm sure that we all know that beer does contain some alcoholic content. Since the President is on duty 24-7, how does he explain being under the influence? How are we as parents to explain this to our children? Also, how does a man who claims to be religious condone such behavior when the holy scriptures clearly say that we are to be sober-minded? WILL SOMEONE ASK THE PRESIDENT TO RESPOND TO THIS?

    July 30, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  3. Lynne

    On a small scale, the conversation could set the tone for intelligent and honest conversations about race in this country. A full understanding of our racial problems will only come when we have face-to-face conversations with others not "like" us - and acknowledge that individuals of different races can have very different responses to a situation because of the baggage of history. Embracing that truth will help us resolve racially-charged situations such as the recent Boston debacle.

    July 30, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  4. Glenda

    If having a beer could solve race relations, then we'd all be alcoholics. I agree that the President should not be drinking ON THE JOB. Anyone else would be fired for drinking on the job.

    July 30, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  5. Mike

    Come on, he can drink once in a while. Besides, it's for a good cause. If it fixes the situation, then I support the "beer summit".

    Also I feel that this is the perfect chance to improve race relations in this country.

    July 30, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  6. Kurai

    Yes, I think it will cure race relations in America. It will be the most important event in recent memory. I also think that it will go a long way to helping find a cure for cancer, restoring the economy to its full vigor, and eliminating nuclear weapons.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  7. ANAV

    If President Obama would have answered more like a President, instead of a friend, this whole issue wouldn't be getting that much media. However with the 3 men having a beer together, it could help at least a little bit, the racial profiling in America.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  8. sonnyrice

    My Fellow American’s, Sgt. Crowley And Prof. Gates,

    Please listen before you alter fates. Do not let one’s pride, Restart this great nation to divide. Look at what is happening in such a short time, What this is undoing is really the crime. All across America people are upset, Now I ask each of you what good will all this get? A learning lessons already taught, So many people’s mending has been for naught.

    A man has risen to lead us all, Do not be a part of America’s fall. This is the year of our lord, two thousand and nine, So please do what you all know to be divine. One planet, one race, as one beating heart, The world may end some day, please do not be the start. We lead the world with freedom first, Do not let racism quench it’s undying thirst. To not enslave us all at last, Lets look forward away from our past. The mistakes we make and continue to do, Could spell the end of more then me and you, by bringing down our great nation, All of this for the sake of sensation. I ask you not to let our enemies see, such things may still live in the land of the free.

    Yes America there is a change across our land. People are Worried that nothing is going as planned. I know it looks as if everything is turning out wrong. America has endured hardships before and again became strong. We have an advantage over the rest of the world, our nation stands side by side with our arms curled. As one we breath the air others can smell. Our freedoms a tale no other land can tell. Our strengths in unity given with free will. For though its forbidden , to protect it we will kill. In self defense only throughout our proud history. So why others seek to harm us is a true mystery. We open our boarders to all who exist. We die in their lands helping others to resist.

    We have always supplied aide to those in need. America grew from an idea that all of its people should be freed.. Tyranny and oppression belong in the past. For to fight against freedom no enemy could last. No chains in the womb, our path to life. So let no one be able to cause another strife. No nation stands as America for freedom. Proven to our enemies as we soundly beat em. The light of America may flicker in some eyes, to them truth and justice, are nothing but lies.

    Our fore fathers brought forward a race unseen on this planet for all time. One that believes that to deny freedom is a universal crime. So no matter the troubles that may come our way, The flag of America will gallantly lead the way. Together we stand, never to fall, so remember we are the greatest nation of all.

    I love the different colors of man, We were created according to plan. So different and the same, All of us with our own name. Man and woman free to combine, To create new life is so divine. Able to mix and mingle, No one has to be single. Banding together to survive, I for one am happy to be alive. If we all looked alike it would not be nice, I’m so glad to be the only Sonny Rice.

    Ernest Rice – Port St Lucie, Florida 34952,

    July 30, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  9. Domonick Weaver

    lets be serious here, Tony. it's sad that we've come this far and yet we still get called "jungle monkeys"? THE PRESIDENT IS BLACK!! How racist does that REALLY make you look? The man works on the campus where the officer works as well and he doesn't get fired? Give me a break. Reverse the situation and tell me if something isn't right here?!

    July 30, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  10. Ellie, MD

    Tony –

    I think the mere fact that Officer Barrett was sending a racially motivated email to other police officers is a clear sign that the MA Police Department has a SERIOUS PROBLEM with their officers "saying their not a racists" but behind closed doors they CONTINUE to behave in such a RACISTS manner!!1

    Minorities KNOW the real deal Tony. They are NOT buying into all this "I'm NOT a racists" excuse. Actions speak LOUDER than words and right now both Sgt. Crowley and Barrett are NOT exuding behavior worthy of a Police Officer who are trained to "protect" ALL CITIZENS and treat them with the upmost respect. Bottom line

    July 30, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  11. sonnyrice

    To Law Enforcement Every Where

    I’m only one citizen so I’d like to say,
    Thank you for all you do each day.
    You protect and serve for so little pay,
    So I can sleep knowing your at work today.
    You have a job that not all can do,
    I have to admit that I pray for you.
    Out numbered yet onward “ Our Hero’s in Blue”.
    Battling crime and corruption so that I may live,
    The cost it must take for your lives you do give.
    So of the President’s word’s I ask you to forgive.
    This country is more than any one man.
    You are loved by all, so here’s my plan.
    To send you an apology from every American!

    July 30, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  12. Candice

    I am happy that this beer summit is taking place. And, even more pleased that families have been invited. It is a chance for both men...Gates and Crowley to see that we are all the same and charged with the same. And, that is to create loving families and raised good citizens.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  13. Lee Sonis

    The Beer Summit, though originally meant to address any racial component of the incident last week, should serve a different purpose. Professor Gates, even if he raised his voice, even if he yelled, even if he cursed, did so in his own home, did so after proving his identity, and did so in complete compliance with the law. There is no law requiring a citizen to show reverance to an officer, or to respect him, but there is law defining "disorderly conduct", and nothing in the police report qualifies as disorderly conduct. Gates should not have been arrested: the moment he proved his identity, the officer should have said, "thank you, have a nice day sir" and left. He acted stupidly by pressing this issue, agitating Mr Gates and then illegally detaining him.

    For 7 years, the american public has grown more and more fearful of law enforcement, because the moment you look at an officer the wrong way, he can come up with a reason to charge you with a crime.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  14. anne

    I hate the nuances. President Obama did not ask for the so called "beer summit". When he said they were going to meet, he said it was at the policeman's suggestion. If the president had not taken him up on his suggestion, people would have criticized him, possibly said he was partial, or whatever.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  15. Ronald

    This was race profiling at it's best. From news reports Professor Gates show two forms of ID. Also the officer wanted to call campus police too. If all is true what next ? There had to be a picture of him in the house. Don't forget Strom Thurman (Senator) was a racist and had a black child. (Hope the right name)

    July 30, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  16. Ray

    WHEN DID THE POLICE GO FROM "HELPERS" TO "BULLIES"?

    As a 64 year old man, I was fortunate to grow up in a world where the Police were perceived in a very positive light, mainly because they helped elderly women cross the street, aided lost children, assisted troubled motorists, etc.

    They helped the society they lived in!

    Nowadays, the Police are perceived as "Bullies" where they intimidate people and if people rebel, then they are arrested for "Disorderly conduct".

    This is a general characterization, this does not even address the bias against minorities and the Police perception that the "White people" are losing superiority in our society.

    "How can a person of "color" even begin to question the Police's authority"?

    "There was a time where people of "color" knew their place"!

    This is the attitude and demeanor displayed by Cops.

    They have a very bad image and need to display actions which can begin to change this perception.

    "Lip service" is not going to "cut it"!!!

    July 30, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  17. JR

    I don't think this matter will be fix over beers, Most police offcers believe that there are the law and do not like anyone questioning that like Prof Gates did even if he was irate because of the way he was treated. He used the law even if it not legal to arrest him in his own home.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  18. Dede

    I'm all for the open conversation on racial tensions between police officers and citizens on a national level, I believe that may be the only way for communities to have a resolution to this increasing issue. What bothers me is that by the President meeting with both parties in the middle of this open issue, it minimizes the unappropriate tactics of the Sgt. Crowley. I believe race had something to do with it because Sgt. Crowley brought up "2 black men breaking in..." We now know it was the initial call-in or information over the radio. Where did that come from. If Sgt. Crowley had not brought this up, who knows what the response of Prof. Gates would have been. It appalls me that the Cambridge Police Dept. would back this up. His past history, doesn't have anything to with his present actions.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  19. Lee Sonis

    The Beer Summit, though originally meant to address any racial component of the incident last week, should serve a different purpose. Professor Gates, even if he raised his voice, even if he yelled, even if he cursed, did so in his own home, did so after proving his identity, and did so in complete compliance with the law. There is no law requiring a citizen to show reverance to an officer, or to respect him, but there is law defining "disorderly conduct", and nothing in the police report qualifies as disorderly conduct. Gates should not have been arrested: the moment he proved his identity, the officer should have said, "thank you, have a nice day sir" and left. He acted stupidly by pressing this issue, agitating Mr Gates and then illegally detaining him.

    For 7 years, the american public has grown more and more fearful of law enforcement, because the moment you look at an officer the wrong way, he can come up with a reason to charge you with a crime.

    This summit should serve to remind police officers nationwide that they exist to "Protect and Serve", not "Punish and Enslave". How did the officer serve Professor Gates?

    July 30, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  20. anthony adoghe Toronto

    The "Beer Summit" is a road map to peace not just for the 3 involved but for the whole of America. We have in recent times seen America become a country that pretends about a whole lot of things, less forgiving and extremely capitalist country that caresonly about profit.
    Maybe it is time to allow people say freely what they have to say and then peacefully resolve everything related to racism and what America stands for. Just a little education of all parties. A lot of whites are racist to all races, Hispanics are racist to black (i have experienced that in Fl) and blacks are racists to visiting Africans ..... Embassy workers are the most racist!!! Thats another issue entirely.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  21. Charles Johnson

    I think that this problem with the police officer and Gates need to find it way out of the news, it"s now a non-news incident that happened over a week ago,surely cnn have something else to talk about, maybe yall can have a forum, but to me and a lots of others this is a problem like prostitution it will never end. so please find some more news to tell us about instead of boosting this story. common sense my friend, common sense, long time viewer, CWJ.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  22. Sabrina M. D.

    I appreciate the "beer conference '09" and even the "stupidly" comment.

    One caveat: NOT ALL civil rights violations are race based, but many are simply "power trips." In fact, I am a white woman who was beaten and falsely charged. I was NOT involved with a crime in any way, shape, or form and as I was walking by myself to a pastry shop to find a safe place to sit, officers raced up to me in a vehicle (almost hitting me), jumped out of the car yelling at me, grabbed my hair pulling my head to the ground, body slammed me, and beat me until I could not walk. These "officers" were investigating my neighbor and boyfriend who simply had "heated words." I was just a witness and not involved at all!!!

    The officers later tried to cover up their misdeeds by charging me with 6 counts of assaulting them. There were 20 witnesses, only ONE was brave enough to testify against a group of officers who were very comfortable "Testilying" in the interest of the blue wall of silence. Nevertheless I was found NOT GUILTY of all counts but will never view my country the same. In my experience, WE AMERICANS, ALL OF US have a serious unseen problem with Officers who will lie to convict the innocent and who place their allegiances above our RIGHTS.

    Today's beerfest is NOT ONLY about "race relations" it is about CIVIL RIGHTS and police abuse of power which ALL races encounter, and even if there is a propensity towards one race or another the BOTTOM line issue is about UPHOLDING CIVIL RIGHTS. Please do not ignore one race's experience over another and remember to address the bottom line!

    July 30, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  23. Judith Borer

    The alcohol comments are meant to be a distraction to the race discussion. I applaud the presidents involvement and his leadership in this discussion.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  24. osei

    I feel bad that a rational being characterizing another as "jungle banana eating" and argueing that he is not racist....so who is racist?

    July 30, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  25. Janet from Texas

    The President finds himself with a foot in his mouth, his own foot. This ‘beer summit’ is an attempt to remove that foot. I have found when beer is added in this kind of situation the foot becomes further inserted not less. This President needs to learn his own boundaries.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  26. Chris

    Racism is too deeply rooted to be solved over a beer. This country always look for ways to dismiss the idea that racism is still alive and kicking. The Gates incident proves it in so many ways. If officers are trained better to deal with people of all different cultures, we would have little if any real problems when it comes to race relations. Profiling is still an ongoing problem and if you are not a person of color, you will never know how that affects your everyday life. Some people do not even know they are racist until they open their mouth todispute a problem against a person of color. It usually start off with their honest feelings until they realize what they are saying and then they want to back track. Racism is indisguise and will not be solved in a day.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  27. Doc Smith-Alabama

    Tony,
    Racism is still very much alive in America. We must remember that we are only 40 years removed from the Civil Rights Era. The young people of the 1950's/60's that were against desegregation and equality for people of color are now the older men & woman of influence today. Where the racial rhetoric of hate was openly blatant back then, now it hides behind the black robes, badges, and executive desks of today. Instead of wearing white robes, now racism is perpetuated by the pen. This kind of "clandestine" racism is unfortunate. I am at a loss as to how it will change -I fear we will not see "real" change until the "old guards" pass on and leave the world to a new forward thinking open minded generation of leaders.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  28. Perry

    If more people would sit down and discuss their problems over a beer maybe there would be fewer misunderstandings or conflicts. Really the beer part is simply a metaphor for most people. The good news is that these three are going to sort out their differences and move on with their lives and should be looked at as another step forward and not backwards.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  29. libby from montana

    I think it's great that the President will host this "beer summit" today. Some newspapers are suggesting that "Lucia" (who placed the 911 call) should have also been invited. Perhaps in the very near future, she will be invited by the President and First Lady to the White House? 🙂

    July 30, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  30. mike g.

    It's not going to fix race problems in america, but we can talk about it. I would also like to say; after the beer, black people will still have a 15% unemployment rate while white people have a 7% rate. So tell me tony do you think a beer will put an end to racism in this country? How come we are not talking about this cop calling gates a jungle monkey? He is a racist and he should not hold a badge any more. I don't care what his excuse was, he called that man a jungle monkey 4 times and talked about president Lincoln. We all know what president lincoln did for Africans in America. We do not want his apology he needs to be fired. The apology is not going to stop him from being a racist on the beat....

    July 30, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  31. John

    Race relations in this country still stand as the 700lb gorilla in the room. Until America is ready to have a mature and informed debate about our differences, we will forever find ourselves dealing with what should be a dead issue RACISM

    July 30, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  32. Chris Engle

    I think Obama's intent was to resolve a matter of specifics the right way: personally, in a matter that effected him personally through friendship. This is the example he shows, and the message he's sending. I don't think he intended for it to be a publicized "Beer Summit" with a count down to B day, full of all of our illogical fears and speculation about race relations. Truth and goodwill are the gist.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  33. Theresa

    As a consultant who has used dialogues to identify conflicts and their resolutions, I do believe that a dialogue with the President, Mr. Gates & Sgt. Crowley is a move in the right direction. Given that it is always important to have the (involved) people at the table, I wonder why the woman who called 911 is not invited. These two men need to realize that their actions negatively impacted others and they need to apologize to this woman. ... a woman who I wish was my neighbor because she acted selflessly to help a neighbor. - Is the President going to give her a medal for being a good citizen?! - I wish the media would concentrate on this woman's appropriate action ... not on the two men who let their emotions and ego get the best of them. ALSO! I think that media should be apologizing to this woman for not presenting all the details of this incident. It is a shame that Walter Cronkite was not able instill good reporting and neutrality to all those currently in the media ... a media that has strayed from reporting the news to wanting to just get an audience. I think that the media managed to fan the flames that riled up everyone ... they need to consider how scant details impacts the lives of every party. Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue ... in a calm, respectful manner. Thanks!

    July 30, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  34. Will

    The Washington meeting is purely symbolic of an effort to understand what went wrong, by the President.
    No progress will be made until the legal system is revamped to basic justice on truth, not procedure. The system is narccistic. The police, judges, and DA see themselves as infalable. It is their perogative to decide what is a crime, who gets, punished, and what the penalty should be. Unfortunately, the basis for this train of thought has too much influence by Jim Crow ettiquette.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  35. Mrs. White

    Having Beer together in the White House is not the right thing to do...
    Sgt. Crowley falsified his police report! He stated in his report that he spoke to the witness and she told him two Black men, she didn't. He documented two Black Men in his report; he did racially profile the suspects. He seen professor Gate's ID and called it in.
    Sgt. Crowley is NOT a GOOD COP... A good cop would not falsify his police report. That is a crime and it should be taken seriously.

    Numerous innocence Black men are in prison/jail, because the words...I seen a Black Man, It was a Black Man was stated, when in fact it wasn't the case.
    This is a bigger issue and should be dealt with as such, to take this lightly, because the President wants it to GO AWAY, is unfair to a lot of Black and Brown people, especially all the innocence ones jailed, due to racism in the America criminal justice system.

    America has more Black men in prison than the rest of the entire world combined!

    July 30, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  36. Fred dean Weaver Oklahoma city

    The police are now saying it allright for police to call Gates acted like a jungle monky and other racist slurs but it wrong for Obama to say police acted stupidy. Police sould say their sorry to both gates and Obama, There was 2 men went into Gates home but policeman went in alone without backup putting Both gates and policemn in danger following standard operation, The policeman should waite for backup and surround Gates home and called whoever in house out. Obama is right police acted stuoidy.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  37. David Louis

    This Boston police officer is obvously thirsty for attention, as an officer of the law he should be more respectfull of the very cityzens that he has sworn to protect, and calling someone a name that is associated with a commonly known racist phrase and having your sub human lawyer masking the situation is an insult to our intelligence, try telling a police officer he's acting like a pig and then try to explain to the officer that you did not call him a pig and see what actions he or she takes.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  38. JazMac

    This is three intelligent guys behaving as adults behave. Let's not make this into some bellweather moment in race relations. Most in this nation are not racist and we all have their own level of racial tolerance. Meaning most of us don't care about your race until you make it an issue. Those who are racists generally vote in lock step where they feel most welcomed and support their point of view on race.

    The media continues to raise this as something more than what this is. It won't have any impact on racists and I wish you in the media would end this charade. You know the day after the beer summit, Fokkk news will slice and dice the footage, create "new" slanted news and you at CNN will be back to promoting their points of view...AGAIN in commentary.

    Don't lose your backbone CNN. You've survived this long by covering real news and you were always the network willing to get dirt under your nails.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  39. Bev

    Years ago I remember my ex-husband and I had just moved into a predominantly white neighborhood. I had requested repair service from a local company. The guy came and when I opened the door, he thought I was "the maid" - see, folks, racially profiling happens to Black females, too. I now live in a predominantly white area and still when repairmen come to my home, I can see the surprise in their faces.

    I applaud the efforts of all three men coming together to at least talk about this problem. But keep in mind it affects us all, male AND female.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  40. libby from montana

    Janet, I disagree with you that our President was the only one with foot-in-mouth syndrome. Especially considering the written police report inserted words that Lucia, the caller, did not use. I think the beer get-together is great, but maybe Lucia should be there as well?

    July 30, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  41. Charles Johnson

    the bible say a preacher shall noy be given to much wine, 1 Tim chapter 1.2.3.. I think that the president know what he"s doing. the problem with people in this country they listen to sean hinnity, and rush, to much and they believe everything that these people tell them over the radio. The president is doing what no other president have done, he and his staff is turning things around slowly, but surely so please lets just support him. Dem. Rep do not want to be involved in what supposed to be there job. what is wrong with the rep?

    July 30, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  42. Edward

    In order for this to work cops have to stop ego trippin on people. Nobody is talking about the possible false police report the officer filled out. If the 911 caller did not say two black males then who did? Cops ego trip like this in my neighborhood all the time. A beer may help now but later on lone wolfs within the police force will locking up more people because they fill like it.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  43. George

    More than any racial issues, I believe the encounter between these two men was a clash of "mega-egos". Each feels empowered by his station in life (Mr. Gates by his professional credentials and the officer by his uniform, badge and pistol on his side) . I'm sure both did/said things he shouldn't have but neither will ever admit it or aplogize – his ego won't let him. Good Luck, Mr. President.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  44. Charles

    I think randall is a jealous man, would you like to come to the white house Randall? Conservatives are invited 2.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  45. anthony adoghe Toronto

    Can people just please take their mind of the "beer" and concentrate on the main issue and also try to see the essence of this whole so-called "beer summit" ..... maybe its just too intellectual for some people. And as for what to tell your kids about BEER ..... its an alcoholic beverage, some people like it and some dont!!!

    July 30, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  46. Mitchell Freeman

    I think it would be of immense help, in understanding this situation, if President Obama had invited the person, who ordered that "Disorderly Conduct Charges" against Prof. Gates be dropped, to the White House for a beer also. Apparently, who ever it was, they were in a postion to put their judgement into action. If the charges had not been dropped you would have an entirely different story. And if they explained their reason, it would help clarify the situation.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  47. Kay

    Tony, I think President Obama is THE perfect person to unite the races. It is not mentioned enough that he is half white as well as African-Amercian and was raised by his white grandparents. If he can't succeed, who can. Yes he can!

    July 30, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  48. Louise

    We as a nation are embarking on a new beginning when we elected Barack Obama as our president to speak in our behalf. However, let us not forget that he is a human being first, and will make mistakes along the way. This is a moment in time that is teachable. It is simply telling us we have many roads to travel before change becomes part of our nation. We the people need to grow with our president. Support our president and pray for him and his family when a situation such as this takes place in our nation. As for the drinking, I do not drink myself, however, we all have the freedom to choose. GOD BLESS our country because GOD is watching how we all respond to change and that includes our president and the many challenages that he will face over the coming years in office. Let us not disappoint GOD...
    Louise McCarthy, Carver, MA

    July 30, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  49. libby from montana

    I think it's great that our president is taking the time to see both men together and kudos to the police officer for suggesting it. I hope that in the near future, the 911 caller will also be invited to the White House. Tony, your show rocks! 🙂

    July 30, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  50. Chelle Brunke

    Just another observation –

    I had a similar experience some 20 years ago in Gresham Oregon.. I was in my dining room when I saw two men break into the basement window of my neighbors' home. The home was occupied by a family of 5, with two teenage daughters, a pre-teen son, a mom and a dad. I knew them well enough that the daughters babysat for me from time to time.

    I didn't think twice – I called 911. I reported what I saw (2 white males, appeared to be in their 30s, removing a sliding window and climbing into the basement). I alerted the person at the 911 connection about the presence of children in the home, the fact that the parents were both at work and that if the kids weren't home from school they would be soon.

    The police responded within minutes. They came in silently, parked down the street, pulled their weapons and approached the house. They found the tampered window and demanded that the people inside come out.

    Here's where things got weird. The people 'breaking' into the house were family members visiting from North Carolina. Not finding anyone home, they just let themselves in. Everything I saw was real, but in the end, it was just folks behaving foolishly.

    This isn't a racial issue, but I suspect that what happened in Cambridge wasn't so much racial as foolish. It was foolish all around. Dr. Gates should have left a key, etc. with neighbors so that he wouldn't have to break into his own home (neighbors ARE good things, y'know?). And when the police showed up, he should have thanked the police for their service.

    The police should not have arrested Dr. Gates for anything – unless he physically harmed a police officer.

    Our neighbors didn't talk to us for YEARS after this incident, and even then never referred to it when we'd meet up at parties. I always assumed they were embarrassed. I always felt grateful to the Gresham Police for taking my call seriously and handling the situation
    safely, but with full caution to the kids.

    I didn't figure I had to apologize to anyone for anything. If a neighbor saw someone breaking into my house and called the police, I'd kiss their feet for being such good citizens.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  51. Bernadette Loesch

    I for one am very happy to see that the two parties in the arrest are meeting with Pres. Obama. At this point in our history one would think that the race of a person would be an issue in a local matter gone nationwide. Have we really come a long way in fixing the bias that existed and still is rearing it's ugly head over time? I think not! The President has taught us much about ourselves, the economy, medical care and much more. I cannot thank him enough for all he has done and will continue to do for the United States.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  52. David Louis

    The president is trying to fix this touchy race issue that has the whole nation buzzing, wheter you think this issue is worth the attention or not its obvious that there still exist a mild racial tension dispite of how far we have come as a people. Lets face it the U.S is making progress when it comes to race issues but were not out the woods yet, not too long ago a derange senior cityzen man walked into a federal building and killed an innocent person in cold blood. Whether we wish not to dwell on race issues we cannot ignore the effects of racism in this country mild or not.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  53. Regena

    I am African American female, widow of a medical physician. I’ve been a victim of racial profiling. A few years ago I purchased a new expensive car and I was pulled over while traveling back to work from lunch. I was not speeding nor violating any traffic rules. A white Policeman pulled me over, asked for my license & registration but provided no explanation why he pulled me over. While he was studying my license I asked why he pulled me over. He gave no answer. I asked again and he remained silent. He walked back to his car for about a minute, returned & gave me my license. I asked for his name & badge number, instead he gave me this response “I received a report a car like this was stolen”, and he drove off. There was something disingenuous in his response, so I decided to call Dealers. I returned to my work place furious, called my Car Dealer and every other Dealer in Ft. Wayne who sold this make automobile. No calls of that nature had been reported to the police. I complained to police department, but they gave me the “thanks for calling” but without name & ID they could do nothing. Yes! Blacks are looked upon suspiciously if driving expensive cars, and especially driving in suburban areas of town. Ihave other friends, including my Pastor, who have experienced same ordeal. I’m not alone… I'm glad some high profile dialogue is finally happening about this.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  54. zp

    Randall, we're all called to be sober-minded (sensible) and temperate (not given to excess). Having a beer and being a drunk are different things. Paul instructed Titus that overseers were not to be drunkards (one who is habitually drunk). We all need to be less religious and more Godly.

    I hope this is a turning point for race relations in the US. Personally, I'm tired of feeling criminalized every time something unfortunate or unfair happens to a black individual. Life is sometimes unfortunate and unfair and it is both to all people regardless of race.

    Is life more unfair for a black person than a white person? I can't answer that because I can only experience it first hand. But if the majority of black people in the US feel that they are unfairly discriminated against, then we can't easily deny its likelihood.

    Personally I feel that discrimination does take place and that it is a by-product of negative stereotypes that are fueled by a culture that is sadly saturated with gang activity, gangster rap, and fatherless homes and if we want to change these stereotypes we should be looking to attack the sources of these stereotypes and give our children something more to aspire to than being the next 2Pac.

    I am appalled at the history of slavery in the US but it ended 144 years ago. As of 2007 the generation length in the United States was 25.2 years, that's nearly 6 generations. It's good to know your history but if you're obsessed with it you can't move forward.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  55. Tony

    I hate to say it Tony, but this issue will be swept under the carpet just like the unrelinquishing incarceration of our black youth. If the president can't stand up for what's right who can.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  56. Bruce Dixon

    You and other media are only doing harm by turning the Gates affair into a major production. It's time you started emulating the man you recently praised – Walter Cronkite – and stop creating news.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  57. carl

    Why do we constantly talk about racism from one end of the spectrum? Their is also racism among other cultures related to the white population also. Why can't we all just get along. Also why does a president of the United States have to get involved with all of this anyway?

    July 30, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  58. John

    This meeting is only being done for show. There are many other ways to addrerss this problem. The main reason for this meeting is the new poll results. Please President Obama just be truthful with us. All true americans want you to succeed.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  59. lupe macias

    oh what a great idea discuss race relations over alcohol wow ?

    July 30, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  60. kae hentges

    One day while at college in the mid 50's in NYC, I was walking down the platform of the subway at 125th Street in the middle of Harlem. A group of young black men approached and as they passed, one spat at my feet. I was stunned. I thought, "So that is what it feels like!" I had just experienced racism because of the color of my skin. What an incredible lesson!

    July 30, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  61. kay

    We really have a long way to go before race relations will change in this country, therefore, we have to start with today. If for no other reason, the President and the two men need to meet to set a precedence for the future generations of kids who want to believe in change.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  62. Lolita Peralta

    It is said, and I heard him say in an interview, Miles Davis had his attorney call the Beverly Hills police department to let them know he had a new car which was a luxury car. Preventive detention, you would say!

    July 30, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  63. Brad, Oklahoma

    Race relations will not get any better with the President meeting with the professor and the arresting officer.
    I believe the only conversations that will start because of this meeting is the one that the news media starts and keeps reporting on it for two weeks as it has of the story so far.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  64. Tony

    I had a cop tell me one time that he could get in more trouble pulling over the wrong white person before he would get written up for shooting a black man. Racial profileing will continue until we say nomore.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  65. Dr. Najee E. Muhammad

    The incident in and of itself along with the its residue, i.e., Officer Barrett's recent comments suggest strongly that the U.S. has not transcended race. It is clear that the U.S. has not entered into a post-racial society. However, the incident has brought race to the surface and exposed the pain of race. We know that the re-occurrence of pain tells us that something is wrong and if the pain proliferates it tells us that the cause of the pain has proliferated and has to be addressed. Resultantly, to be pain-free, we seek to eradicate the pain by addressing its cause so it can be treated, and cured. The "beer" meeting, has the possibility to assist this society to address the denial of the historic dilemma of race and its cause which is racism. We need to have a continual dialogue on race and is cause.

    As Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Harry A. Blackmun in his 1978 Separate Opinion to 438 U.S. 265 Regents of the University of California v. Bakke wrote: “In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way.” A dialogue on race is necessary if we truly want the engage in the process of taking an account of race and racism. Thank you.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  66. Dean Tate

    This is wrong Tony. A cop arrests a 60 yr old man on his porch who needs a cane to stay mobile and files a police report detailing no committed crime and that has inconsistencies with the actual 911 caller's description and he is rewarded by a trip to the White House.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  67. Roberto

    I would like to bring up the fact that if you play the entire 911 tape concerning the gates affair, you will hear the person calling mention the fact that they appear hispanic. You seem to have conveniently eliminated this or have glossed over it.

    Aren't the hispanics entitled to be upset about this type of racial profiling? I am sure they do but the reason they don't is because we don't have a chip on our shoulders or at least not as large as the blacks.

    You will probably not mention this comment because it does not fit into your little pidgeon holes.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  68. Cynthia Blodgett

    Obama is just dragging this on so that the Dems can pass Cap and Trade in with the health Care bill. It is a disgrace, that a President would invite these people to the White for a BEER. Where is the decorum. This Presidnet is deplorable.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  69. Rick West

    Gates is racist. Obama is racist. If you disagree, listen to Gates comments about teaching in North Carolina. Listen to the Rev.Wright, Obama's pastor for 20 years. Listen to Obama's wife. Look at who Obama appointed to the Supreme Court. Look at who Obama is appointing to his cabinet. Look at the New Black Panther case in Philadelphia. Obama is a LONG way from being beyond race. The "beer summit" is a total cover up and a distraction.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  70. Jeff Turner

    Yes, I too have been and still am subjected to racial profiling.
    I have long hair and the cops see me and think I'm a drug addict hippy or something. Prfiling people because of their looks whether its skin color,hair style or clothes you wear will never go away.
    Get use to it and stop crying about it!

    July 30, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  71. dave schodde3

    The: RED, LIGHT AND BLUE beer summit.

    i think it's too bad President Obama commented on the case in the first place. it's been elevated way beyond the issues he should be dealing with for one thing. For another it's a distraction to current national affairs which the american people can ill afford.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  72. Brian

    This entire affair is a typical American tempest in a teapot. Minority opportunists are seizing on it as a scandalous example of racial profiling, which is wasn't. Police supporters are calling it an example of assaulting an officer, which it wasn't. President Obama is calling it a teaching moment, which it most certainly isn't, unless the lesson they discuss at the "beer summit" is on how all three parties overreacted.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  73. brian from arizona

    Im glad the sgt. did not back down, he feels he did right. the president sure doesnt. we have become a society that is to fast to judge. i hope we all learn from this

    July 30, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  74. Joretta Randolph

    I"m a M.A.D.D. . . . Yes, I'm the mother of a daughter whose life was changed 20 yrs. ago by a drunk driver . . . and Yes, I'm MAD and MADD about the publicity "the beer party" at the WhiteHouse is getting by the media. What kind of example this is country setting@!? ICED TEA might be a better choice to COOL HEADS!

    July 30, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  75. teri rhodes

    As a retired Peace Officer of nearly 20 years, I believe the ONLY way anything good can come out of this is if everyone goes into it with an open mind and open heart. I spent my career being yelled at, belittled, and harangued by many African Americans claiming I was only dealing with them because they were "black." It didn't matter if I was investigating a burglary, domestic violence, or making a vehicle stop. "Being black" is too often used as a means for some African Americans to raise the race issue over and over again. Enough is enough from everyone, Peace Officers, professors and every walk of life.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  76. Robert L. Sexton

    If Prof Gates had come out on the porch and showed identification right away it would have gone no futher. He chose confrontation instead.

    If it had been an illlegal breakin the police followed correct procedure.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  77. Carrah

    The President should have gotten involved in this situation to begin with. I believe both sides acted in the wrong from Prof. Gates getting offensive/disorderly to the arrest made by the Police officer. We will always have a problem with racism if we keep bring it up in life and on the news. I do believe that racism is a problem in this country but it is by far not one sided. I do hope this summit helps, but from now on I don't think the president should get involved in police and state matters.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  78. Jammerah

    The majority of Americans are considering the fact that two well educated, wealthy upper class black males looking down their noses on a "stupid white cop" are in fact , guilty of reverse racism. Of the three who,drinks beer? Probably the blue collar "stupid white cop". Do we need a discussion on race relations? yes we do ....but just not from the "BLACK" perspective.....there are problems in both communities.....

    jams
    Florida

    July 30, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  79. LASD218

    Well, let's see. I heard this morning that the Sgt. is bringing his family (good) AND, his attorney and union representative (cya?). I understand that the sgt suggested the beer and our President concured. It is still being reported that it will just be the three men, and that is incorrect. Race relations? I don't think it will do any good, however, it is fostering dialogue amoung many americans, but still along racial lines. Then we have Glen Beck and Rush along with the Birthers who, it appears will NEVER let us, as americans move forward.
    Let's face it, there are still many americans who want to continue the racial divide, no matter who is president (i.e. the most powerful man in the free world).

    July 30, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  80. Curtis Rucker Jr

    Why is it that black people are always the people that, "Has so far to go"? Black people have arrived. We arrived a long time ago. It is the rest of the racist world that needs to show up. I have more respect for a Klan member than people that claim "I am not a racist" Atleast with with the Klan what you see is what you get. You know exactly how they feel and it is not a secret. The hideaway racist are the people I have concerns with. Be who you are, regardless of what it is.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  81. John Kelley

    Since there is no place to comment on Nigeria I will add it here. CNN is repeating Nigerian Gov. Propaganda in my estimation. The ongoing fight against the imposition of western education at the behest of the oil companies who want to convince folks there that robbing the country of its oil while paying off the corrupt Nigerian government and despoiling its environment and poisoning its people is a good thing is the source of most of the problem. This massacre of 400 people who are resisting this imposition of corporate and corrupt control because of their belief in the part of sharia law that demands providing for all of the people is one more distortion of the "war on terrorism". look at the video that shows about 10 weapons the "extremist sect" had and the fact that only three police officers were killed shows what this really was. CNN should be ashamed.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  82. Mark

    When is the black community going to start looking inwards at it's own short comings, and being black is not a short coming but attitude is! I thought everything I read or watched in the press was just a narrow view of the black community, that was until I moved to a downtown urban setting. African Americans are their own worst enemies, not white people or the police. When you point one finger a , three fingers are pointed back.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  83. Neil Lambie

    I am of the opinion that the Presidents ,invitation to Prof. Gates and to Sgt.Crowley to visit the White House for a "Chat over a beer" is a very good move to diffuse this very controversial situation.

    However having ascertained that Professor Gates, an elderly man walking with the assistance of a cane, was in his own home and posed no threat to the Police Officer or to any other person why was he arrested and handcuffed.
    Is it that Prof. Gates asked the Officer for his name and number and threatened to lodge a report which infuriated Sargeant Crowley ?
    Did Sgt.Crowley wish to send a message to everyone (Black or White, Asian or Hispanic) that the Police had the power and authority, or were there other reasons to humiliate the Professor.

    In addition having taken down the Professor to the Police Station, was it necessary to humiliate him ,to take his "Mug Shots" and to fingerprint him ?

    Did any of the other Police Officers (Black,White or Hispanic) present seek to intervene on behalf of Professor Gates or were they all in agreement with the treatment meted out to this "Old Man" who was arrested in his own home and charged with "Disorderly Behaviour". Was there no other Police Officer ,senior to Sgt. Crowley present when Prof.Gates arrived at the Police Station, who could have used his discretion in the matter .

    So Black Officers have supported the action of Sargent Crowley ? So what ?

    I am sure that if any of the Black Officer had said publicly ,when interviewed on the Television , that they did not agree with the treatment and humiliation to which Professor Gates was subjected, that Black Officer would quite likely have been ostracized by their White colleagues and possibly put their future careers in the Cambridge Police Force in jeopardy.

    Tony please remember that this matter is not only attracting National attention in the USA but Internationally. Remember that CNN is seen throughout the World.
    Millions of people are watching.

    Ian Lambie : Tobago: WEST INDIES

    July 30, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  84. daniel garcia

    tony i see people say we have moved on but how is that when i still see latin and black kids beat by the police still and still we are afraid to call the police becuz in stead of helping us they think we are the criminals????when will people stop saying we have moved on with race issues when people say we live this way becuz we want to??becuz we want to be assulted by police for no reason we want police to put guns in our childrens mouths we want to go to prison for life becuz officers lie???no we do not want this we want equality and still have yet to grasp that unattainable dream but to those who say we want this life i pray for you becuz you are blind and truly cant see you judge when you have never lived like us you say we use the race card???but white people dont understand they have the best race card they hold the joker and we have a 2 of hearts witch race card is better they sure aint equal

    July 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  85. Maria, UT

    Tony,
    To be candid, CNN is the only news medium that has overtly over-exploit this issue. Prof. Gates and the Police issue was almost two weeks old; the case is more of mis-understanding and the President has taken the lead to solve this and move forward. CNN is still the only new medium that is still faning this issue as if it cares that deeply on race inequalities in America. Just like CNN has exploited the documentary "Black In America" for rating purposes, CNN continues to fan this issue. My question is if race inequalities is so important to CNN news directors, why have they not schedule series of discourse to solve the issue than these 5minute soundbites and sipets?

    Enough. Other news media has all move forward. Enough, leave the issue alone.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  86. Emily

    Whereas i'm sorry that in this day and age racial profiling still exists. However our law enforcement officers have to make decisions often with just mininal knowledge of a situation. I think that if this officer had made a different decision and the situation soured, then the officer would be all over the news but for a different reason.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  87. Scott (white male)

    No. Hateful, white males will take this as a personal threat. Look at Glenn Beck. Just today, instead of appluading the President for being an adult and mediator, Beck attacked him for acting like God. Then called for a revolution.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  88. robert

    I would just like to point out that race is only 1 facet of police profiling. As a young white heavy-metal kid I was profiled many times as well. Hopefully a cold beer will help their discussion, however I believe it will only impact these 3 men.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  89. Den Boyd

    Race relations in this country will never change. My son and nephrew were racially profiled in Mesquite Texas. They had come to Dallas for
    vacation and decided to leave at about 10pm to head home. Well the Mesquite police spotted two black men with out-of -state license plates at 10pm. The police officer needed a reason to pull them over so the officer lied and said my son was speeding. Well my son and nephrew were made to stand on the side of the road while the police torn the car apart looking for drugs, guns or whatever they thought might be illegal. The police took the door panels off, went through all their luggage and bags and of course searched them to no avail. After about an hour they were allowed to continue their trip. Profiling is a priority with the police and it shows their racist mind set that if you are black you must be doing something illegal. I guess white people do no wrong! Yeah right!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  90. Carol Boileau

    7/30/09 re: prejudice of black people
    Listening to your show this morning re: many black people being pulled over, some in expensive cars, believing it was racially motivated. I disagree. Many, probably the same amount, of WHITE people get pulled over for the same reasons, in the same way but they're not on national news about it happening to them. Prejudice now has become a two way street: White people are facing prejudice from black people in the same way and at about the same frequency as black people claim it's happening to them – it just doesn't get on national news the way it does for black people.
    Sincerely, Carol Boileau

    July 30, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  91. Bob Knight

    I am surprised that you only want to cover the racial profiling issue in this news event. Colin Powell and others have noted that Prof. Gates overacted to a person of authority. Do we not have consequences for our actions??

    Regarding profiling I was picked up outside Atlanta years ago when I was passing through. I was surrounded by no less than seven police cars. Searched my car and had me stand before a gas station attendant who eventually said I was not the robber. Not until after he circled me several times. Yes I was a bit nervous, but the persons of authority have to do their jobs and I did not scream to the media. I only say this to say that it happens both ways. How about (black) thugs who target (white) upper class homes and cars.

    In a related manner, I believe that the racial divide in this country is no different than the racial-ethnic-sects divides we see around the world. When do you think the taliban, hamas, and other conflicts will end in friendly relations. - Your thoughts?

    July 30, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  92. Ruth G. Harmon

    Dear Tony: I hope this national discussion will bring to light the realities of being Black in America. I am white but friends of mine have gone through the humilation of being arrested or detained for no other reason than their race. Everyone knows you have to be careful in dealing with police but I really can't fault Dr.Gates for being upset. We've all been tired after traveling and can understand that being questioned by police in your own house can lead to an unhappy situation. I hope President Obama can move us forward.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  93. Joseph Moore northern MN

    I do personally think that there is some racial issues in the United State of America. But as a white male I have been pulled over and actually called a drug dealer. I have also had my car searched when I was pulled over for no other reason than being in my early twenties. I think that there will always be some profiling going on. I just really hope that race will not be an issue soon into the future

    July 30, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  94. CW

    I am pleased to see that someone actually recongizes the president as a mixed American instead of a African American. As a white women married to a black man, I definately see racism everyday. To my surprise I think our relationship actually upset more black people then white. I think that television is exploting racism. Everything is about race. How are we suppose to come together as one country when we keep reminding each other we're different. Why is it also not raciest to have all black colleges, BET, and shows like "Black in America"? Im sure if they had a college that prided itself on all white students, a television station named White Entertainment Television and a TV show name "White in America", someone would claim they are raciest. How come everytime a white cop arrests someone who isn't white it's a racist thing? The professor was arrested after he verbally assulted that police officer. I wonder if a black cop would of arrested him for the same thing what would of come out of it? Nothing. I think it hinders the enforcement of white cops. They always have to worry about the suspect claiming it's a racist arrest. As I said before I'm married to a black man. Automatically, people think of me as trying to "act black" or that I like rap music. I think racism isn't just a white on black and hispanics as it is consistantly portrayed on TV. Until we address all the issues concerning racism, no beer summit is going to change anything.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  95. ylonda white

    ylonda from Fresno-8:56am

    In all honesty,this talk will not end the hatred of the races–but it is a start. I do like the fact that they are talking–since most working hours end at 5:00pm–so he is not drinking on the job–and I totally resent the implication that was made earlier. Alot of the people have to realize–just because we have a Black President does not in any terms mean that the U.S. will no longer have racial problems-from my prospective they will and they might even get bigger.If a person wants to be racist,biggoted,that is there right,but to insinuate that because,President Obama has decided to sit down with Gates and Crowley is somwhow beyond this President. Did he not run on change?I think that it is time to talk about race relations in this country in a civil manner and if tht means over a beer–that's fine–He gets kudos for trying–can we say that about others!!!!!!!I think the Gates-Crowley situation has sparked out of control–people are making too much out of it–like it doesn't happen,but the reality is=–it does and will probably continue to happen–I say admit that there is a very serious problem-deal with it and go on!
    thank-you

    July 30, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  96. Jarvis

    To be truthfully honest "NO". Years and years have passed and this racial profiling is still and will foever be in our climate. Its really a crime shame how we still focus on crap like this. When will we all stop acting "STUDIPLY" when.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  97. Curtis Ware

    I don't know what the policeman's motive was, but he of all, being an instructer of his fellow policemen on this kind of situation, should have simpley let it go after Professor Gates identified himself as being the resident of the house. If he was teaching his men not to be provoked by words, it looks like he failed his own test.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  98. Theo

    The meeting between the President,Sgt Crowley and Pro Gates, will
    not solve the problem. There are good white officers but, WAY TO MANY WHITE OFFICER that feel racial profiling is the right thing
    to do
    Theo
    Arizona

    July 30, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  99. Kahlil

    As long as our public school system refuses to have open and honest dialogue about race and skin color, from kindergarten and up, America will continue to have poor race relations. This avoid and deny game is eventually going to explode in our faces if the best of both sides don't find a way to resolve this; and one way of creating peace and not war is for Whites to first admit they benefit from racism and for Blacks to focus more on healing from post-slavery psychosis than constant re-acting.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  100. Dara in Colorado

    Come on, people! Reading this comment board makes me feel like I'm listening to my class of kindergarteners tattling on each other! You know what I tell them when they do that? I ask: "Is someone hurt? Does someone need help? Or are you just trying to get someone in trouble?" Clearly, for most of you posting here, the Presisdent can't do anything right! First off, I'm sure no one thought to invite every single person involved in this situation to the "beer summit." No one even thought to invite the 911 caller until they felt bad for her after watching her press release which aired after this date for the "beer summit" had already been set. For the record, I am a Christian, and it doesn't offend me that our president will be having a drink. There is alcohol flowing all through the bible....read them, if you need a refresher, people. There is a difference between having a drink and being drunk. Besides, ydo you really think that all those fancy dinners and meetings with diplomats and other important leaders are alcohol-free? Let's be reasonable. Yes, he's on duty 24/7. If any of us had to be on duty every moment of our lives for 4 years, we'd probably need a drink every now and then too! He's obviously trying to do a good thing, why must you tear the man and his efforts apart.? There are more important things going on, and this is a trivial thing for people to focus on and criticize.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  101. Leslie Crawford

    I'm encouraged that the Gates/Crowley incident has generated so much discussion and attention and am hopeful that it will shine a light on the class and race disparities that still exist for black men in America. I know black mothers who have used this occurrence as a basis to open conversations with their sons about how class does not overshadow race in black male interactions with the police. Hopefully, the fallout from this occurrence will further enlighten society in general to this reality.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  102. Kathleen

    My name is Kathleen and I live in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and I am a white woman. I have experienced along with other people I know racial ignorance! Not, by police, but by other black people. And, more than a couple of occasions. I will say, that these particular black people are not educated, and full of hate. I would also like to say that it has become extremely frustrating that anytime something happens to a black individual they cry racism. But, when the same type of circumstance happens to a white it's just because is was based on the incident, not color! Also, people have to remember that "Women" still have discrimination. Unfortunately, if you read the paper, watch the news, it is the higher percentage of crime (shootings, robberies) are black. My analogy is if you have a garden and you see that darn rabbit always eating your lettuce, and sometimes you don't see him, but you'll find yourself saying that darn rabbit every time, but maybe this one time it wasn't the rabbit, but you blame the rabbit. It is human nature to respond this way. It is unfortunate that we live in a society that the bad apples can tend to make the whole bunch look bad at times. In regard to one gentlemen's comment that the news described 4 BLACK men in a GREEN vehicle, well they describe WHITE also when they are describing the suspect. This is a description not racism. My daughters boyfriend and his friends got pulled over late for no other reason than it was a friday night and late and there were 4 teenage boys in the car! Yes, and they are white.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  103. Kay Fadell

    I feel that this proff. started out with a bad case of attitude. He should have been glad that law enforcement was there to investigate. The proff. should have come out of his home ,as requested, to speak with the officer to get things cleared up.I'm sure that alot of people have been witness to someone of higher stature throwing a hiss fit because someone had the nerve to ask them quetions. I believe that this problem should have stayed at the local courts level instead of going national. The president should not of been drawn into this. Now it is, in my eyes, just another 3 ring circus. I also believe that no other race has been so publicized as the black race for wanting appologies. We have forgotten our world history that all races have had their problems. Appologies shoud be over for everyones sake.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  104. tina welcome

    I have two teenage sons. White sons who have always been taught race is no issue, but they have the potential to be arrested for civil rights violations if they have a conflict with other black youths, no matter what the the circumstances. They are less likely to get scholerships or jobs if a minority has the same sat scores or qualifications. We little annual income. This Harvard teacher thinks he has the right to assault the police with no consequences, I guarantee you if either of my sons did the same thing they would be hauled in, and I would expect them to be. Who does he think he is? I voted for Obama, but what a jerk! Affermitive action and civil rights should apply to low income not color. Racial profiling? What a joke . How are you supposed to give an accurate description if you cant say the word black? You never here complaints when the word white is used.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  105. Molly from San Diego

    FDR used to invite people to the WH regularly for cocktails. Part of Bush's popularity was due supposedly to him being a regular kind of guy "you'd want to have a beer with." I think it's a good idea and creates a less formal atmosphere so hopefully they can all lighten up. I think it would help race relations if the officer would apologize. It's my understanding the charge of disorderly conduct applies to conduct in public. Prof. Gates was in his home, plus he's an older guy with a cane, for Heaven's sake. I think it had more to do with overreacting to the situation than race, though.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  106. Neil

    Though the arrest of Professor Gates in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was erroneously interpreted at the time as being motivated by race, the notoriety that has grown nationwide about the case has given life to our current debate about race bias in America. It must now be addressed with thoughtful discourse. I believe the meeting between Gates, Crowley and the President will be helpful toward creating better understanding between well-intentioned people.

    However, the true motivation for what happened in Cambridge is not being addressed! Questions remain unanswered.

    1) In MA, what constitutes disorderly conduct?
    2) In MA, is a police officer required by law to give his first name, last name, rank and badge number to a citizen when asked?
    3) Was Gates' arrest an illegal false arrest?
    4) Did Crowley file a false police report?

    Neil
    Salem, MA

    July 30, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  107. Charles Cheatham

    My son was pulled over by local police without cause, his car was searched, and he was patted down driving a Honda Accord. He is not a minority and was not committing any crime except for being a teenage boy. I understand profiling occurs; but, it isn't always about race. I hope the Professor Gates incident will teach us that profiling and making judgements about others isn't always about race; and making judgements about others is a natural part of the human psyche.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  108. Sandy Smith

    This entire incident was so transparent from DAY ONE!! It was so obvious that this Professor Gates had a huge "black chip" on his shoulder, and rather, HE was the racist, not Officer Crowley. It is also ironic that Crowley was hired for that job of teaching about racial profiling at the police academy, and how his fellow police officers, both black and white, supported him in this ordeal. Gates might hold the title of "Professor" at Harvard, but that does not mean anything when it comes to his character and the ignorance, the arrogance, and the distasteful racism he displayed in this situation. President Obama making his asinine comment that the police acted stupidly, just because this Proff. Gates is a personal " friend" of his, also shows that big black chip on HIS (Obama's) shoulder!! Then when it was shown that this 911 caller never even mentioned the description of "Black" guys, Pres. Obama tried to back pedal his way out of his response on the matter. Sounds to me like Pres. O is a hypocrite!!
    This meeting with all three to "have a beer" together takes President O's response to the next STUPID level. Why would Officer Crowley even accept this invitation to sit amongst hypocrites and racists disguised in their all important titles. i.e......."Professor at Harvard and President of the United States. "

    July 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  109. gerard

    We seem to forget racism is a two way street, I worked in the housing projects in NYC for 17 years and was called the "white devil", "blueeyed devil" and much worse while working and trying to make life better for the people who lived there...

    July 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  110. Bob Knight

    If there is no statement from the parties, then why meet??

    Who is paying for the travel and party??

    Come on – just another photo-opt for Phot'o-bama

    July 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  111. Kay Fadell

    There's nothing wrong with having a beer or two. It's just like wine with dinner. I'm sure the 3 of them won't be doing shots as well.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  112. dstreettalker

    No one is above the law in this country. Police are trained professionals paid by us, the citizens for our civil protection and related services. There are procedures in place to help avoid this situation. Gates was acting within his constitutional rights, He committed no crime and had the right to be irate over what he perceived to be an invasion of his home by an apparently arrogant cop. Sgt Crowley, a trained professional and an instructor in racial profiling procedures should have been in position to identify the explosive potentials of the situation and apply due process to diffuse from escalating any further. That is the job he is paid and trained to do. He failed to perform in a manner consistent with the procedures and allowed his emotions to dictate his actions. Any attempts by some in the media to validate or explain away his conduct is a disservice to civility. A celebrated Harvard Professor was wrongly led from his house in handcuffs over nothing else than an argument with a cop. Should this case make it any court, we all know that it would have been dismissed by any unbiased judge. It is insipid at best to blame the President for giving his opinion, which by the way is absolutely correct.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  113. lindapa from Mississippi

    I think that the president is trying to get the two men to start talking about what can be done to heal race relations or racial profiling in this country. Thank for this opportunity to voice my thought.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  114. In South Dakota

    I find it interesting that (some) people think President Obama should not have said anything. When would be the CORRECT time to attack this issue? Eric Holder stated that we need to quit being cowards and lets discuss this elephant in the room but when we do we are racist and trouble makers. I guess we are the same trouble makers that spoke out against the church bombings that killed those 9 little black girls in Alabama which honestly wasn't that long ago and the same mindset promoted the bombing. Why is it that no one is mentioning the fact that Crowley mentioned the two black males not the 911 caller?

    July 30, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  115. Don Lauer

    The "Beer Summit" is a waste of the President's time. He should have never involved himself in this local matter. It is not what he was elected to do!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  116. Sandra

    Hi Tony, I would like to speak on the arrest of Prof. Gates Let me first say, I know the history of police and Black Americans has been, and continues to be, less than fair or reasonable (in a lot of cases). With that said, I know police procedure is this, when a call comes in for a possible break-in they must respond. When they arrive they need to check the people there. If they take the word of the people that they live there, and the people clean the home out, and then the "real occupants" come home, the police officer will be sued as well as the dept. Where is the fair line drawn? I respect Prof. Gates position of being Black in America has never been easy, but are we looking for equality or partiality? This call the officer went on could have been a white man as well, he too would have been asked to show ID to assure he was the occupant. I feel hurt by the Presidents reaction and statement he made, as it was an "across the board" statement. Our friends are never above the law. My question is, " what procedure changes should take place to make everyone safe and happy.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  117. joyce anderson

    i am a blackl female professional, purchased an xk8 candy apple red conveetable jag. driving thru watts, . L.A,., stopped by the L.A Police ask for proof of ownership reached to my glove department to get the papers and police pulled the guns on me. scared me so I put my head on the steering ans started to cry. i though thet were going to shop me.

    another time driving slow enjoying the view from palm spring again . police stopped me search the car accustd me of using drugs otherwise why driving so slow. called on the radio to check me out couldnt find to ticket me for but a tiny pin hole in the window my father was stopped my sons were stopped. please dont stop my grandsons that is three generations. profiling

    July 30, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  118. Ashlee M.

    This is just completely ridiculous! The problem is not "beer" or "race". The problem is that people are obsessed about magnifying each others diferences. If more people in America would stop worrying about labels and just get to know each other in a real and respectful way, then the power of prejudice for any reason would become obsolete. However, I must add that my opinion is jaded because it is coming from a place of love, unlike most of the mudslinging I have heard lately.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  119. jake k los angeles

    this has less to do with race relations and more to do with two powerful people's ego....if it was two people of the same race, it wouldnt even make news....

    July 30, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  120. Jeff

    The president was WRONG to stick his nose in a local overblown event. Bringing anybody to the "White House for a beer" belittles the White House and it's purpose.
    The president is just clueless as to basic right and wrong on multiple fronts.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  121. Dmarie Writ

    Tony, Tony, Tony

    Here we go again. The man has only been in office for six months, and these sore losers NEED TO GET OVER IT! Obama won, the Dems Party are the Majority. GET OVER IT, AND STOP BASHING THE Prez, Dems, and Nancy Pelosi. People are dying, losing their jobs and homes, no healthcare, wars on two fronts....and people want to talk about what beer to have. Let's get those politician to give the American Healthcare.

    Debra
    Georgia

    July 30, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  122. Nick

    I think that Mr. Gates should first apologize for injecting race into what should have been resolved in 5 minutes. I also think Mr. Obama should apologize for his rush to judgement of the situation. Then I guess it's up to the officer to determine whether or not the the apologies are genuine. If they are, have a beer or 2. If not, I'd snub them both by walking away.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  123. Sheila Logan Cowan

    I think that the police officer should apologize to Professor Gates. There is Massachusetts case law that proves that there was NO LEGAL BASIS FOR THE ARREST. (Commonwealth v. Lopiono and Commonwealth v. Mallahan) It is not against the law to yell at a police officer; end of story. Would someone please discuss this matter?

    July 30, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  124. Gloria J. Danley

    This is the only nation in the world that has Mexican Americans, African Americans, Japanese Americans. Or any other nationality listed before being an American. You never hear of Mexican Africans or African Germans or Italian Canadians.
    My Great Grandmother was a Cherokee Indian. I am an American. If you saw me you would never think I have any other ethnicity in my lineage than anglo whatever.
    When we all become Americans and forgive things that were done to our forefathers and decide to move forward as one nationality, nothing will ever change. We can forgive the Germans and the Japanese, and they wanted world domination.
    Babies and small children have no prejudice. As the song says "they have to be carefully taught".
    Nothing said or done at this meeting will make a difference in our race relations in this country. Our President has only added to the problem by putting his 2 cents in where he should have kept silent.
    Gloria Danley
    Lake Havasu, Arizona

    July 30, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  125. James of Phoeinx

    Ignorance will continue to foster in this country. The diversity America shares are shrouded in misunderstanding and a lack of education. This will not improve Race Relations, but just cause an increase in ignorance and continue racial stigmas. America may have made strides due to the Civil Rights movement, but decades later have shown a racial division that will never cease.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  126. Race Matters

    Let not kid ourselves. This meeting is nothing more a Photo op. Whites will always have a sense of entitlement and feel they will can make laws as they see it. This wont make a dent in race relations. Whites people are ignorant and think they own the world.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  127. Hughes Dudahl

    Wow, if this "Beer Summit" works, maybe we can get the mayors of New York City and Orlando together; and have them work out the "Homeless Relocation Program" or "Bus A Bum" as it is lovingly called in NYC. Maybe they (NYC) can start sending the homeless to Phoenix. Just a thought...

    July 30, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  128. john

    this get together is the president covering his comment about the cambridge police dept . He dosent want to seem leaning toward african americans, so he'll do a photo opp with no questions (or answers) so the whole world thinks hes doing something about racial profiling. But we all know this is political.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  129. Barbara - Atlanta

    Tony,

    I think it will help. I'm curious as to why Officer Crowley lied on his police report. Does that kind of make Professor Gates correct when he says this was racial profiling?

    July 30, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  130. Tim Allen

    If the charges wouldn't have been dropped the officer would have been in hot water. His police report details no crime. His report contradicts that of the 911 caller's. The audio of him calling dispatch does not feature Gates yelling in the background as was first floated. And if he was indeed at his car when he verified to ECC that Gates was the owner it means he could have left and diffused the situation instead of inexplicably calling for backup. If he was on the porch when he made they call then we should hear an irate Gates which we don't.

    The fact that this bad policing is rewarded w/ a beer is sad.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  131. Ricardo Rose

    Hey Tony, how are you doing, Sir? I am a black man that can say here in America white police officers always treat black people different from their own color, but that is what we all close our eyes on and keep sweeping under the rug. Its really hard to drive at night in a nice car or to have somewhat a good thing going for you and we, as blacks, be targeted constantly and consistently as drug dealers, rappers, pimps, etc... and the list goes on. We are still living with KKKs, so just because we see know sheets are covering it doesn't mean that it is not still happening. There is still a lot of hate in the country we all live in and it will never stop. Thank you sir and have a blessed day

    High 5 Consulting Group, LLC
    high5consulting@yahoo.com

    July 30, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  132. Bobye Smith

    Why has so little been mentioned in the Gates/Crowley fiasco about Sergeant Crowley asking professor Gates to step outside his kitchen to the porch because the acoustics in the kitchen were "bad". That was so obviously a trap, since Crowley could not arrest the Professor inside his home, and he (Crowley) knew there was a gathering of people outside. Why doesn't someone pick up on this? It appears that no one wants to criticize the Sergeant. President Obama was right. Crowley acted very stupidly, for whatever reason. And, having taught a class in race relations, he certainly should have been aware of racial sensitivities. Bobye Smith; Tyler, Texas

    July 30, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  133. G. Quinn

    Race will always be an issue and it's sad to say. If we truely want to put it behind us we ALL need to start teaching our children what is right and people's feelings. Also the language with todays music needs to be changed. Many people look up to artists in the music business. Profiling of any kind is not accecptable. Why cant we ALL live together with respect for ALL life?

    July 30, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  134. willie elkhart In

    Hmm when Hannity wanted to have a beer with the president nobody said anything , now all of sudden its bad for the president to be drinking. It's a good idea that all 3 men can get together to ironed out this situation and move on with there lives. As for his choice of beer that's his choice!! nothing against domestic beer makers , just what he loves to drink , at least he's not driving.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  135. Lorraine

    Tony, in listening to your comment today about the President, and his beer partners. I think this may be a deterrence to prevent more cops from being killed. we all know there are people who HATE cops, and because of "profiling on a black man" some innocent police officer who had nothing to do with the incedent will pay by the hands of a hater. so this meeting may help and stop the police from thinking they are the "LAW" and treat people like they would like to be treated.
    we also know there are cops who hate blacks, so perhaps this meeting will make a difference, I hope so.
    Lorraine

    July 30, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  136. Kathy Trelfa

    I believe this face to face is a very good idea (forgetting it is over a "beer"). There are many "profiling incidents" , each needing individual investigating. It is concerning to me that the use of "profiling" is becoming too easy to claim. My own son, White, was "profiled" for nearly a year, at least once a week he was pulled over. He was young, drove a very old pick up, dirty, and was on the road about 3am each night, coming home from work.
    So, it is not just Blacks that deal with this; however, I did not feel the need to claim "profiling", but rather gave the law the latitude of protecting our roads when they may have felt our son could look like what a lot of young peopledo look like who are doing wrong. It is a price we pay for being safe. Do we ALL really have to be checked at an airport?? It's the same reasoning.
    As in Tony's ireport report about a black man being pulled over in a Porsche, wouldn't that be rather unusual. How many young people, black or white would be in a Porsche, giving a policeman cause to look twice?? Rather, the handling of the situation, by the officer would be the concern.
    I'd have to hear the police officer's explanation to value a claim of true "profiling"
    We Whites voted in Obama, including myself, not only without any reservations what- so- ever but with enthusiasm and recently, the news on CNN is black this and black that. Why??, Let's move forward, not backwards. I'm beginning to hear a change in the white community asking "why these questions, didn't we vote for a man, not an issue?

    July 30, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  137. RICHARD TUCSON

    I HOPE THE COP LEAVES THE LAWYER &UNION REP.AT HOME

    July 30, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  138. ann

    I think it's a shame that the President has to intervene in this situation. Incidents like these are coroding the progress we'd made in racial issues and it shows racism still exsists on BOTH sides. I hope President Obama can make better decisions representing the U.S. than he does in choosing friends–remember the preacher!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  139. Mary D.

    Tony,

    I find it a little disturbing that President Obama, is using this teachable moment to promote settling differences at todays meeting over beers.

    Perhaps if he used a different beverage for this meeting, it would set
    an example to the younger generation, that peace and unity iare not settled with alcohol.

    Face to Face discussion is a good method for resolving differences.
    I have nothing against alcohol...only that this meeting is all about beer in the news media...wrong message.

    Mary D.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  140. Sam

    Just curiousity seeking why this is happening. Would someone be kind enough to explain the word mulatto and from the Webster's dictionary it reads as definitions: 1 : the first-generation offspring of a black person and a white person
    2 : a person of mixed white and black ancestry. So I am wondering why President Obama is even involved in any way – will he now be expected to go to every seemingly race-related issue? Love your show Tony!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  141. Mark Kent

    The All American, Downhome, Country get'n together ta solve problems beverage of choice. Guaranteed to solve any problem.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  142. Chris Engle

    I liked the ireports on this topic. They remind me of the pressures that social norms place on individuals. Were it not for laws like those that specifically prohibit racial profiling, what protection do we have (or need) against human intuition? Whats the difference between a sorrowful status qou and harassment?

    (loved the in depth reporting to today. 'Like a free class.)

    July 30, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  143. Verda l. Gaines RN, BSN

    I think that anything President Obama can do to create positive dialogue for change to this situation is to be commended. It is sad to think that what happened to me and 4 friends (2) other nursing students and 2 military recruits returning to the nursing dorm after an evening of cards and dominoes (end of the month, no $) good clean fun....Stopped on the way to buy one pack of gum at a 7-11 store. Long story short we ended up acosted, with sawed off shot guns to our heads on a busy street in Shreveport, Louisiana (I personnally kept looking for the Candid Cameras). Handcuffed behind my back where each was placed in separate police cars, transported to the station, searched then waiting for 5-6 hours not being told what we had done until an elderly 'white' male with his swaddled in bandages veiwed us and said, 'No, that is not them.' To the description of "two black men with multicolored shirts and three unindentified other.' How unique was this description in the early 70's. I still made it to my clinical rotation for 06:45 that morning. I thought we had changed...but this gives you food for thought. Nurse of 33 years

    July 30, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  144. DONNA

    This is stupid!! If this was really coming from OBAMA's heart he wouldn't be making such a big deal about it. TV, cameras, hasn't
    he been on TV more than any other President? I would like to know
    why the neighbor who was doing a good thing by calling 911, why
    wasn't she invited ? This whole situation is going to give the professor and the the officer there 10 seconds of fame...Both parties
    were wrong the officer was wrong when Gates told him he was the
    owner of the home. Gates was wrong for provoking the officer. I heard
    on another news network that one of the neighbors said that Gates
    was in his front yard yelling and threating the officer for doing his job.
    So both parties were wrong, OBAMA is just rewarding bad behavior.

    No I don't feel this was a race thing. Everytime something happens
    people always blames it on race!!!! The whole thing was blown out
    of control, we have more important things that need attention than
    two people haveing a government paid beer with the President. One,
    more thing your news stations said that both mens families have
    been invited to the White House. Who is paying for this? There are
    people in this country who can't even afford to buy themself a beer.!!!!!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  145. titus

    As a former police officer and African American racism exist on and in the police depts now only locally but natiionally. I was in Philladelphia a few years ago withna police delegation of police officers union reps when I heard racism comments from room mates at the hotel we stayed at from higher ups on affirmative action monkees referring to black poloce officers and hiering polocies. Racism and racial profilling exist and in my experienced it on and off duty. One day driving home from work tuesday last October I was stopped by one of my fellow officers who claimed the car I was driving fit a stolen car description, I did not immediatelly identify myself at the time because I want to see how legit he was. As you know it was all fabricated and as I indentified myself his story changed and even when I reported this incident to superiors they thought it was a good cop mistake. This racism exist because black police officers do not have the balls to turn in what they see or report it. The old us against them blue wall!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  146. Carolyn

    This was a perfect storm of events; from the neighbor who wasn't sure what she was seeing, to the woman who called 911 for her, to the officer whose adrenaline was kicked into high gear thinking he may be confronting a criminal in the act, to the frustrated professor who was tired and short-tempered from a long flight and stubborn door. Although the Suds Summit is not a dramatic and monumental race relations milestone, it is refreshing and honorable that the central figures have cooled down and are willing to show the country and the world that they can move on instead of beating the same drum over and over.

    Now if we can all cut Mrs. Whalen a slice of 'peace pie', we'll see that we all actually WANT neighbors like her...

    July 30, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  147. TOPPDOGG

    I believe this has been the worst thing that Mr. obama has done.He not only disgraced the police dept. he also showed favortism toward a friend who obviously did something wrong.For the president of our country to play the race card is terrible.If u get pulled over by the police is it always cause u are black?if u are arrested is it because u are black?i dont think so.... there are bad people of all colors and races...i worked in a city not far from public housing apts..it is a shortcut to my job..i being a white person was pulled over 14 times in a year in this area...is that racial profiling? i was told by police that a white man in this area is probally buying drugs...but do i call it racial profiling..no i call it the police doing all they can to stop a bad problem....so for all that want to call every time u get stopped,questioned or arrested ..racial prorofiling..wake up..im sure it happens but it happens to us all

    July 30, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  148. Tracey

    From "A VOICE IN THE DARK"- Check this out; I have been a target of Law Enforcement all my life. Just last year Law Enforcement had a auto that belongs to my mother registered to me to cause me to loose my jobs and the ability to pay my child-support. All this was done with a 2002 warrant that I was never given the opportunity to come to court on. Also in 2004 I was arrested and the courts or Law Enforcement never mention anything about a warrant, until I got back in the Medical field and the ability to pay my child-support. And I'm still suffering as of today. Back to not being ability to pay my child-support so they can put me back in jail for not paying my child-support. That is wrong, for the very people our tax dollars pay to protect us are against one race of people.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  149. daniel garcia

    well tony i see you dont want to post my last comment but im still a fan????i guess the truth hurts but il say this race issues have not mended and are still as volatile as ever we need to be honest about it

    July 30, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  150. Robert

    I was always raised not to raise your voice at a police officer. When you argue with and or threaten a police officer you should be arrested. I do not know if he threatened the officer. But what I do know is he was very disrespectful to the officer. Most police officers take a lot of crap from people ever day. Showing up to protect this persons home and have this man disrespect him as he did, shows just what type of a person he is. It is a shame that race was brought into this. What kind of professor is he?If he works at a college he should be fired. Shame on all the Media!The Media now a days disgust me!
    When a police officer responds to a possible break in, would you want the officer to show up at your home and have some person who may have lived there before or had a ID made or possibly even looked some what like the person that live at the residence. The officer has a job to do. Some times mistakes are made. Not saying that the office made any mistakes. BUT i would definitely say that the owner of the home, sure did. I would hope that people see how good this officer really is. I would love to have such a out standing police officer protect our neighborhood.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  151. Dr.Kenyatta

    No, No, NO, NO,NO, this so called meeting is not going to resolve anything. remember this still america. when is america going to wake up to the fact that law enforcement officers who look like Crawley, are caught up into there power and ego (ethocentric). believing that they are the center of humanity, This is a primitive trait these males have and past down the past 15000 yr.. A eon's of time after their first An evening with Pres.Obama over some beverage is not the answer. Please remember these officers first resonsibility is to arrive home safely after each shift, anyhting after that is too, is to maintain, contain and retain people of color, men more than women, because male posses a threat to their livlihood and well being. Pres. Obama political heart is in the right place for he represents all the people, however, he is very intelligent man and he Prof.Gates knows the real deal. I hope brothers such as yourself and the other men of color on CNN, who must be give the appearance of being objective also truly understands that this America. If this question is perplexes you need to speak to someone start with brothers, like Roland Martin he's the real deal.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  152. Dave Cohen

    This meeting should hopefully reduce the Professor Gates incident to the level of an unfortunate misunderstanding.
    One must understand Professor Gates' sensitivity to the issue of racial profiling. It is also important to understand Sgt. Crowley's strict adherence to standard police procedure.
    Sgt. Crowley's record on race relations is exemplary, but Prof. Gates had no way of knowing that. By the same token, Sgt. Crowley neither knew Prof. Gates nor his reputation; and should not have been expected to know him. Mutual cooperation could have avoided the incident.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  153. Bob Merritt

    I am in my 70s and grew up in N.C. during segregation. We all agree that the separate but equal attempt was not the correct, even though it may have provided a first step for the most prejudiced. We've come a long way from those days toward total integration and M.L.King's dream of judging people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. We have concentrated our efforts toward improved relations with each other to correct the thinking and actions of the whites. Efforts should also be expended toward helping those minority members who still carry a chip on their shoulder. We need to see ourselves as Americans, and that is what concerns me now. We, as citizens, are continuelly referred to as (white,black,hispanic,asian)Americans instead of just American!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  154. Mirian

    No, I don't think this is the answer to solve race relations problems in the US. I think this beer summit might work as to cool off some heads, but it will not change how people feel towards one another.

    We can not change how people feel towards one another. In this incident is very clear that it will never will. Race relations is not a matter of making people "love" one another, but learn how to show respect regardless of what color, race, or ethnicity.

    As long as we are imperfect, and hate our fellow neighbor, we will always fail. Can that hate change, yes, but it is not up to us!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  155. L W "Mckell" Harris

    Tony,
    Many of us have long wished that America would live up to it's published honesty about race. After 65 years, I have not seen it todate! The hearts of many in our country have not changed and will not change just because we (most of us) elected an African American to the office of President or that he is meeting with two persons in the middle of a situation related to race. Too many wanted him to become a "White" man when he came to the office of the President not what he really is, an American born man in the office of President of the United States of America who calls it like he sees it.

    Remember the cop says he is " Not a racist"! Do you belives him?

    Let us all agree that racial hate is at the foundation of America and will take much longer than the 8 years of this President's stay in office to do way with. Some people will never be ready to accept his election or his stay in office, or his place in America's history.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  156. Bill Gaddis

    Having been a new reporter during my earlier years, I have experienced, as well as interviewed, many blacks in Chicago who have been systematically profiled, harrassed and arrested by local policemen, both black (who most often adapt the policies of the majority) and white.

    I left the media (WKAR) as Producer/Director of the "Taking Care Of Business" show, a three hour magazine formatted program of news and music, after being regularly attacked by management for delving into subjects pointing disparities in arrests of Blacks vs Whites for most violations of traffic and drug laws.

    Those Blacks remaining in the media seem to be afraid to speak bluntly about the horrendous disparities in how punishment is metted out to minorities vs majorities for like crimes like weapons charges, drug charges and traffic charges.

    When one goes into a court room and observes the flavor of the defendants, either one would have to conclude that there is disparity, or, Whites are simply not involved in drugs, do not violate traffic laws and don't carry illegal guns. Yet our media will not dare touch this subject. There in lies our problem. If the media were to do its part, President Obama would not be in the position of having to defuse a situation that was caused by a policeman who apparently thinks that his badge renders him the authority to impose his rights over the rights of ordinary citizens.

    I hope what comes out of this meeting will precipitate a movement by the mainstream media to finally begin to cover stories of the extreme pressures placed upon minorities by these debilitating disparities. This is done while the White beneficiaries continue to deny that there are differencies in treatment, and while the media remains mum for fear of angering management, or sponsors.

    Lastly, I certainly hope the President does not appologize to Officer Crowley, but instead, show how he wrongfully, stated in his report that the 911 caller referred to "black" possible intruders. The appology should be from Officer Crowley.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  157. Jim Ferris

    I don't think this particular meeting will ultimately solve any of the problems relating to race that we have in the United States. I believe that we are still facing many racial issues, and this is just a minor event that took place, and it was over publicized by the media. I think that the officer had all of the motives to arrest Mr. Gates. From what I know, the officer arrested this man because he was acting out of order and would not cooperate. What if Mr. Gates was actually a burgler? How would the officer to know that it was Mr. Gates' house? He wouldn't show his ID and wouldn't cooperate with the officer. I think the officer had all of the right reason's to arrest Mr. Gates. Why wouldn't Mr. Gates simply show identification? Someone inform me if I'm mistaken, but I think there are many other racial issue's besides this one that we need to focus on, and this was a minor incident and Mr. Gates should have just cooperated.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  158. Sherley Lawrence

    Living in the South, particularly Alabama, where race relations are deeply rooted but seldom discussed amongst a mix of races but often discussed amongst those of the same race; I am profoundly appreciative that our President felt that there is no such thing, as a small unimportant issues, when it comes to race relations in American. He felt that if it affects the American people then it is important to address regardless of how complicated the topic. The subject of race MUST be addressed on a larger platform then our personal phones and corner lunch tables when we are in our safe areas with our safe groups. In the Bible when Jeremiah was complaining about the wicked prospering and the faithless living with ease but those who were always trying to do right and live faithfully continued to face constant struggles, God responded to him (Jeremiah 12:5), "If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses: If you stumble in safe country,": how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?"

    Race relations have always been in the thicket, in areas not discussed; however, in 2009, not discussing it doesn't make it better and surely doesn't make the race issues go away. So Thank You Mr. President for showing America that the topic can't stay in "safe country" but right in the thicket of discussions. If we don't approach this topic today, it continues to grow and spread like a wild fire and even those who think race and gender relations are not affecting them will someday come face to face with their own personal stories. Let this be the first of many days that we all recognize that the reason why the rainbow is beautiful is because of its combined array of colors working together...so why can't we get to that same place.. TOGETHER?

    July 30, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  159. LUCILLE

    Our life experiences determine how we react to the world.

    We can all recall any trauma we have suffered and whether it made us more wary the next time it appeared .

    I truly admire Obama's calm , intelligent attempt at a solution to this deep, long standing problem.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  160. Joseph Moore northern MN

    To any one who even cares about the beer may I remind you that any sane person needs some time to relax and there is also vice president for reasons I would not want a president that never had a chance to take a break they would most certainly be crazy. This is also America and there are many people with there own thoughts of what is right and wrong and we all need to learn more tolerance and that is what this "beer summit" is all about. I would also bet that it was the media that called it the Beer summit and not the president him self.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  161. Brian in Virginia

    Dear Tony,

    As an African American and former law enforcement professional.

    I’ve had the misfortune of being racial profiled by members of my own department.

    I hope that these guys can get on camera and ask every American to "Take their biases" "Take their prejudices” and “Take their Idealized Self-Image” and “DIAL IT BACK”!

    The Best Practices

    An arrest or detainment should be called in to Dispatch! When in doubt ask for it!
    If you need to take a moment to calm down say so!
    Disrespect should not be a two way street in or out of uniform.
    Listen to one another and repeat what you heard.
    Making a mental note or judgment doesn’t have to lead to making an oral comment.

    Dial It Back words: I’m sorry, thank you, and I don’t understand.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  162. Pauline

    With a failing economy, joblessness, foreclosures and homelessness rising everyday. It is unbelievable that anyone really cares about the this "photo" opt. The media must not have anything interesting to report, and President Obama needs get a grip.

    I'm a Democrat, have always voted Democratic and was really jazzed by what President Obama represented as his goals for this country. I know, as all Americans know, or should know, he's just the President and can not effect change alone.... I say, Mr. President, racist has not and will not go away and this dumb meeting, in my opinion serves no useful porpuse and has spiraled in to a type of "beer" to be served.... Please get busy using your time on trying to fix the economy, health care reform and international relations. Frankly Mr. President, you should not have gotten in the mix of this issue.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  163. Nikki

    It seems to me that people want the president to be phony and not human. He's not asking anyone to drink and drive after drinking a keg of beer. I think people need to stop trying to change the subject and focus on the real issue, "racism". People are so quick to judge and ridicule him, maybe you need to look at yourselves. Are really angry because he's a BLACK president having a beer?? You probably voted for George W. Bush (twice) and I truly believe he was drunk his entire term!!!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  164. Vesta

    Tony, Thanks for always bringing attention to issues in Africa. Josh did
    a great job today on the unfortunate conflict going on in Nigeria.

    VM
    ATLANTA.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  165. crayle green

    It is commendable that President Obama was convinced to talk with Professor Gates and the policeman even after he stated that his prev ious comments are his own based on the personal friendship of "Skip Gates". I think his effort is a gallent one.

    However the Police Profiling issue is a national sore, an enormous problem that eats at the core of this great country and needs to be brought out in the open and not wiped clean before the worls

    July 30, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  166. roy santin

    This is a camp fire slightly out of control, but its in the middle of a drought, and could turn into a raging wildfire if its not dealt with- there isn't a huge opportunity to improve the national stage, but there is a great need to stop this situation from getting out of hand, that possibly can be accomplished- Obama is brilliant, and may one day come to be viewed as one of america's greatest politicains ever- at ease with the poorest and the richest in the nation and around the world, a great statesman and a man of action and determination to accomplish achievable goals,and creat moment on issues that seem impossible. This is the perfect move, for this problem no matter how it begins, or how they work out thier personal issues- off camera, as long as they part shaking hands and clinking beer steins, then this camp fire will be extinguished – this white cop and this african american Professor need to see the instigating event from each other's perspectives- perhaps a lack of respect for each other from the beginning was the original problem, and that can be fixed, and if its done nationally then perhaps national race relations can be inched in the right direction- like the mighty Niagara Falls itself, it only moves an inch a year, but over ten thousand years it has made its way ten miles, slowly erasing the boarder from what seems like to most from around the world, to be a race free canada, and an embattled, race divided U.S.- Canada isn't perfect , but if you've been to some parts of Buffallow or niagara falls N.Y., then you would appreciate the difference, every inch forward counts.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  167. Jay Blodgett

    You asked, "What if George Bush had been black?" Well, we'd never have heard of him, if he had remained a Republican, that is. Michael Steele is the exception which proves the rule, and he isn't in an elected position.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  168. Romulus5

    I'm not surprised that this is being cast as a race issue. However, I believe thisis more importantly a police state issue. This country is a police state. Police officers have been treating citizens poorly for years. The brutality and disrespect toward civilians – black, white, latino, or whatever – has been shrouded behind an imagined fear, an idea that if officers do not over react they may not come home at night. That's just false.

    When the President said the officer acted "stupidly" he was absolutely right and should never go back on his words. The police guild will rise up angrily (as usual); this issue shines light on their attitude of superiority.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  169. Curtis Fuller

    With all the recent talk about legalizing marijuana, maybe the President, professor and police officer should meet at the White House for a joint instead of beers!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  170. Reg Brown

    I am compelled to comment on this. First Professor Gates was not arrested for breaking into his own house, he was arrested for his unrully behavior as the officers were trying to depart. In addition the race issue was soley Prof. Gates no one elses. This was backed up by a Black officer on the scene. I am sick and tired of hearing how the whites are creating all the racial tension in the us, BS. This was and is a prime example and as for Pres. Obama he also showed his racial predijuses by automatically siding with the Black person involve in the incident without all the facts. GOD HELP us all !!!!!!!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  171. Dylan

    I think the beer summit happens to be a terrific idea, although it's probably a bit overblown. I will say this though–shame on Barack Obama for picking such an awful beer. In a country where there are thousands of excellent beers, he snubs America and picks a watered-down, mass-produced beer, owned by a Belgian company. Dogfish Head and Capitol City Brewing are both in the area, and are significantly better than what he's drinking–President Obama, how about supporting the rapidly growing craft beer industry, instead of the garbage big breweries?

    July 30, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  172. James In Kamiah, Idaho

    Tony, I'm afraid that the "Suds" summit is more likely to be an end to the conversation instead of the beginning it needs to be. "President, officer and gates have all made nice nice... hey did you hear about..." and everyone moves on.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  173. Sue from Canada

    With respect to the "Suds" situation does ANYONE remember when President Obama took office he said "We will make mistakes". He made one, he's sorry, he's trying to make amends. If our friends in the States don't want him – please send him to Canada. We'd love to have him here.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  174. Keith

    The beer picnic was a good idea, and they invited the right people. The lawyer for the 911 caller was off base in her sexist comments. The reason the lady was not invited is she filed a 'false alarm' and they should still be considering criminal action against her and the old lady that she foolishly filed the false alarm for.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  175. Rita

    Maybe having a beer is the answer. It's just like when you go out drinking with friends. The more we drink, the less we care what other people look like....

    July 30, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  176. Bill

    Any step to bring the issue of race/ethnic relations to a better understanding is important. We all grew up with preconceptions about each other in part because so many institutions in our lives especially religion tells us that we are better. That mentality has to stop and has to be coupled with better understanding. We also have to admit that different is not bad and just because a person chooses a different way to live his/her life; different music; different clothes, does not mean different values and that they are bad. I venture to say that few whites have good black friends; few blacks have really good white friends; frew christians have good jewish or muslim friends. When that changes, we will really be approaching enlightenment.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  177. Adrian

    Hey Tony, as a minority who isn't 'black or Hispanic' (I am half Indian, half black/white), it would be greatly appreciated if you didn't limit your mentioning of discrimination against just Blacks or Hispanics. Indians, Arabs, Asians are discriminated against just as much, yet we're continually ignored when discrimination against minorities is mentioned.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  178. Girlie58

    Although Obama is half white, his true colors came out when he sided with Gates.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  179. Crystal

    I think the Beer Summit is a good Idea. I don't think that it will really solve anything, but I will say this. Everyone seems to be sticking up for the professor and I do understand where he is coming from, but I also see where the cop is coming from. He got a call saying someone is breaking into a house, he has to check it out, and if he would of let Gates get away with just say he lives there without asking for some form of ID, do you know how many more break ins we would have as a nation? I believe that cops was just doing his job, and Gates was giving him trouble, but I see where Gates was a little mad about the other cops comments.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  180. ROCKY

    What happened to respect to a police officer? This incident was not racial, it was disrespect. You don't have to be a Georgetown or Harvard Professor to figure that one out!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  181. Chris of NC

    Let's see now, it's been reported that Gate is only 1/4 black, Obama is only 1/2 black, and Crowley is not black at all. I find it hilarious that 3/4 of a black man can cause such a ruckus. People, lighten up some, Gates made a big mistake in dissing a policeman (especially in front of other policemen). He made such a fuss that one officer felt compelled to arrest the man. Now as for me, a white man, I am very quiet whever a policeman stops me for a traffic violation (even tough I'm in my personal automobile) and I'm also very respectful whenever they've come to my front door. Why can't someone just tell Gates to learn how to behave like the civilized human being that a professor should be regardless of his color "mix"?

    July 30, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  182. Tania Montes De Oca

    I think this meeting was a great suggestion. If we reach a few people to understand and improve their racial relationships. We have done our job.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  183. Dallas Anderson

    They both let their egos get in the way of solving a simple problem in a calm, friendly manner. Attitude is everything when dealing with the police. I would have thanked them for looking out for me and for not taking my word considering in these times you don't know who is telling the truth.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  184. Robin B

    President Obama's initial statement on this issue proves he was in fact paying attention to Reverend Wright for those two decades he sat in Wright's church.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  185. sandy ohio

    as an afircan american, race relations will always be a problem in this country,

    July 30, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  186. DJ

    I think the issue, based on information reported, is less about race, and more about the police imposing their will. Considering that the Black cop supported the White cop, it is clear to me that the police department wanted to impress upon a homeowner that he/she will cooperate regardless of the circumstances, or face arrest. What ever happened to the mantra "Protect & Serve", versus, "Do As I Say"? That being said, I can't help wondering if a White Harvard professor would have been arrested under the same circumstances?

    July 30, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  187. Dan in Santa Barbara

    Hey, next week is Fiesta here...

    I think it would be a great photo op to have the President zig-zagging across the White House lawn, his arms over the shoulders of the Professor and the Officer, with Michele's holding a rolling p[n in the background.....

    July 30, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  188. Bird Brain

    So, President Obama is a lefty and drinks Bud Light. Hmmm ... not sure he can solve much of anything with those 2 strikes against him. But I admire him trying!

    (As far as the Gates matter, he shouldn't have become personally – or Presidentially – involved anyway!)

    July 30, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  189. Elsa Dubois

    I'm with Tony. Let's hear the story. Until then this White House meeting remains a publicity move. They'd have accomplish nothing but inflict more bitterness to what is already an extremely sensitive matter. While the president that it be a teaching moment, let's qualify whose doctrine it is he is going to expound, his black dna or his white traditions.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  190. Michael

    The only thing that should come out of the "Suds Summit" is ... the truth. Is either man big enough to admit that he went overboard? THAT is the biggest problem with "race" relations now: one person will go a little too far, whether it's calling the other names or getting in their face, and then the other person responds in kind. Next thing you know, it's a race issue.
    Being a white man, I don't know about being a black man, as well as a balck man doesn't know what it is like to be a white man. The only thing to do is COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY!! It takes time, it takes effort, it may also take a little hit to the pride. So what. as Nike says, "Just do it!"

    July 30, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  191. STU

    Many officers in the police force here in the United States are downright bullies and full of their own self importance and power. I don't believe this is a racial issue. I'm sure the police officer would have reacted in the same way had the person been white.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  192. Deb Hutton

    I don't understand why it's about race. It's about power abuse by jerk cops – of which there are plenty. I live in rural Missouri...not many black people, but a lot of egotistcal power-hungry cops. You shouldn't have to be hauled to jail for disrespecting a police officer. This situation has only worsened since 9-11.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  193. Alex Sulecki

    I think the media is overplaying what could be a teacheable moment – and Kudos to Pres. Obama for taking that path. Both men overreacted in the situation, expressing a flashpoint in our society. Maybe we all have to go through this uncomfortable period before we can truly get along. But what I don't understand, I saw a black lady on a TV show after this Gates incident, saying "I will be free!" I thought, what makes you less free than me, a white person? If we are ever to get to a peaceable state, we have to take it off the front burner. Let the conflict die. Enough already. Enjoy your beer.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  194. B

    Race issues have been going on sense time begane and I dought very seriously that beer thirty would make it stop.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  195. Rick

    I just came up with a plan that will put a stop to any question of racisim. Police officer have partners, so every white cop is teamed up with a black cop. It will stop racial profiling, people won't be able to say every white cop that pulls over an African American is profiling. what do you think Tony?

    July 30, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  196. Chris of NC

    Based on Kurai's comments, I'm almost certain that he/she voted for Obama and is certainly a registered Democrat.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  197. Mike

    The Gates issue makes me sick. By seriously talking about it as if it were an example of racial profiling or racism is to diminish the reality of those 2 concepts. It makes it easy for people to dismiss them, because this is so clearly not an example of either.

    Or actually, sadly, if anything, it is an example of Black paranoia. Gates obviously translated the situation into a victim's experience, one that he writes about extensively.

    To make this a real teaching moment, we need to look at all aspects of this incident, including the commentary from both sides and the media's fascination with this. Race is still an issue in this country, but we need to shed the old vocabulary from the Civil Rights struggle; that vocabulary promotes talking at and past each other. We need to look at how it has mutated, and develop more hinest ways to talk about it.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  198. Lawrence from New Rochelle

    I believe the officer is going to walk away with his beliefs, and a buzz. The Professor will walk away with his beliefs, and a buzz along with the President as well. Hopefully, what it will do is open dialog about (so called) Race in America. Meanwhile, my sons will still get harassed by the cops and me as well. One told my oldest "if you move I'll Shoot". He lives on the border of Canada now and loves it.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  199. Thomas

    Tony. I think that people should stop and think. Do a role reversal and say would I feel the same way if Officer Skip Gates had arrested Professor Crowley.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  200. David Tothill

    Re: Beer Summit
    When I sit down for a "cold one", I do it with friends... not with people who call me racist and stupid!
    Also, as per your guest who says we should ask ourselves what Dr. King would do/say: I do live my life around him.
    Also, we are bombarded daily about how all white people are racist, but I have yet to meet one of them. Maybe black people should stop using racism as an excuse and start pulling themselves up by their own boot straps. It's only a ploy to use a sensitive issue to divert attention away from someone's own laziness. And no, I am not saying all black people are lazy, but they are if they insist they are nowhere in life. Come on, for that to be true all white people would have to be employers and all of them would have to be racist.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  201. eclecticbf

    This beer summit will serve to increase the police abuses and misuse of power. If an officer can be clearly without lawful authority for his arrest and falsify facts in a police report and get an invite to the White House, we are all less safe and President Obama's conduct is horrible precedent. Tavis Smiley tried to get us to do our homework.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  202. Bob

    Racial issues are often based on ignorance and lack of communications between racial groups. Maybe we should all take a few minutes to have a beer with and get to know a Black, Latino, White, or person of another race. We just might find that he is not the enemy you thought he was.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  203. Whomper

    Racial tensions will never go away in the U.S. Too many people make a lucrative living exacerbating the conflict.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  204. Adrian

    Janet from Texas. I think everyone continues to forget that the President has been on the job for 6 months. He's still learning the boundaries, just as every President has. Contrary to popular belief, NO president has 'experience' for the job. It's a learn on the spot kind of gig, and it takes time to understand the job and the office of the President. I wish people would cut President Obama some slack for at least a year, just as I had wished people would cut President Bush some slack. Nobody truly understands the immense difficulty of the job except the man himself, so please, get off his back.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  205. MB

    These incidents need to be targeted to insure
    that those who should be protecting us aren't
    abusing they're authority. We have to get to where
    the urban community feel like the police are
    there to serve and protect not profile and abuse.
    I believe when an officer is spotlighted they may
    make better judgement calls leaving power and
    emotions away from the job. Showing I.D should
    have made the officers turn and walk away.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  206. Dennis Moore - POTUSworld.com

    Until the issue of violating a citizen's Fourth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution is addressed, truly resolving this issue won't matter even if the Black Dr. Gates was illegally arrested by a Black police officer carrying a NAACP membership card. Racial profiling is only a subtext to the bigger issue of abuse of power by an individual officer.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  207. Claudia Payne

    The officers wanted the professor to back down, calm down and respect their authority as police officers. Well, why couldn't the officers acknowledge that they made a mistake, calm, down, walk away, and respect the fact that this professor had a valuable reason to be mad. I agree with the president's first statement "the officers acted stupidly". Then there's the constant reminder that the officer taught or took racial profiling classes. I took piano lessons for about a year and guess what.....I couldn't play Mary had a Little Lamb if you asked me.
    Are the citizens always suppose to say okay he's the officer let me bequiet and ifnore my frustrations are can we be humans sometuimes and voice our anger without being arrested especially in our OWN HOME. The officer should have walked away. After the beers and the fake smiles, Proffesor Gates is going to continue to tell the story about the day he was racially profiled and the officer is going to continue to tell his side.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  208. Not willing to reveal

    Along with the race issue is the issue of police brutality. In Hurricane, Utah on June 9th, Brian Cardall, 32 year old white male, was tazed twice by the Hurricane Police Department while he was having a bi-polar episode. He died seconds later. No results of the investigation by local investigators to date. Perhaps this one is worth investigating.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  209. Geo

    Tony,
    Let's face it, this whole thing started by someone who had a major chip on his shoulder and resented being questioned by a white policeman! In my experience any normal person, be the white, black, or purple who does not have some deep internal resentment, would have simply responded in a civil manor to the officer and, if warranted at the end of it, address it with the proper authority, being the officer's superior! Are we forgetting that the officer, according to him, was simply trying to get Prof. Gates out of the house in case there was an intruder...right?

    July 30, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  210. john

    It appears as though the accepted "good PC" of the moment
    dictates that BOTH parties reacted inappropriately; but thus far,
    I have seen no clear evidence to suggest any inappropriate action
    taken by Sgt. Crowley.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  211. Anthony C H

    Boyce and Dysen are right on point with what needs to take place in this country. Racism can be delt with at any level as long as we all step back and look at the root causes. Everyone should listen to Stevie Wonders song, Loves in need of love today, and take it to heart.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  212. Rebekah

    It seems to me the real victim in this story is the woman who called 911. In an attempt to be a good neighbor she reported a possible, underline possible, break-in. I would hope my neighbors would do the same. She did not mention the race of the two men, rather you can hear on the call she is asked 'black or latino?' She even says she doesn't know if they live there.

    In return for her good deed she has been called a racist and even had death threats. Has anyone apologized to her? Was she invited to the white house? Has Dr. Gates thanked her for being a good neighbor?

    July 30, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  213. Dave

    Many police abuse their position, and need to be accountable for their actions. How much did it cost the tax payers for this unnecessary arrest?
    The cost of "bad" arrests should be charged back to the police budget.
    Oversight and accountability will improve if the police are held accountable for their actions.

    This is not a black and white race issue as much as it's a issue concerning police behavior and the lack of oversight and accountability.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  214. Carol Carta

    Hi Tony
    I'm a white female who drives a Mercedes SUV . I live in a very affluent
    town in Texas. I was pulled over by a motorcycle cop unfairly for speeding. The car in the other lane was obviosly speeding . I requested to see the officers radar dfisdplay and asked if he even had one. He threatened to have me taken to jail and called in backup. I was on my way home from having a massage and was very calm, respectful and hadn't been speeding . I explaind to the backup officers what happened and was not takern to jail. I have been pulled over 3 other times in error. I guess the police look at me as an easy target. In all 3 other situations large pickup truck had been speeding very fast past me on the freeway.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  215. romano

    I think that The meeting between sgt Crowley and Professor Gates is all well and good ,But unfortunately the racial divide is a bit more deep in the US.I think that there are Police officers that use their power to abuse minorities. President Obama need to also take this opportunity to put some law on the books to chestize and or discipline Police officers nationally who abuse their power and demonstrate excessive force .In return this law will in a whole combat racial profiling and protect our constitutional rights to excersise freedom of speech and freedom of expression with all races towards police officers...Police officers need federal oversight!!!!!

    July 30, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  216. DJ from NYC

    I want to echo the comment by Curtis Ware at 12:06 pm ET. There is no logic, other than bullying, for a police officer to arrest a homeowner who has proven he resides at the address at hand. If I sat at the table with the three men, I would ask the cop why he "had" to arrest Professor Gates?

    July 30, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  217. Hoping for common sense

    I hear little from the cambridge police department about the fact that thecaller who called 911 did not say identify the people breaking into the professors house were black, but the police mentione that the caller said they were black.

    I know the police have a tough job, but when are they going to clean out the bad cops who lie in order to justify their behavior

    July 30, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  218. Betty

    We have people starving, and living on the streets in our country and our men fighting for our country putting their life in harms way everyday. Why can't we put more emphasis on that subject instead of having a beer at the White House. First of all it teaches our children that it is okay to drink beer and secondly, I think the president should let our citizens settle their own disputes.

    I think the citizens of the United States now will think twice before contacting our police department on crimes being committed because in my book he was doing what he was paid to do by our Police Department in this case by trying to protect our citizens property. (black or white citizens). I personally think all races should get along and since we do have a black president we should stop putting our thoughts and opinions on race and try to focus on more important matters. God created all of us equal why not live that way.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  219. roberto

    i have never seen so many people not come up with any better ideas and complain so negatively. People have to understand that the police have upset the balance of power for sometime now. They have everyone scared, to do anything and now you you cant even speak up or argue with them in your own house. Like a commentator said last night on Larry King, the police are supposed to be an extension of the the people, who are to there to serve and protect us, not to trick or provoke us into walking out of our house in order to arrest us just because they dont like what someone is saying. This was just a demonstration of how some in law evforcement can easily abuse their power and then come up with a seperate story to confuse the facts. Some people rather just sit there and lie to themselves and give the cops the benefit of the doubt when they often dont give anyone else the same courtesy.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  220. Irving starr

    I am a white Jewish man 68 years old who has been married to a black women for 37 years. My wife and I have been encountering racism for the entire time we have been together. It has not prevented us from doing anything. We are pragmatic and some times work around it and other times we run over the racists. There is no doubt in my mind that the incident in question involved abuse of power and racism on both sides. The president is doing the right thing. Talk about it, publisize it, then repeat over and over at the highest levels till it's so well known and exposed for what it is that everyone feels comfortable talking about it to their kids and every one they meet, All people are diferent and diferent types of people are different in diferent ways. I think difference is great. But that's just me. I also understand that people can fear differences. That fear expresses itself in many ways. Fear of difference is a natural human tendency. The cure is education and exposure. I think Obama is sincere and he can do some good.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  221. helen beck

    To add more fuel to the fire:
    1. what about the police report which apparently has in it "two black guys"?
    2. how does this relate to Judge Sotomayar comment re "Latina women, . . . " ? That is, why is the white man who probably does not have the emotional experience of being racially profiled, teaching about racial profiling in the policing profession?
    3. Is this actually a deeper "teaching moment" ? Does anyone think that what the white police officer is teaching, may be better taught by a Latina women?

    July 30, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  222. richie

    I think our largest problem in the country is class separation.....there are race problems with black ,white and Hispanics ........if we all consider each other, this would not be a problem.....let's talk about it yes...but most of all let's talk to ourselves first...

    July 30, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  223. Hey from CA

    Race dilemas will never be a thing of the past in this country if every time there is a two person confrontation it is labeled discrimination or racism. Sometimes it is just that–an unfortunate set of circumstances between two people; nothing to do with the color of the skin. It is all based on how me choose to view the situation. Racism does occur, but we should not generalize every single individual event as such.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  224. roy santin

    I think President Obama spoke quite correctly, appropriately to the situation- and I think Most people would Agree if they weren't goaded by the media into trying to find humour in Obama's statement- the policeman did act stupidly- and the cop's offering to have a drink to ease the conflict, is his gesture to apologise- Obama playing Host is a gesture to both, the honour of a White House Invitation in exchange for the hope of settling the dispute like gentlemen- the only mistep of Obama's may have been to get involved in the first place- The president can't get involved in every 'minor' dispute arround the country, but a black university professor being charged for breaking into his own house- well that perhaps did warrant some presidential attention, 'cause if that is an everyday occurence, then things are much worse then everyone is letting on- and it does need presidential attention, the only feet i see in one's own mouth are those of the media, and unfortunately that is an hourly occurence in north america- if not universal, thanks tony you are exceptional- you always do a great job!

    July 30, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  225. Gilberto Cintron

    Race is an issue that just will not go away. While slavery has been abolished, many think that things are equal when any person of color knows better.

    How would whites be today, psychologically, if they had been murdered, brutalized, victimized, and raped for over 500 years?

    Racism is so ingrained into the American White man's psyche that when frustrated many whites, even those that do not consider themselves racist, will resort to referring to African American and Latinos as "porch monkeys", "jungle bunnies", "spics" or "wetbacks".

    I guess that red, white and Papst Blue Ribbon rules.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  226. Elva

    Regarding the police officer's comments about the "banana eating jungle monkey" what gets me is the continuing use of an "apology" that is often used by politicians, police officers, etc. after they have told their truth, which is often offensive and tthen they use a "my bad" and think that all should be forgiven/forgotten.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  227. Mary E. Nailor

    Pls overlook grammar, sentence structure, etc.

    This is submitted just as a FYI opinion of this American.

    However, to *coin a phrase* (within the comments below) is ok by me to let other Americans know why I think "Stupidly" was alright because first:

    The question NEVER should had been ALLOWED to be asked during this "Health" issue message by The President.

    Remember, pls overlook grammatically, sentence structure...
    Personal encounter of "Racial Profiling" involving my late husband and friend at end of comments on Gates vs Crowley issue.

    MR. PRESIDENT: STAND YOUR GROUND

    Gates vs Crowley: It is the MIND PROCESS that is important.

    If Professor Gates were white (not even a professor), or a Dick Chaney or Rush Limbaugh, (hypothetical: that Crowley did not know who Chaney or Limbaugh were), it would NEVER have ENTERED Crowley's mind to ask them for ID (especially after the (white) owner would tell Crowley the reason it looked like a breakin of the home).

    Nonetheless, if he, Crowley, had asked for ID from the above home owner, and the above were (Chaney or Limbaugh) felt (maybe as Professor Gates did) INSULTED by the request and began verbally ranting and raving, Crowley would have probably chalked it up to an "Oh Well" and proceeded to leave and perhaps say to the other officer that was there something like..."Well, excuse us for trying to do our job" or something like, "he's having one hell of a day, huh".

    However, Professor Gates was not white.

    MIND process (by many white police) ...PROVE who you are, MIND PROCESS by Crowley: I don't care who the hell you are and that you live in this prestigious neighborhood, I am a Cop, I have power, I am in control here; and let's see, what regulation governs verbal bad behavior...MIND PROCESS by Crowley: You don't belong in this neighborhood anyway. If you'd live where you belong, this would not be happening...

    Stupid is as Stupid does...

    ...and many times people like Crowley get *STUCK on STUPID*.

    Thank you, Mr. President, for calling a spade a spade even though you probably would not look at it like that .

    RACIAL PROFILING IS FACT and ALIVE and STILL being initiated.

    NOTE: In the early 70's my husband and friend were leaving a "white" friends house in an all "white" neighborhood or another side of town on or around 2:00 am.

    They were stopped by white policemen who blantantly asked them "WHATare you two doing in this neighborhood, this time of the morning?

    When they told the policemen why and that the (white) guy was their friend, the policemen laughed and made them get out of the vehicle, took them to the police station, and were openly, after putting them in a locked room, say "WHATdo you think we can get them on". Other things said were "Well, we got some WEED and a GUN we need to put on somebody"....

    My husband, at that time, refused to sign anything until he could contact a lawyer.

    They called me almost a couple of days later. Of course I had been to the police station during this time period to report a missing person (as well as my friend for her husband). No mention of our husband's being locked up.

    Well, when we were contacted by them, my friend and I (to make a long, long story short) ultimately, were told to, and we did, hire a "Jewish" lawyer and the "Jewish" lawyer fees was $1,000, up front.

    We paid $500 each to the lawyer. Our husband's went to/ through the court proceedings and the case was dismissed (as the Judge with a little smirk on his face) stated in the courtroom.

    This type of MIND SET, "catch a N if you can" or today "Racial Profiling" existed and still does.

    We are still supposed to, irregardless of our profession, status in the community, and so on , "stay in our place" , literally in every sense on the word.

    Thank you for your audience.

    PS: Drama/Control/ Crowley's MIND SET – Black man involved: Calling for more Police back up after leaving Professor Gates home and seeing there was no threat of people or circumstance to warrant another flashing vehicle coming to the home.

    Police tape of Crowley and Gates – no loud yelling or noise???

    Lady that called in to report "possible" break-in said NOTHING like what was written in Crowley's police report about the suspects of the break in nor illuded to any race of suspected criminals.

    Crowley is a undercurrent racistist who in his own mind is always right (being white) where Blacks and other minorities are concerned.

    MY OPINION (as shabby as I have written this) is that alone; yet I know you can understand the point I'm trying to make.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  228. Joyce

    First of all, I still hope that Mr. Gates' race was not the reason he was arrested. The officer abviously decided that this gentleman was in his home since he was not arrested for breaking and entering. I am certain that anyone would be upset if questioned about being a thief in thier home.
    I cannot say that Mr. Gates was a victim of racial profiling, though I can understand why he would feel that way. Those who are not African American or Latino do not have person knowledge of how this feels. No matter ho much education one has attained or how much they have accomplished in their lives, people are still judged by their ethinicity.
    Mos importantly, this is a situation that should never had happen no matter the race of the officer or the professor.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  229. Vic Moheno

    The larger lesson that your guest sociologist derives from this incident, may or may not logically arise out of this incident. Without knowing the professor's and the officer's accounts of what took place we are merely speculating.
    To join in the guessing,I would bet that the professor, having just returned from a long trip, and having to break into his own home, did not start by thanking the officer for showing up on his doorstep to investigate the forced entry into the house, no doubt helpfully reported by another citizen. The citizen's expression of gratitude at the outset of an encounter with a police officer protecting one's own property would seem to be an intelligent way to begin the conversation. Just a guess.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  230. army mom

    I'm an Army Mom and I cant belive everyone talking about this this rasism bull crap! talk about our troops! get Real People.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  231. L Jones

    This is just another ploy to keep B H Obama in the news again. He seems to NEED to have his name and face constantly in the public eye
    lest we forget who is ruining this country. It's really ashamed to have a truly racist president in the Whitehouse who is using Officer Crowley to further his own adgenda.

    I believe that the police officer should simply ignore this ploy for Obama to get attention since Mr. Crowley was simply acting as a responsible police officer in responding appropriately to a 911 call.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  232. Bill

    Why do you persist in calling this a "beer summit". You belittle something that is important. He is bringing people who both behaved poorly together to talk about an incredibly important topic and lending his status as President with families to chat. So what is a bottle of beer is served? What is the big deal. The issue here is a chance to bring two important people together to demonstrate that this is an important issue.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  233. edward j hill

    This "Beer Summit" would not be necessary if Gates was half smart, most people have a spare key hidden outside so this doesn't happen.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  234. john

    I was unaware that there is an issue in regards to race in America. The current situation with Sgt. Crowley and Prof. Gates is merely a direct result of the president overstepping his boundaries on words he used on the subject and now he’s back pedaling without apologizing. What isolated incident? A policeman responds to a call about a possible burglary which ends up being the home of the person breaking in. Gates is then arrested for disorderly conduct because the way he is behaving. The person who called in the incident made no mention of race and charges are dropped! Now all we hear are racial profiling undertones being reported by the media. Some advice to certain CNN personalities…..Try to obtain some objectivity in thought along with facts of stories before reporting the news.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  235. Natalie

    I don't think it's a monumental moment for race relations, but it will definitely be monumental for the respected Professor Gates and will be a great learning opportunity for Sgt. Crowley. This "beer summit" is a nice way to put all 3 men upon the same level so they are able to speak as real men, but not as President, Professor, or Sgt. Just because they may be having a beer or two it doesn't mean that our President is on duty under the influence or that he isn't a good role model. You say holy scriptures.>>sober-minded. It also says "be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit" Just because he is having a beer it doesn't mean he is drunk! It is not a sin to drink, but is to get drunk. It's actually healthy to have a beer or glass of wine a day. Now thats a good example for a new national health plan! Obama is doing a great job and it shows great integrity for these 3 men to get together.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  236. David

    You can't have a one-sided argument, like the two guests would like it to be. Dyson keeps harping against the cop like he planned to arrest a black guy when he knocked on the front door. There are short 50-something men that carry guns!!!! How is it hard for them to believe that Gates overreacted?!? I agree with Watkins that the officer that called Gates a "jungle monkey" should be fired, but his excuses were weak. "Engaging in an unintelligent way to express his frustration" and "calling him a name" as reasons for the firing...isn't that EXACTLY what Gates did?!? Should Gates be fired from Harvard also?!? How about you just don't engage that kind of talk, especially when you have power over people?!?

    You can't go into a race discussion with a chip on your shoulder. You have to keep an open mind to follow where the facts lead. A lot of blacks do not want to do that. They want a one-sided argument. Until they agree to have a collective discussion, there will be no meaningful discussions on race relations.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  237. James

    This incident is getting play because of the personalities involved – if people r asked virtually every blackmale would have a story to tell – because it happens everyday. They have attitudes when they stop us. I know there are good ones out there but let's deal with the 'fools' out there giving the 'good ones' a bad rep.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  238. jose

    What am I willing to give up for the health insurance reform?
    I am willing to give up a little of my money in the form of more
    taxes in the the purchase of guns and amminition to assist fund this reform.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  239. David Tothill

    To Curtis,
    Gate's words provoked the police officer because it was those words that constituted the crime. Duh! Also, you blame the cop. Well, Gates was supposedly an instructor on how to avoid confrontations. Gates failed miserably!

    July 30, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  240. Martin in Shoreline, WA

    Professor Michael Dyson is just another black supremacist. He thinks black people deserve special treatment. He thinks blacks should be able to get up in the face of a police officer with impunity. He thinks black people should get a free ride, and free money. He thinks innocent white people living today, should pay for the sins of history and dead people. Why doesn't he talk about suing the Africans who sold his ancestors into slavery? They are every bit as guilty as the white slavers who bought them. He is a racist, who ignores the white blood in his veins because he hates white people.

    White people cannot get "uppity" with police either. When a white person does, they risk a Rodney King-style beatdown just like black people. The perception that this is not the case, is caused by the media refusing to air stories about white people being murdered by police. Dyson knows this, yet maintains that it is not true in public. It is a common for beatdowns to happen to whites as well. However, white people tend to comply with police orders, like leaving New Orleans in the face of a hurricane. Gates would not have been arrested, if he had not acted in the manner that he did. Nor would so many black people have died, if they had also followed police orders. Racism has nothing to do with it, except in isolated cases.

    Why does this kind of thing happen to black people disproportionately? Because they are belligerent with police disproportionately. They commit crimes disproportionately. Anyone who thinks all things should break down according to demographic proportionality, is an abject moron. Either that, or a bold-faced liar.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  241. Carl

    This suds summit with the police officer and the professor and of course Mr. President Obama, will be an clearing of understanding of what went wrong. Mr Obama will find out what went wrong and he will try to correct the wrong and make it right between the two gentlemen. Also, Mr Obama is powerful enough to squelch any racism in this country and make it right. He is just exactly the right person to cure this sickness of racism. I'm afraid he can't do it alone, but he certainly can try and I'm sure he will have a enormous success with whatever he tries to do. Mr. Obama is our man and if he can't do it, nobody can! I believe the President has the last word in this country or his decision is the final one that we must live with.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  242. AFR

    Let's be honest. This beer summit is all about "damage control" by the president. He revealed his racist attitude by making the comments he made (without full knowledge of the facts). He actually racially profiled white policement all across the nation.

    The president poured fuel on a fire that may well have been burning out. Everyone hoped that he truly was going to be the post-race president. Unfortunately, he's not that man. No one should be fooled by his attempts to cover up his slip. Remember, he's a professional politician (nothing more; nothing less).

    What a shame that the man we elected as president is a racist.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  243. Roni

    I think this gesture by our president to foster dialogue with those we are in conflict with is a good idea. In researching this situation, it is my conclusion that both individuals overreacted. Now their choice to do discuss it over beer is not the big deal that some are making it out to be. Drinking on the job? Unlike our jobs, the President's job is 24-7. He lives at his place of employment. If he wants to provide a relaxed environment for open dialogue, and it's proves to be effective, then what's the problem. Additionally, claiming to be religious does not mean that one can't drink a beer, it's drunkeness that 's the problem. Sober minded is not drunk. Now if they're in there intoxicated by the end of the meeting, then that's a problem. However, i commend all of their efforts to do this. Hopefully, it will be a mature, open, honest, and effective dialogue. One many of us need to have with those we have conflicts with.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  244. Zing K.

    The race issue will not just go away on it's own. We are in the year 2009, in the United States of America and it is clear as day that problems still exist. In the 80's and early 90's there was a significant push to achieve racial harmony in the nation. For the last decade however, it has been something that we do not talk about, a taboo that we sweep under the rug as soon as possible.

    It is ridiculous to think that a single meeting, over beer, will cure any racial divide but at least we are finally talking about it.

    I think the president is doing the right thing at this point.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  245. Vic

    President Obama should also have invited the lady who made the 911 call to the White House. She could be the poster-lady for neighborhood watch in America.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  246. Terry

    What needs to be investigated is the fact Lucia Whalen never mentioned race, yet the police report does. The mere fact you have an Officer Justin Barrett with "banana-eating jungle monkey" comments clearly shows there are "a few" in law enforcement that should not be there.

    As an African American male who has been racially profiled time and again, I've learned how to navigate through the ignorance. However, my Asian wife struggles to find the patience for this injustice having never been previously exposed to this intolerance.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  247. Hiram

    What happened with professor Gates is that he made the mistake of talking back to the policeman. The policeman's answer is arresting the proffessor, simply put abuse of police power, it happens all too often. Once the policeman determined that the professor lived there he should have stepped back and defused the situation.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  248. Allena from WA

    The point of president Obama, Gates, and Crowley having a beer together isn't to 'end racism'. President Obama knows one meeting over beer isn't going to solve that. I don't believe it's to 'take his foot out of his mouth' either. (In my opinion, it was never in his mouth.) I believe ONE point of having this 'summit', is to calm all the way too easily offended down. It WAS stupid, and that comment WASN'T racist. I believe Obama is doing a very brilliantly unique job of bringing major light to a MAJOR problem in this country. One that many people seem to think doesn't exist anymore.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  249. John Hollowell

    As a former Police Officer and Criminal Justice major , it is quite sad that most in this country still believe that we don't target minorties and apply the letter of the law rather the spirit of the law.
    Only one who is blind would believe that this officerdidn't over react. We have an old saying, "you might beat thwe rap, but not the ride".
    As for the union standing up and demanding an apology from the President, this was just another joke, because we know that they have to close rank, that's the one thing that gives officers power.An, most officer don't even belong to the union.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  250. Shannon

    Tony, how can this situation improve race relations, when you have another cop calling Prof. Gates a "jungle monkey", a woman who some labeled as a racist because she called the cops then later we found out according to the written report by the egotistical cop (because we supported his story then later found out he lied and refused to apologize), she never mentioned race in her discussion with the 911 operator. When will the media make this cop who refused to apologize culpable for his erroneous actions in his written report? Most police lie in their report, this is another teachable moment for us all.

    In addition, you have white America always judging Obama by the color of his skin everytime things go wrong when in reality this man is neither black nor white. When will Americans stop labeling interracial children as one color? I wish this would stop so they too will stop identifying themselves as one race versus another. I do NOT consider my past, present or future relatives who are of mixed heritage to be of one race, it is a little disrespect to the other half of their heritage and I wish those who are of mixed heritage, as well as the rest of America and some people in the world who accepts the label that America places on these individuals as the word, the book and the bible, I wish they would stop sticking a label to everything and everyone, this is why race relations will take a worm-like movement to change in this country. Drinking a beer does not solve a problem, people in the spotlight do not get an opportunity to drink beer and say I am sorry every day in America – so give me a break on this one.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  251. Milly

    The press has labeled this a "beer summit" not the President. What the President has to learn to do is not to share so much information with the press as everything he says gets turned around.

    And to Mr. Randall Williams, who points out that President Obama is religious and is having a beer and how do we explain that to our children – YOU DON'T!!! Children don't have to know everything but if you must explain it to them, then tell them it is the same way priests drink wine and distribute it in church with the Holy Eucharist. And if they don't still don't understand tell how religious men like priest molest young boys (very religious right) Maybe that will help.

    So what if he has a beer to relax and discuss the non-going-away issue of race. If you think of all the issues he has to deal with I am surprised he doesn't have more than just a beer.

    Oh and by the way, Glenn Beck is an idiot. First, he says that Mr. Obama "hates white people" and then his next sentence is "I am not saying he doesn't like white people – well? which one is it...

    Let's remember that President Obama was raised by his white mother and white grandparents.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  252. Claudia Payne

    If they don't let go off the "beer Summit". I heard the big uproar that his choice of beverage is causing and you all need to GROW UP and LET IT GO. The funniest comment to me was "it sends the wrong message to the kids". This is a grown man, and with all of the american citizens negative comments maybe he needs one. And as far as children go it's your job to raise and teach your children right from wrong. My God people, He's the president of the United States not you child's father or you preist. He's human and is far from perfect.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  253. Andre Clarke

    It is my hope that President Obama's meeting will help others to talk about how the two sides in America (Black & White) feel about each other.

    I have experienced being profiled. I believe that the arresting officer could have handled the situation differently. He did not have to call for backup. I firmly believe that had the Professor been a caucasion male about his age it would NOT have ended the way it did.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  254. Ronald Baker

    Tony. I have not owned an American-made care since my first 2 (1973 Plymouth Duster & 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass). I recently had recall work done on my 2004 Mazda RX-8 & the service rep. mentioned that American automakers were going out of business because "we buy foreign cars". I told him that the fact that Mazda was honoring a recall that is 5 years old is the very reason for purchasing foreign cars. U.S. Automakers have screwed us for generations with poorly designed & performing cars & trucks & when we complain & try to get them repaired or replaced as "lemons", they wait us out and fight tooth & nail. Well, the foreign automakers, to their credit, have addressed our issues as if they really want out business & loyalty and that makes American companies look greedy, selfish & uncaring. On top of that, 70% of the guts of American-made autos have been foreign-made for decades. There hasn't been an American car made totally in America for generations. Let's stop the whining. Make a car that works, that's energy efficient, that we can afFORD, and has value after 3 years and we'll consider buying it.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  255. lorraine lorraine

    mr gates acted out of frustration.I quess he couldnt beleive this was
    happening to him.I know he was tired from taveling and this is the last thing he expected lets try to consider how he felt

    July 30, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  256. Aretha

    If Prof. Watkins is right that the relationship between white police and African Americans is a marriage, it is all too often an abusive marriage. Society does not ask an abusive husband to sit down and "communicate" with her unreformed abuser over a beer yet the brave and honorable President Obama has been forced to do just that. It speaks volumes about the imbalance of power between white people and people of color that Crowley arrested an African American man for what he claims was unthreatening protest over having his home invaded by police and ends up being invited to do what luminaries and world leaders the world over can only dream of doing-having a beer with the first African American president of the United States.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  257. Tony from Baltimore, MD

    This meeting will satisfy the public outrage regarding this event, and all of the commentary will be said afterwards. But to improve race relations in America, we need to start in our homes. You see, all of the generations (Black and White) involved in slavery are DIED. The only way that the divide continues to exist is that the response is being taught and moved forward. At home, you teach your child how to act, think, and do. When will we start teaching the truth about race - "that all men are created equal....."

    July 30, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  258. Alicia Rojas

    I believe that Sgt. Crowley should be fired and used as an example , and I guarantee that this type of behavior will be diminished. Officers will then think before making such important decisions. Many officers think they are above the law, instead of being the bigger person. The officer needs to go back and take some additional classes in dealing in this type of case and then again being a sergeant I'm sure he has taken many of such classes.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  259. Darryl Pugh

    Tony,
    In 1962, I made civil rights history when I became the very first African American child to integrate the Baltimore County school system. I guess you could say that I was that little black boy that Dr. King dreamed about. I discovered at an early age that the #1 thing we need to do to improve race relations is to get to know each other better. But first we need to improve the images black people in the media. Racism is more about fear and mistrust than it is about skin color. Most of my white friends would spend hours in the sun trying to get dark like me only to end up getting burned:-) That's why I created the new social networking site called MyPeopleTV.com Its a place where people get to see and hear a different side of black and brown America. Check it out!

    July 30, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  260. mira simic

    Hi, Tony, you are a sweetheart. The teachable moment of this get togather is for the president to show how conflict and anger management should be done by all of us. This is hardly about the race. It is about showing respect and restrain and knowing your rights. Can you display on your blog what the laws of conduct are in this kind of cases? In the meantime I will obey, from fear that they will put me in jail. Thank you, Tony, keep the good work. Mira (68 years old, white)

    July 30, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  261. Dennis

    Tony,
    It's high time that police departments weed out those "Archie Bunker," "G.I. Joe" cops (be they white, black, hispanic, etc.). There are plenty of young men who have graduated from legitimate colleges of police enforcement but apparently do not have enough "redneckness" to be granted a position on those so called "elite" forces. Perhaps, the many problems we are encountering have their origins in the so called " humanistic, upper echelon" of our police departments. Maybe we need to start our weeding at the top, for they are doing the hiring. Thanks.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  262. Michael Martin

    if you refuse a reasonable request of an officer to produce ID you are subject to arrest. period. That is the law in black and white.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  263. Barry

    The only thing this shows is that you can play the race card and get away with anything. People we need to stop focusing on race. I am a person not a race and above all an American. Isn't focusing on someones race racism. We need to get past the color of a persons skin and focus our attendention on more important things. I don't look at myself as an Native American(or American Indian which you prefer to call me, since race is so important) I am a American. The key factor in this whole ordeal is that Dr. Gates ran this mouth at a Police Officer and he got arrested. Thats the one fact everyone who seems to forget. If the Police show up at your door and you run your mouth at him/her you are going to jail, and doesn't matter if your black, white, green, purple or blue. If anyone is being discriminated against in this situation it is the white Cop.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  264. Rasool

    The beer blast wont solve anything. They need to add some weed with that beer. After this health care bill is finished, the next bill needs to be finding a homeland for the 35 million black people who are not wanted here in the USA. READ EXODUS: When a people have been enslaved...they can no longer live among their captors. How can they be free if they are not governing for themshelves.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  265. Carole Renick

    This meeting could be a success if both men would admit to letting their egos override their intelligence.

    You can label this a race issue, but at the bottom of it all was both their need to be right, which is a human problem, not one defined by color. They both acted "stupidly" and should apologize to all of us for all the uproar THEY both created. .

    July 30, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  266. Majida Kinnard King

    In reference to the incident involving Prof. Gates and Sergeant Crowley – Yes the "beer summit" is a beginning and I applaud the President for bringing Prof. Gates and the Sergeant together.

    It sounds like a Talking Circle could develop from this "beer summit". A Talking Circle is peace making tradition that is used among Indigenous people (and others) to repair harm, resolve conflict and most of all to bring harmony between people.

    I was trained as one of the facilitators of the Talking Circles that was a part of the RACE EXHIBIT that is touring museums around the country right now. It was developed and began it's tour at the St. Paul, MN Science Museum. The RACE EXHIBIT is an excellent educational and scientific look at race and the impact it has had in this country.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  267. Kohmee Bakari Parrett

    While race relations ARE indeed still a serious problem in the United States, race was not really a factor in the arrest of Professor Gates. The most significant issue at hand is abuse of power by law enforcement. the attitude that civic authority trumps citizenship is pretty common to law enforcement agencies nationwide, esp. in urban areas. Police officers are servants of the public trust. Too often I have personally witnessed attitudes of entitlement and even superiority from public servants, including law enforcement, government office functionaries AND elected officials. Don't government employees work for and aren't they servants of tax paying, law abiding citizens? A police officer's authority should be tempered by the commitment FIRST to SERVE. To understand a situation before attempting to control it.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  268. doncolecartoons

    The professor, the police officer, and Obama

    This is a no-brainer. The professor was clearly way out of line, and the police officer was doing his job. It is as simple as that.

    Put yourself in the same situation: You have locked yourself out of your house, and you and another person are trying to break into the front door. A neighbor sees this and calls 911 to report a suspected burglery in progress. After you have entered your home, the police arrive. Would you not be a bit embarrassed to have caused a stir, and be only ready and willing to apologize and quickly answer questions in order to straighten out the problem? Wouldn't you be thankful that your house and interests are being protected from intruders?

    Now, put yourself in the shoes of the police officer, who is well trained to handle these situations.
    He arrives on the scene, where supposedly two men have broken into the house, and are still inside, and that there is a good chance that foul play is going on inside. The police enter the house and confront the person inside, who they find is unruly, confrontational, abusive, and uncooperative, –and most importantly, hindering the police from doing their job.
    Now, what are the police to think? Who is this man? Will he pull a gun? Where is the other man? Is the other man still in the process of escaping from the house, or is he lurking somewhere in the corners? Is the first man stalling and buying time, by his uncooperation and wild rantings? How are the police to correctly size up this situation? Must they be shot first?

    Due to this professor's wild rantings, false accusations, disrespect, reluctance to cooperate, and hinderance to the investigation, –without rational cause or reason, –than; this was indeed due cause for his arrest. It has nothing to do with race. –dc

    July 30, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  269. Carl

    Randall,
    If Bible tells us to be sober minded why then did Jesus turn water into wine for a group of people?

    July 30, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  270. George Miller

    Hello, My name is George and I am really tired of everyone saying that this is a one sided race relation problem. It seams that everyone is saying that it is whites being raciest against the colored. But I had to quit a really good paying job over the fact that my work was mainly in the predominantly colored neighborhood. Not take I cared about working there, it’s the fact that I was shoot at over a dozen times over a six month time span and the Philadelphia police said that there was nothing that they could do, they asked me if I wanted them to arrest everyone of was around there at the time. The closest bullet hole was five inches behind me head and I even found must of the spent bullets that wee inside of my van yet the police refused to do anything, they would not even fill out a report on any of them. And its just not that I would be walking down the street with my tools in my arms and I would be getting spit on buy people and if or when I would turn around to see who or to ask them why they would say “and what are you looking at cr-ker or and what are you going to do about it mo-her f—k-er”. Now just because I am white does not give these people the right to treat white people this way because they know that if a white person says anything about it we are considered a raciest

    July 30, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  271. Charles

    The people that need the most help in race relations will not be
    there. The good old boys are getting up there in age and will not be
    around much longer. Hopefully the young generation will bring about
    a change. And that includes all races because if you perform the
    same acts that you condemn the other person for you are no different
    then them.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  272. D

    The fact remains race is an issue regardless of beer. I am a white police officer, veteran of 9years as a patrol officer and a United States Army veteran. What I have seen in my career is a type of reverse discrimination. I have seen all races working as police officers who are discriminated against by their own races. They are often called a traitor by their own race for arresting the minority race or for supporting white officer’s enforcement actions. As a white officer I have never had a white constituent ever call me racist; however, I have been repeatedly called a racist over my career by all other races during my law enforcement actions. They broke the law and I did my job regardless of race. My racial profiling stats actually reveal I arrest mostly white violators.

    Let’s look at where the local agencies learned how to profile. Federal law enforcement agencies taught law enforcement racial profiling to aid in detection of drug transporters. Statistics supports, at one point, most drug transporters were black and Hispanic in race. This resulted in law enforcement unfairly targeting these races while white drug transporters were slipping by law enforcement. The fact remains it happened; however, I have never had a white serial killer complain they were targeted unjustly because they were profiled by race. The fact is statistics revealed most serial killers are white males. We have a hard job and calling us names or stating we act stupidly only makes the situation worse. I don’t know the facts of the case because I was not there so I will refrain from siding with either of them. The President should have done the same, friend or a fellow officer; it was the right thing to do. I think the President needs to apologize for his actions.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  273. Carl

    When will someone demand that Gates step up like a man and apoligize for his petulant , confrontational and abusive behavior toward a police officer just doing his job. I would agree wholeheartedly that there is profiling across the country. But trying to make this into an example of it is just plain wrong. Gates got into trouble , not because he was black but because he acted like a jerk when asked for his identification. Why is this the policeman's fault. Should the police officer back away because a black man might make an issue of it. Heck no. Equal justice for all -black or white , Harvard professor or man in the street. If a white college professor got in the face of a black or white police officer he would be hauled off too. It is not profiling when the same result would have happened to a black or white person. Mr. Gates was not arrested for being an uppity black man–just for being an uppity jerk –period.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  274. Bryant

    Tony, I think having a beer is great, I drink Icehouse myself.
    And as far as Michael Jackson, Janice Joplin and Jimi Hendrix died from drug overdoses and they didn't get this much press.
    Face it Michael Jackson was a drug addict, and I'm sick of hearing about it.
    Bryant from Tennessee

    July 30, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  275. JUDY

    I believe it is possible for this to have an impact on race relations if the media presents the outcome accurately.

    Phoenix, AZ

    July 30, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  276. Yolanda

    Don,
    I think that it is great that the President isdoing a great thing!
    However, Don I believe that the officer that made those racist remarks online that stated that he has black friends-lets interview those blacks friends to see how the feel about their so called friend calling another black a jungle monkey--we know what those words mean–yes he has the absolute right to say what he wants-and as a citizens that pays his salary I have the right to call for his job-HE IS A RACIST AND I DONT WANT HIM TO KILL MY SONS-WE PAY HIS SALARY -AND IT IS A FACT THAT IF ANYONE ELSE MADE A RACIST STATEMENT LIKE THAT AT WORK THEY WOULD LOSE THIER JOB-WE ARE NOT STANDING FOR THIS ANYMORE–WE WANT HIS FIRED OR WE WILL START TO ARM OURSELVES BC THEY ARE SHOWING THAT THEY WILL CONTINUE TO ALLOW US TO FEAR FOR OUR LIVES EVEN WHEN THE COPS PULL US OVER-IF THEY WANT TO SEND THAT MESSAGE THAT THIS IS OKAY WE WANT TO SEND A MESSAGE THAT THE POLICE WILL BE THE ENEMY-–COME PEOPLE EVERY TIME SOMEONE SAYS THATTHEY HAVE BLACK FRIENDS IS A RACIST-IF HE THOUGHT PROF. GATES WAS STUPID THAN SAY THAT NOT A RACIST COMMENT –THIS CAME FROM THE POLICE THE ONES THAT WE PAY TO SERVE A PROTECT–WE HAD A WATCH PARTY AND WILL BE FOLLOWING THIS CASE CLOSELY--I dont want to pay for a racist pig pention-this is no longer slavery--

    July 30, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  277. doncolecartoons

    It would improve race relations if Prof. Gates would admit his mistake.
    Sgt. Crowley should not back down; if he was just doing his job.

    However, this is a good opportunity to explain why the police must follow procedures, and the good reasons why these procedures exist.

    We should be moving forward, not dwelling in the past. Creating racial issues in every situation, where none exists is not putting our country first. –Donald Cole, Dover NJ

    July 30, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  278. Linda

    I think the gathering is a good idea, and will probably calm some folks down. Then, maybe there can be some productive discussions come out of this meeting about the reality of culture clash in America – not just Black/White.

    One question – The lady that made the 911 call reported that there were TWO LARGE MEN that entered the house. There was only ONE. The officer stated that the reason he wanted the prof. out of the house was because he thought there were two men in the house. He thought they were still in there, and that the prof. might not be safe in the house. Why is no one upset because the caller made this error?? This is what caused (according to the officer) the problem!!!

    July 30, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  279. Montrell

    Ok Don Cole, then explain why the charges were dropped...

    Due to this professor’s wild rantings, false accusations, disrespect, reluctance to cooperate, and hinderance to the investigation, –without rational cause or reason, –than; this was indeed due cause for his arrest. It has nothing to do with race. –dc

    July 30, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  280. Jill

    I don't think this meeing will change things. I mean, I'm appalled to admit this: but despite the fact that I "claim" to not be racist, my immediate reaction was to side with the police in this case – assuming that Professor Gates had probably acted in an uncivilized manner! Can you believe it? And this was before I'd heard all the facts!

    However, my personal daily experience has shaped my views in ways that I am mortified to admit. I've become more fearful of black men than I am of white men. It's my personal daily experience in my own neighborhood, that if I pass a black man on my street, 9 times out of ten he will vocally comment on my body parts, follow me on foot or in his vehicle asking several times for my phone number, blatantly ask me for intimate "favors" and involvement. As a woman, this isn't just aggravating, it's threatening and scary. And I've grown to expect it. And I don't get WHY it's only the black men in my neighborhood who do this.

    As it happens, the white men in my neighborhood have never followed me or tried to pressure me out on the street into getting physical (not once). Because this is so skewed (and a daily thing) I've developed a fear that when I encounter a black man on the street, I need to be on guard, because there's a high probability (proven out by actual experiences) that he's going to be rude to me, intrusive and predatory. I know this is terrible, and I know that it can't be BECAUSE of race accross the board. But it's my daily experience. And makes me both sad AND angry (and defensive/fearful). And I can't figure out WHY it's only the black men in my neighboorhood, and not the rest of the men. Why? Also, I admit that this makes me fearful of black men wherever I am, out in the world. I try to rationally reason it out, but it's become a gut-level defense/fear thing, wherever I am. By association.

    Anyway, my personal feeling is that – for me, at least – a meeting tonight at the White House is probably not going to change my daily experience (that trains me to be defensive and fearful on one particular race, moreso than others in my neighborhood) when I walk outside my front door tomorrow morning. This sounds terrible, I know. It IS terrible. I don't know what to do about this.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  281. Ineh Dunbar

    President Obama succumbed to an apology too quickly. His first instinct was right. The beer side of the equation is not going to solve anything. Police Sgt Crowley's alibi that he was attemtptint to protect Prof. Gates is proven to be false by the tape because the caller did not mention there were two black guys attempting to break into a house. It is a preconceived notion of Sgt. Crowley that the break in must be blacks. When Sgt. Crowley therefore saw Prof. Gates, he concluded his suspicion was right. Prof. Gates was right, that Sgt. Crowley was high-handed because he is black. The tape and the caller have proved that. President Obama, and Prof. Gates should confront Sgt. Crowley and all his supporterss with that aspect of the tape, and let them appologize to the black community and Prof. Gates.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  282. Karen Raiford

    Tony,
    As long as you keep having such biased guests as Boyce Watkins, race relations will get much worse not better. His comment that the police officer that called professor Gates a jungle monkey should be fired, because and I quote "this was an unintelligent way to express his frustration" brought out in me a desire to scream at the television screen. I have been asking for a week, HOW can an intelligent Harvard professor resort to this kind of offensive street slang by making the "yeah I'll speak with your mama outside" comment to a police officer and yet expect America to have "you don't know who your messing with" respect for him!!!!!! There is but one racist in this situation, Professor Gates!!!
    As for the "jungle monkey" comment made by another officer this comment is racist and goes back to my point, when a good officer is called a racist, only because he is white and the disrespectful professor is black, Sgt. Crowley (known for his good record in race relations) being called a racist will bring out "he did not deserve that" anger in people who were trying to be understanding of what Being Black In America means.
    Karen R.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  283. Andre

    1- the policeman was not smart enough to realize that the caller was wrong after seeing Mr Gates' ID and just leave him alone.
    2- Does the law allow police to arrest the owner of the house for "disorderly conduct" when it happens inside the house and NOT in the public ?

    July 30, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  284. E. Judd

    Tony, thanks for being a good journalist. Beer is not the issue race and a lack of analytical judgment on the part of the police is the real issue. Why was Crowley not capable of respecting the professor and his obvious age speaks volumes about him as a police officer.

    Highly trained competant professional's are trained to rise above citizens' unruly or disfunctional outburst... So the glaring truth is the police officer has personal issues that block his training. Bias judgemental behavior creates negative situations that lack reasonable understanding to normal unbias people.

    E. Judd

    July 30, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  285. Rick

    I'm surprised that the Republicans aren't complaining about the President drinking. Actually I'm suprised that nobody is complaining about the President drink.

    July 30, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  286. Ronald Baker

    As citizens we should appreciate those that work toward the good of the nation as well as the community. But we must not be naive to reality. As a Viet Nam Era Veteran, I was drafted at the request of the U.S. government. I wasn't born in a cabbage patch for soldiers. I met my obligation along with my twin brother Donald who had the same draft number. Police officers are no different from other citizens. They come from cities, towns and neighborhoods as we all do. There are cops that are idealistic about the law and there are cops that have their own agendas just as other citizens have. We all rushed to judgement about this Gates/Crowley incident just as we did with the D.C. Sniper. Black folks just knew the sniper was White and Whites though he was White as well. Surprise!!! Let us learn the importance of hearing both sides. It doesn't hurt to wait a few hours longer for the truth in this time of 24-hour news cycles.

    July 30, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  287. Andy

    A year ago, police pulled me over at 3 am as I returned after dropping friends home. I asked twice, "why did you stop me?", to one officer, right hand on his gun as he stood in the middle of street. His first command to "step out of the car" came in a normal voice. By my third request, he shouted the command and yanked the door open.

    I couldn't stop shaking as they walked me through sobriety tests. Six months earlier, driving home from shopping, another officer pulled me over and asked why I was in the neighborhood. Stunned, I heard him reply to my explanation, that I should consider another route next time. My presence there, even on a major street, seemed "suspicious".

    Sober and upset, I passed the tests. But, once again, six months later, I couldn't believe what I heard. "Give me permission to search your car." I had walked from his partner on the curb toward the driver door where he stood. Standing at the trunk, the officer by the door, I said, "you have no reason, I'm going home."

    He flushed red. "You will cooperate. Give me permission." I took a step forward, his hand went to his cuffs. "Cooperate or this will be one bad night." I wanted to demand a reason, didn't I deserve a cause, an explanation. But, alone with two officers, no other cars on the street, angry as I was, I was afraid what could happen next.

    Walking back to his partner, I saw the officer at the car dump my change container on the floor. The partner talked to me this time. He was apologetic as my CDs in the center console were thrown to the back seat. I hadn't braked when I turned the corner a block back, he said. No speeding, nothing dangerous about my driving, no laws broken, but the turn seemed unusual.

    A few minutes later, a call came over the radio. The first officer stopped tossing items from my trunk to the street, they both jogged to their car and were gone.

    Encounters like these do not help the police. Power exercised cannot seem capricious.

    I'm white. The officers at 3 am were both white. The officer on my drive home was Hispanic. If I wasn't white, the history of police relations would color these events.

    Being white, I have to rationalize the behavior as that of poorly trained police, of a person not fit for the job, of a person on a bad day. I don't have to excuse it.

    If I were black, it would be hard not to see something more sinister.

    July 30, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  288. Victoria Nikolov

    Be truthful for a change. I heard the 911 call, I heard the recording of the race bait behavior by Prof. Gates. The only race that was brought up was by Professor Gates and Barack Obama. So you tell me who the racists really are. People who carry so much baggage that was knocked into them by every liberal race , who had to keep the races at odds, will never believe that every white isn't out to get them "Just Because They're Black"

    The lesson that should be learned here is when an officer confronts you, just do what they say. Gates is an ungrateful racist and I don't think any policeman should go to his defense My mother taught me to be respectful of all authority. As a white person, if I behaved badly toward a policeman, unless I was friends with the president, I would be in jail. (as I should be)

    Young people got President Obama's message loud and clear. Police are profilers (which they weren't) and it's OK to be disrespectful, because even if profiling didn't happen, it might have. Race relations can't be fixed when whites bend over backwards not to use race, and blacks say it happened anyway. Hostility in the black community was mostly perpetuated by the racial racketeer.

    July 30, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  289. Michael Roepke - Dallas

    Tony
    The one thing that could come out of this meeting won't.
    We live in a culture where we all profess at the top of our lungs that we are not racist (Some of my best friends are...) while the reality is that we can not grow up in this country without some biases, prejudice or a touch of racism. This is true of black, white and Hispanic Americans.
    What should come out of this meeting is the importance of anyone with power over another to admit to this bias so as to guard against it.

    July 30, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  290. Charlie Erickson

    Will it help? Too complex with too many variables. Let's wait and see.

    Charlie.

    July 30, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  291. John

    I have never comment publicly on news before. However, I felt the need to do so now. After seeing all the commentary about this story and after reading the arrest report my convictions about Professor Gates are confirmed. This is a clear case of reverse discrimation and of someone instead of just answering police questions and providing information took this opportunity to project his core beliefs that all police matters dealing with the negro population are biest. I hope he is not teaching from time to time his persaonl beliefs at tax payers expense. Regarding President Obama getting involved, I think is unpresidentlal. I voted for President Obama and believe in him bringing the country and the world together, However, I know he likes to act like one of the guys, but this is stepping over the line. I am getting fed up with all the retoric about how the black people are suffering in this country. Al Sharpton any many other so called black leaders take every incident that happens and make a political football out of it for there own gratification and means. It is disgusting. Wheather you agree with it or not, people should think of the true reasons why people are offended by negro's. Possible because of certain misconceptions. I'll give you one personal thing I have found in my life time. I grew up with a movie I loved "Song of the South' a Disney movie. When I went to buy it on a DVD I was told that the NAACP put so much pressure on Disney, they won't release it. when I was a child I never thought anything discriminatory or racial about Uncle Reemis, Brey Fox, Brey Rabbit etc. This thing about making everything that is wonderful and loving into something that this flick never projected and Whites as well as Negros loved this movie.All this stuff is getting out of hand. One last thought about President Obama, from this last move about getting involved with this preduist Professor Gates, makes me think twice that he is not really for all the people completely of this great country where with effort and fortitude a poor man can get rich in spirit and wealth and rich man can get poor in spirit an wealth and do it over and over in their lifetime without blaming thier lot in life on others. If everyboy has a bundle on the floor, they should pick up thier own bundle and live in peace and harmony with the rest of humanity. Sincerely, JQ Citizen

    July 30, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  292. Karen Toran

    I think the gesture is good for the Country. It appears that Sgt. Crowley, in hindsight, realize he did have a predisposition about that 911 call. His written report of the offense clearly states that he had been told that 2 black men with backpacks had been therefore this is what he was radaring in on. I wonder who told him that information because the release of the call does not indicate such nor did the news conference from the caller.

    July 30, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  293. Charlotte Araki

    It sure can't hurt. Better then letting it fester. If more of us handled problems by talking through them it would be a better world. Kudos to Pres. Obama.

    July 30, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  294. Ben

    I'm a black male. This was not racial profiling. Professor Gates was being disrepectful to the policeman. He didn't want to cooperate and was arguing back with him and didn't show his ID until a few minutes later. The police are supposed to ask for someone's ID as proof of who the person is. He was doing his job.

    July 30, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  295. Raymond Larimore

    If this had happened to a white man what race card could he have "stupidly" pulled?

    July 30, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  296. DeeDee

    I know a beer and a handshake won't solve all problems, but it's a good gesture. Crowley and Gates are good people. Imagine what would have happened if less responsible people were involved.

    July 30, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  297. Larry

    How stupid!! You would think this Professor guy would be happy that someone called the police who thought his house was being broken in to!! He should have THANKED the neighbor and the police officer for doing their jobs and good deeds!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  298. James In Kamiah, Idaho

    Bottom line: Police officers are allowed the privilege to arrest on the assumption that they won’t abuse that privilege. Officer Crowley abused his privilege by taking his frustration and anger and embarassment out on an angry, indignant, and yet innocent man.

    President Obama merely stated an obvious fact that makes most people uncomfortable. The Cambridge police department acted stupidly in arresting a man for being upset about being treated liek a criminal for getting stuck out of his own house, and getting upset about being wrongly accused by a person whose race historically is known for subjugating that man {gates} race, and in particular, those who have law enforcement careers.

    July 30, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  299. James In Kamiah, Idaho

    If that had happened to be a white guy it would have been, as it should have been here, a misuse of police authority and abuse of power card he coudl have "Stupidly" pulled. 😉

    July 30, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  300. James In Kamiah, Idaho

    Ben, the officer deserved no respect after Gates presente dhis ID and the officer continued to treat the professor liek a suspect. Your concern is moot, as is your point.

    July 30, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  301. Margaret B.

    No, the meeting will not improve the negative racial presumptions most African Americans encounter regularly in social, as well as, police contacts. To address only police contacts ignores the pervasive racial milieu. Recently I was the sole African American at a bridal shower( I am a friend of the bride's mom) where everyone was asked to write a poem about the bride and groom and to read them out loud. Most of the poems were hilarious. Afterward, I was approached by a guest who asked me to "entertain" at an upcoming event she was hosting because my poem was funny. . She said I would be paid and could get other dates. I am 72 years old with grey hair and I am a retired attorney and Magistrate. That is a typical example of racial profiling.

    July 30, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  302. richard margle

    Truth is,bad cops cause the death of good cops.

    July 30, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  303. Gerie in San Antonio

    Law enforcement officer ,Sgt.Jim Crow -ley was just doing his job–as his name and title suggest-enforcing JIM CROW LAWS. Professor
    Gates broke several of these oppressive laws-- 1.. never suggest that a white person is from an inferior class 2.Never lay claim to, or overly demonstrate, superior knowledge or intelligence.(see author,Stetson Kennedy's JIM CROW GUIDE ) How dare Professor Gates ask to see Jim Crow-ley"s badge and say," You don't know who you're messing with" ?. How dare this uppity African American suggest that he has the power to reprimand a white man .This is why Sgt. Jim Crow-ley can be heard on the tape telling the dispatcher to "keep the cars coming". for the uncooperative,yet, proven resident of the house..This is clearly a case of both racial profiling and good policing.according to the Jim Crow era.
    The police officer is in need of additional instruction before he teaches his next class on Racial Profiling. I'm glad that the president is using this as a teacable moment.

    July 30, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  304. Len Malinowski

    Today, a momentus event will occur in our Nation's capital. Our President will sit down and share an adult beverage (A Blue Moon from what I hear) with two of our fellow citizens. One a law officer from Cambridge MA, and the other a black Harvard Professor – who also just happens to be another contraversial character from the President's past. He has referred to this meeting as a "Teaching moment."

    Maybe I'm a little thick, but I am struggling to understand a few things concernin g this "Teaching moment." Who is the teacher? What is the scope of the lesson? Who is/are the student(s)? Actually, teaching moment aside, I can't even imagine what the purpose of this meeting can be other than a public relations event to once again distract from the boondoggle known as "Health care reform."

    Now, I could be wrong, but if I could make an educated guess at what the topic of discussion may be, logic dictates that a formal apology would be in order from the President and his esteemed colleague to the law officer. I will guess that as an accomplished and responsible educator, the professor will probably apologize for acting like a complete and total jerk, and forcing the officers hand in a situation that he had all the power in the world to control. He would add that if he would have just humbled himself from the onset in the face of the law, he could have prevented the situation from escalating. I am sure the apology will end with a toast and a hug. Oh, and this would be a good time for the professor to apolgize for HIS racist comments and hurtful words. Another Blue Moon and another toast...

    The President's apology would be more global, I think, only because he is the President. He would of course ask forgiveness for a simple commentary: "Acted Stupidly." Sounds innocent enough, but in his almighty and infinite wisdom I am sure he realizes that his comment had nothing less than a negative an d far-reaching affect on the American psyche. He would say that he is truly sorry for commenting on an issue he knew nothing about, and subsequently passing judgement on a local police department with the authority of the highest law enforcement office in the land.

    Lastly, his apology would extend to the American people for allowing his own prejudices to cloud his judgement in the matter. He would sincerely ask forgiveness for doing more to perpetuate and strain race relations in this country with his irresponsible comment than any act of perceived racism by a law enforcement officer in the last 20 years. This too would be followed by a toast, a hug, and perhaps a few fist bumps.

    Hell, if all this comes to fruition, I may even toast the President for climbing onboard with the vast majority of thinking, reasoning Americans...

    Semper Fi,
    Semper Fortis,

    Len

    July 30, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  305. Adele

    I feel so proud of our President Borach Obama. When it comes to truth and consequences he shows tenacity. I believe that the misunderstanding between Prof. Gates and the Police officer was about poor judgement. Both persons showed poor judgement! I hope that the men will admit their mistakes , forgive each other, and shake hands and go on knowing that they did their best to be a good example for the rest of us.That we can solve our problems having an intelligent conversation with one another.
    Our President Borach Obama believes in the greatness of our country, He is a peaceful man who allows himself to be vulnerable in disagreements to show his patient strength and his belief in goodness.He is our great President and he IS our friend, too!

    July 30, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  306. Iso

    With the exceptions to the rule, everybody is racist. The yellows are racist, the reds are racist, the whites are racist, the blacks are racist. Outer rules and controls will not change the individual minds. It comes from within. Will the beer summit change anything? No, we are a country of followers. We follow every tweet (gossip) that comes along and deters us from real issues.

    July 30, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  307. Bob Tussey

    Just making a bad situation worse..........
    Obama came off as a racist when he got involved in this.
    Added to what many saw with the Rev Wright video hate for whites.
    Now he has beer call..........give me a break.
    Time to grow up and be president, for all the people and stop this deviding into groups by race income have have not, rich poor middle class.
    I have lost all hope in him as a president for the people.

    July 30, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  308. CLIFF

    Hi Tony,

    I hope this "beer summit" is not your usual patronizing meeting. It's time for some serious dailogue about racial profiling. I've been a black male for some 50 years. As a father of four and an educator, I've always told my kids and students that education is the way to prevent the blatant disrespect that many of us experience. The arrest of Dr Gates, a Harvard professor, at his house, has dealt a major blow to my psyche. What do we say to our black kids?

    July 30, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  309. mr.willims

    I knew the truth would come out about the officer in Boston. I feel very concerned for african americans in the US. reason 1 what type of policy did this officer follow once he was given proper ID by Prof Gates, If it were a white Prof being arrested by a Black officer would the out come or your opinion be different about it being called racism. #2 the media tried to undermind us all by saying things like its ok there is nothing wrong, Prof Gates is elderly but inteligent enough to know the difference between racism and courtesy of a white police officer. The media Owes our President a Huge APOLOGY. THe two offficers that stood behind their fellow officer should be ashamed of themselves no teeling what he has said about them as well as other African Americans.#3 then the email comes out about the officer using Racial slurs, Black America knew it all along its something that weve dealt with since America the Beautiful was built. Thanks in Avance

    July 30, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  310. Miriam from Philly

    What a mess. In our soundbite world, it's amazing how they can be changed by leaving out a few words. I keep hearing "The President said that the Cambridge police acted stupidly." The President said that the police acted stupidly BY HANDCUFFING AND ARRESTING A MIDDLE AGED MAN WITH A CANE." I haven't heard anyone disagree with that except the Cambridge police department. He never said that Crowley was racist. He said that he didn't know enough to know if it was racist or not. HE condemned the handcuffing and arrest. Colin Powell said that adult supervision should have ended it at that point.

    Why didn't the Black policeman that was there, intervene, since he said that it would have turned out differently if he had gone in first. Why handcuff any unarmed man with a cane when there were at least 3 policemen there?

    Healing takes awhile doesn't it? Now the Boston police officer calls Gates a "Jungle Monkey" 4 times, apparently, in a mass email. Post Racial? Bad habits are hard to break. What a shame.
    thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    July 30, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  311. Bob Hollis

    I think that the President will make a difference with manner in which he is bringing a critical issue to the front of the nation. America has never had a serious approach nor an effective dialogue on Racism in America.
    This has always been a hush-hush subject. It is time that we the American people confront this evil endeavor so that we can become one of the true leaders of humankind.

    July 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  312. Bob Hollis

    I believe the the President along with the matter of Prof Gates,Jr. and Officer Crowley has brought this smoldering problem right to where it should be, that is to the front of the people. We have never had an honest dialogue on race in America. This has always been a hush-hush matter.
    Racism is pervasive, its effects are almost certain to be devastating. Once we overcome this crippling disease of hate, I believe that you will see a prosperous America,an America that will deserve to be called the land of the free.
    Thank you. Bob

    July 30, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  313. Bob Williams

    A police report is a powerful instrument. No police officer should have the right to file a false one. The beer meeting's ok with me if they resolve this issue.

    July 30, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  314. Bob Williams

    Did sgt. Crowlely file a true or false police report? That is an important issue.

    July 30, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  315. Parthenia

    Tony, I think the beer invitation is a friendly move by the President to heal any wounds from the racial controversy explosion that occurred from the incident involving Prof. Henry Louis Gates and Sgt. James Crowley. All three made innocent mistakes: the President used the harsh and inflammatory word "stupidly" to criticize the officer, the officer didn’t walk away after finding out who the Professor was and that he was in his own home, and the Professor didn’t thank the officer for protecting his home from a possible burglary. Nevertheless, their mistakes say much more about each of them being self-respecting, privileged human beings with rights it must be understood that all Americans enjoy and appreciate equally. Forget the beer and think of them admitting their mistakes and being able to do it in a friendly way. The country should also overlook their mistakes. Let's all move on.

    July 30, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  316. houria

    How is this going to affect the Muslim contries that Obama wants to be friend with, when they show the president chugging beer?
    The president should be smarter than that.

    July 30, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  317. Este

    This is shocking!! We have hunger, wars, etc. around us which does not get any coverage and we have to watch how the President spends time entertaining his buddy who was arrogant and disrespectful towards a policy officer doing his duty!!! As the President of UJSA, he should NEVER have gotten involved in the first place, but now made it his business to openly fight for the wrong done...... We are continuing with prejudism because of this kind of behavior!!! Gates feels because he is a black professor he is, therefore, above the law!! Like the black officer Lasley said: He should apologize for HIS behavior..
    This is exactly what will happen now, black people now will abuse this "power" and will call everything racially motivated. How will we know whether it is true? Calling "wolf" is what will happen?
    I feel sick to my stomach as this situation has filled me with racial thoughts when I fight for equality!!!
    Get on with news of the world.... educate the American people about news and not entertainment!!! Why are we even discussing this on the news!!! Everything is made into Hollywood... enough

    July 30, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  318. Carole McArthur

    I could not stop laughing at the absurdity of the meeting. This is what is wrong with the world. Too much testosterone.........

    July 30, 2009 at 7:04 pm |
  319. Steven A. Soares

    Why is the Louis Gates incident considered a racial incident? Only because we make it one. As I understand what happened, a man was arrested for disorderly conduct in his own home on the heels of a burgulary investigation that did not pan out. And that is stupid regardless of race, color , or creed. No doubt words were exchanged to escalate the situation but a police policy of "no-back talk homage" exacerbates any such confrontation. We make this a racial incident because police have applied these "no-back talk homage" policies disproportionately to the behavior of blacks who are expected to be Sonny Liston's (docile)and not Muhammad Ali's (outspoken, confident)

    July 30, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
  320. Carole McArthur

    I could not stop laughing at the absurdity of this whole scene. Too much testosterone. This is why the world to so screwed up.....

    July 30, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  321. Mitchell Desmond

    I just saw a report on CNN where the black Police Officer who defended the actions of his fellow co-worker, was concerned because some in the black comminuity were calling him an Uncle Tom. This veteran Police Officer has been on the force for twnety-six years. I believe that he was the on duty supervisor at the scene, he is a sergaent. If this black Officer would be honest with himself he would remember the times during his career that he observed white Police Officers conducting themselves in a racist manner toward a afro-american suspect. Did the Sargeant report his fellow officers or confront them personally. I doubt it, but only the Sargeant would know. But I will tell you what I do know. No WHITE Police Sargeant would have stoodby while a BLACK Police Officer arrested a WHITE Harvard professor on his porch for being disorderly in HIS OWN HOUSE. No a do not think the black sargeant is an "uncle Tom." THE THIN BLUE LINE IS HARD TO CROSS. Nor do I think that Sargeant Crowly was racially profile. He already knew that no crime had been comitted. He was made because the black suspect had been giving him "some lip." I believe that Crowley just misused his authority. I am a former Police Offcier (black) I've been and done that.

    July 30, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  322. Manya Gelispie

    How dare you disrespect African Americans with this sham of a conversation about race, this policeman made a bad arrest of a man in his house, wrote a false police report that is completely different from the 911 tape and this man goes to the white house for what, that's right he's white. This is a teachable moment alright, African Americans have taught yet again that white people get a pass for being reckless, and Obama needs to stop kissing white folks asses and be the president, because as we know that the first stumble that he makes will be blown out of proportion by CNN and every other white news outlet. And the media needs to stop defending the way the stories are being reported, if you are comfortable with how you report the stories why do you fill the need to defend your work. maybe you should go back to not covering African American issues because as you seem to give the president a grade every other day, you get and F.

    July 30, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  323. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    Finally the President Obama met with Sgt. Crowley and Prof. Gates at the White House. Sad he did not do it before maybe that would have had secure the Health Care would have pass for America. It clearly shows how hard we have to hammer the issue to Congress Officials. I wonder how this will be done when information has not flown. America needs a Health Care Insurance. I hope that the meeting will please the Media Communications Companies to drop the topic. We have serious topics to discuss that are affecting America.

    July 30, 2009 at 8:19 pm |
  324. Omi

    This situaiton is contrived. How is Obama instantly aware that his friend is yelling at police, until they finally arrest him, for uncivil behavior in public? Then again why does he stupidly reply and claim to be diffusing a situation he should never have become involved in or bothered all America with. MJ overshadowed him, and his arrogant push for reforms no one has examined is an insult to us all. His popularity is down and yet another of his exmilitant associates from the past shows up on time to distract us for a week. This is not newsworthy and the officers behavior doesn't need alteration according to those around him. The two who were racially profiled in this ironic story are the caller and public servant.

    July 30, 2009 at 8:20 pm |
  325. Lynette E

    This is hillarious, puzzling and convuluted. I don't understand how this thing grew so many legs. The professor was arrested....the more I think about it, the more saddened I am. I have been trying to stay away from the T.V. Suddenly the story of the cop lying on the police report disappears from the news. President Obama gets called all kinds of names.....You know what, just leave it like that. The Great Universe will be the paymaster.

    July 30, 2009 at 8:43 pm |
  326. cammy

    I am a 66 year old white woman so there is nothing racial about this, but if Justin Barrett is not relieved of his duties for his nasty comments, our country has sunk to a new low.

    July 30, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  327. Sandra Varner

    Miffed at Larry King's interview with Cambridge/Boston cop who wrote racist "banana-eating monkey" response to a reporter. King held court w/others re the Gates matter but gave this cop a pass.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:21 am |
  328. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    What now? Was this meeting enough for the Media Madness? Although Discrimination is still an open wound in our society we have understand that we need to take this issues to the appropriate venue. If Professor Gate or Sgt. Crowley are not satisfied they have channels to take this issues. Clearly the System is not perfect when another officer send inappropriate messages. We have to clear the space for the serious topics as the needed Health Care System for America which does not discriminate and all classes of Society are expose to. We need a Proper Health Care System for America that will work to protect the citizens Health Care Situations as prior Existence Conditions.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:17 am |
  329. Sue Perry

    I think this meeting was a wonderful photo op and a way for President Obama to cover his "oops moment" by commenting on this incident. This is all a way to deal with bad publicity and was self serving to the president. Could we all drop this ridiculous charade and move on to the important issues at hand in this country. And Mr. Obama will now keep is comments in check I am sure.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:20 am |
  330. Alex Sulecki

    This has been an interesting blog to read. Thanks to all. I believe, like others, that everyone is racist at some level. We as humans must have it hardwired into us to profile – for our own safety. Profile is not a dirty word, you know. It is a way of separating out the information you recieve so you use less resources to achieve your objective. It is a legitimate tool. When used by brutal people for illegitimate ends, it is bad, when it protects the safety of the public, it can be good. People are brutal all over – especially to those who are different. As to the police posting here – Yes, Police have a hard job, but the profession does seem to attract those who like the power it gives them and who abuse that on occasion. Police need to better police their own – like firing that Boston cop. That kind of crap just should not be tolerated in a public servant. Sgt. Crowley may have been doing his job, but he did overreact a little – maybe? Why expend the resources to teach some ornery gentleman a lesson? Save the handcuffs for the bad guys, please. And Professor Gates acted badly, in igniting the conflict. A couple of bulls clashing... But one person said how I feel best – Tony from Baltimore. The issue of slavery is kept alive by many black people when none of us were here during the slavery period. There are so many successful black people, it seems that the best revenge for black people would be to be successful. That takes alot of energy and focus and maybe none would be left over for expressing anger about something that happened in the past and can't be changed. Maybe then we can change our reaction in the moment and that will change the future! White people need to get to know a black person and find not all are gangsta hoods. Most people are able to discriminate better and know there are bad people of all races. I think getting over racism requires a level of trust that we need to work on by being civil and calm and using common sense. Unfortunately, that is hard to do. So we slog towards a better day. Having a beer was a good gesture.

    July 31, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  331. ThinkAboutIt

    In regards to the black officer's letter that defended Gates. Has he asked Gates to reflect on what he could of done better. Didn't Gates say he wouldn't apologize for his actions. The professor isn't the only one who needs to look in the mirror.

    July 31, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  332. RAY

    THE FEDERAL AND STATE RIGHTS OF PROFESSOR GATES WERE VIOLATED WHEN HE WAS ARRESTED. FURTHERMORE, THE OFFICER FALSIFIED AN OFFICIAL REPORT. THE BLUE WALL IS MADE OF STRAW.

    DO THE RESEARCH ON STATE AND FEDERAL LAW. CRAWLEY DID NOT OBSERVE CRIME IN PROGRESS. GATES DID NOT LEAVE HIS PROPERTY. THE RUSE OF "NOW YOU ARE ON THE PORCH I CAN ARREST YOU" IS FALSE IMPRISONMENT. THE 911 CALER DID NOT IDENTIFY THE RACE OF THE ALLEDGED SUSPECT. CRAWLEY SAID SHE GAVE HIM THE INFO AT THE SCENE.THE 911 CALER SAID SHE DID NOT. IT IS NOT A CRIME TO TALK ABOUT YO MAMA, BUT APPEARENTLY IT IS TO "POP". PISS OFF the POLICE.

    July 31, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  333. christa

    The president should've not said anything about this situation, he did not wait to get the truth. I voted for him and I am white, now I can see something I did not see before I voted for him, a president should have better things to do then open his mouth for his friend, who probably was out having fun and maybe that helped, for him being so temperamental. Friend or no friend Mr. Obama should have first got the whole story and not just listened to Mr. Gates. If everyone calls our president for any help, he will not do this for us. As a president he should stay out of the police business, why is wasting time on this, when there are more important issues to solve. I think professor Gates embellished the story for his convenience. First I was appalled when I heard the story, then more details came out, now I think the professor would have been really upset, if some one had broken into his home, the police can be rough, but they have to be to control all of the criminals here. WE HAVE MANY. Again I was first very upset with the police, but now I see the difference.

    July 31, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  334. paul

    Mr Crowley was sent to Mr Gates'house to investigate the reported burglary and that was his only job. When he got there he met the owner proven by 2 IDs. At this point Mr Crowley should leave the house because there was no burglary which means that there is no job for him to do...nothing wouldn't have happened...everybody happy.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  335. Bill

    While this issue has been overblown; it points out the deep divide in race in this country. For white christian people, it is very difficult to really understand the life of an ethnic/facial and/or religious minority. It is a different life even today. There is plenty of prejudice on many levels and as the country becomes more and more diverse, folks in what was the clear majority are increasing ill at ease about that change. Until one has actually experience prejudice and I have – one cannot appreciate what it is like or how it feels. That prejudice leads to distrust of folks. That Dr. Gates overreacted is probably true. He was reacting to other examples of prejudice – probably not at work here. But one would expect a trained police officer who was not in any way in danger from a 58 year old man with cane in how own home, to have been able to act professionally and "take the heat" out of the situation. All he had to do was walk away. He had the indentification; he know that the home belonged to Dr. Gates. People disrespect police officers because a lot of police officers use their authority to intimidate when it not necessary. They are supposed to able to allow some language and some attitude to bounce off of them and just move on. Had Sgt. Crowley made that choice here; the situation would not have occurred. Instead he chose to exert, unecessarily, his authority when he was not in danger at all – for what purpose – to show that he was in charge. He had a gun and a club – there was no doubt he was in charge; but he could have shown he was a professional – even if Dr. Gates overreacted. That is the real tragedy here. Police officer deserve respect; their life is hard and they do a great service for all of us. But they too have to earn respect. Sgt. Crowley did not do so here.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  336. misheharu

    I am so sick of people not any particular person just people.the president never said he would never make a mistake,he did say when he did mess up that he would say i messed up.people are dead because of bush's "mistakes" we cry about health care but get angry with the man god forbid actually doing what he said he would do.yes the country is in debt but if we spend money i would like to be able to say hay that is a nice pot hole my tax dollars help to fill or i sure fill safe now that the city do not have to fire those police officers crime do tend to go up during hard times.instead of a bridge we paid for in Baghdad that some terrorist might blow up . so no our president cannot heal all race issues this country face.legislation cannot change hearts. but sitting down having a beer with some one you disagree with is a start some times just saying hi can go a long way.plus you might find out what you don't know.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  337. Shawnevan Dale

    What's the big deal? As a minority in NE Arizona and former local leader we have been constantly dealing with racial profiling. No president has ever taken notice at this. We constantly have Arizona DPS stopping Navajo Indians along US 191 just before the reservation line. I know by their actions they stalk us, they know that the "indians" always do something wrong or have cracked windshields, no license plate lights....minor stuff like that. But no president comes here to address this. Not more than a mile away on Interstate 40 we have millions of dollars of drugs passing by. The New Mexico State Police have recognized this and make these stops to curtail the drugs, the Navajo Police also do the same. Where is the Arizona Department of Public Safety? Oh wait, they are too busy stalking the "indians" on 191. Come on America, racial profiling is happening everywhere even in my backyard. Come on Mr. President, racial profiling does not just happen in Cambridge.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  338. Chris

    I have yet to hear Obama, not to mentions Gates, tell the rest of the African community that they need to respect and obey the LAW first, ask questions later.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  339. girlie58

    Ok folks..Yes, we need a healthcare plan ASAP for the 40 million peolple living in America of which 30 million are illegal aliens. And "yes", we have to do it right away even if it means ramming it down the throats of AMERICAN CITIZENS. Don't you guys get it?? This is not about healthcare..this is about THE GOVERNMENT TAKING OVER THE LIVES OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!! We already have the best healthcare in the world of which 80% of the american peolple are insured and happy with their healthcare. Why can't the democrats accept that and just work on the percentage that does not have healthcare? They can't do it because they want to

    August 7, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  340. girlie58

    85% of the american people already have the best healthcare plan that they are happy with. It is the 40 million uninsured people living in the u.s. of which 30 mil are illegal immigrants that the government is concerned about. Why not provide healthcare on the 40 million uninsured instead of turning the country upside down and ramming down the throats of the american people a healthcare plan that no one in congress knows about. Don't you guys get it? Its not about healthcare anymore..it is about the government taking control of the american people! There are solutions to healthcare..the dems don't wanna hear it because they have made up their minds that socialism is the way to go. Now, they are making it look like the opposition to their healthcare plan is the enemy. they are encouraging people who speak out against the dems on townhall meetings to report to the govern't via email!! This is communism! the gov't is trying to take away our right to speech, good or bad..depends on who's reading it.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  341. Rick

    girlie58,

    Actually our healthcare is ranked 37th in the world. France is ranked #1 Canada is ranked 30th.

    August 8, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  342. Yolanda

    Parents,
    That are making the comment that Obama is on duty 24/7, How can he have a beer and how can they explain the president having a beer to their children. First of all if you cant explain that to your children you have a bigger issue-remember that you are not perfect and just as you explain every thing that you do to your children that you do that is right or wrong -remember your children know if you are being a hypocrite or not....To the people that are saying that they havent read the healthcare proposal that President Obama put forward how can you comment on it if you have not read i!

    To the white woman that says that she voted for Obama and was upset that he comment on the issue–isnt it true that he was ask a question 1 question that is all-If you are really for him than you should look at everything-like wasnt he asked a question about the issue its not like he came out swinging-check yourself–are you really for him–bc it seems that you are looking for a reason to regret it–if this is all it took for you to question yourself about voting for him–You said that you were upset with the cop and that they have to be that way as to say that its ok that the Prof. rights were violated and the report that he falsefide has disappeared--you dont hear black people saying that all whites are racist so why would you say that Pres. Obama comment bc Prof. Gates is his friend–was it bc they both are black? Now the question is Why are you upset that the President answered a question?

    August 8, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  343. Mark from Indiana

    Tony,

    You just scoffed at protesters who PREDICT that the federal government will always abuse any powers they are given, yet the prediction is well founded in the history of government.

    I agree that something has to be done, but it’s not what is generally being suggested. Since the cause of all the health care problems boil down to the high costs involved, and since the underlying cause of those high costs is the over-regulation of those industries by the government, the solution is to eliminate the massive government regulations which only serve to inflate the prices. You can’t blame the problems on the capitalist businesses or free-market, because heavy government intrusion means the markets are not “free” OR “capitalist”.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  344. G Clayton

    @Mark from Indiana,

    My goodness, you're another brainwashed republican who believes anything your lying legislators tell you. I listen to them ranting and raving, spewing spittle and fake rage as they lie about "killing old folks", "costs getting higher" and "socialist system".

    When all along, it's THEM who are payed for by big oil, big corporations and especially, big pharmaceuticals!

    You say the reason health care is so high is because of over-regulation? Are you smoking crack? The reasons costs are so high is because America is paying to subsidize ALL the other countries who pay less than 1/3 of what WE pay for our prescriptions!

    Did you know that? Did your lying congressmen tell you that? Or how many trips they went on from Squibb and Pfizer?

    No, they didn't! They feed you a bunch of lies and send you to town halls foaming out the mouths, spewing hate (as usual) and not letting intelligent debate take place!

    The last thing the GOP wants is for the Dems to do better than Bush, and they (and you) will do anything to stop that from happening. Even at the cost of this country going downhill.

    The GOP is the party of no, the do-nothing, let nothing get done, party and the longer they sit on the sidelines, the better this country will be.

    At least we won't start a war just for the hell of it!!!!

    August 13, 2009 at 9:00 pm |
  345. Girlie58

    Rick, don't know where you got your numbers but whatever...the canadiansd are coming to this country for healthcare..and if the french were a bit closer to us geographically, they'd be slippin in too. The point is , all the other things that go along with this nightmare of a healthcare proposed by the gov't.is bad for the country. Remember, the gov't wants TO TAKE OVER!! what that entails is INVASION OF PRIVACY. They want access to our BANK ACCOUNTS. We need reform now but NOT, by means of gove't takeover.

    August 15, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  346. Paul Diamond

    Many issues are too complex, too convoluted to be explained in a a 10 second sound bite. Too complicated to understand in a 1 minute video news story, or even an hour long special report. They are certainly too abtruse and tangled to solve in an afternoon over a couple of beers. Race relations are certainly one of those issues.
    When I was growing up I was taught that all people are the same. I have since learned that is not so. People are very different. They are the product of there genes and their experience. Even twins growing up in the same home are very different people. I embrace the differences. I respect the individuality. I appreciate the variety. The only thing that all people share in common is their humanity.
    That being said, I would like to share some of my experience. I had a best friend. Carl and I met in the 5th grade. We were inseperable til we graduated high school. We remained friends over much of our lives. In our senior year he shared an article by James Baldwin entitled "White Men Can't Play the Blues."It was about the cultural diferences between black people and white. As I said I was bought up to believe that all people were the same. We discussed the piece and suddenly Carl became very angry. The anger and frustration of being a black man in 1961 came pouring out. This was a man that I did not know. This was a stranger.
    I was confused, upset, even a bit frightened. Not over what was said, not about my friends anger. I was disturbed that my best friend, my bosum buddy with whom I had shared my life for almost a decade had a side that I had never seen. That inside him was a person who was totally alien to me. That unnerved me more than anything.
    Since then I have learned that many black people live with that level of rage and resentment. That most white people never know, may never understand, the level of rage and frustration of their black friends and neighbors. The vast majority of black people control and repress their feelings very well. That may be why black men have a higher incidence of hypertension than most other ethnic groups. I later became pleased and proud that my friend was comfortable enough in our relationship to let down his guard. However, it served to give me an insight into the life that black people lead.
    We must develop a cirriculum to teach the facts, the good and the bad, about the history of black people in this country to our children. It will give white children an insight into the role of black people in America. The debts we owe and the wrongs that were done. It will give black children some pride in the accomplishments of their people in the building of this nation.
    As I worked registering black people to vote in Mississippi in the mid '60s. As I lived and worked among people black, brown and white. I learned some things about them, about me, about friendship, about love, about respect, about courage. I also learned about anger, hatred, violence, bigotry, about our society.
    These lessons took me decades to learn, a generation to proccess, a lifetime to understand, I'm not sure I do entirely. It is hubris to think that we will understand it in a minute, an hour, an afternoon. It will take years of honest open dialogue. Decades of discussion without judgement, rancor or prejudice. Conversations full of empathy and self reflection.
    Let us now speak of policemen. Policemen wear a gun. Policemen represent authority. Policemen are the manifestation of a suspect government. Policemen get to feel that there is us, the police and them, the rest of society.
    Because policemen openly wear guns, an instrument of injury and death, they are objects of fear. Most honest, decent people, while they respect the police, tend to be uncomfortable around them. Partially because they carry guns. Partially because they, the civilians, carry some guilt.
    We have learned over the last half century that the government is, at best, suspect, at worst, corrupt and despotic. Our founding fathers knew it. They installed limits on government into our Constitution. Our minority communities has known it, have felt it, throughout our history.
    Policemen spend most of their time dealing with the worst of our society. They leave for work each day not knowing if they will be home, be alive, that night. They don't get nearly the respect and appreciation they deserve. They are called all kind of names. Most civilians are uncomfortable around them and they try and protect those close to them from the awful things with which they deal every day. They get to feel, much like combat veterans, that only others who share their experience can understand them. When they are off duty policemen tend to hang out with other policemen. This is where they are most comfortable. That also reinforces their sense of isolation. The feelings of disrespect. That 'them and us' mentality.
    Put an educated older black man with a game leg, tired from days of traveling, his nerves frayed, being confronted in his own home, together with a cop walking into a potentially dangerous situation who doesn't get the respect he feels he deserves. You have a recipe for disaster. Throw in our President using a word like"stupidly" in reference to the incident, that is a full blown media circus. A tempest in a teapot. It is a story worthy of note it doesn't deserve weeks of unending rehashing. It is certainly not going to be resolved over a couple of beers in the nations backyard with the press looking on.
    ~;^

    September 1, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  347. doncolecartoons

    My answer to Paul Diamond, 9/1/09: I agree with all that you wrote here, and it is a good post. It helps us to consider and understand why different people might think, and act as they do. We should love them anyway. We are all products of something, or whatever, that makes us react and think the way we do... (Some people are even sick, or mentally disturbed; but I don't believe that applies in this case.) Still, the bottom line here remains the fact that the Professor acted wrongly. To send out a message that blacks are justified in thumbing their noses to the authority of police officers, who are merely doing their job, as a service to us all, –should not be propagated. If the Professor can get away with it, than it sets the precedent that so can anyone else, making a laughing stock at our justice system. Don't the police have a hard enough time of it already? We need to stand behind what is right, and be able to appreciate and note and answer to the things that are wrong, if we care to live in a society that will work for us all. –dc

    September 2, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  348. Candice

    In response to doncolecartoons...no, the Professor did not act wrongly....by law once the policeman had established residency and there was no other crime being commited he was then obliged to leave.
    If he did not by law he is considered a trespasser
    Officers are trained to take verbal abuse...I assume the officer didn't want to take it from this civilian.
    And yes authority should always be respected when that authority themselves are behaving within the law.
    And, please remember this policer officer lied in his report..stating that the neighbor informed him that there two black men breaking in...she categoically denied that.
    But, I really loved the post by Mr Diamond...anyone trying to understand race relations should read that.

    September 3, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  349. G. Clayton Taylor

    @ don cole – cartoons

    Even as you try to sound neutral, your lack of understanding and failure to realize how the police act towards Blacks (usually) is something you've probably never experienced.

    Were you may be treated as a citizen "in a situation", most cops treat Blacks as if they've already done something wrong and it's for us to prove to them that we did not. We're treated with suspicion and disdain before anything is eve said!

    I know, I know, you're saying to yourself, "here we go again, it's always the same old song with these people".

    Well, sir. It IS always the same old song. The police don't patrol our neighborhoods the same way they patrol yours. Right or wrong, that's a fact and if you somehow fail to add this truth into any equation you formulate, you're starting from a false proposition and can never come to a fair resolution.

    music seawater

    September 3, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  350. Candice

    @music seawater

    Thank you...I concur...and, you have given me a different perspective...you are right. The neighborhoods from both are patrolled so differently

    September 3, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  351. G. Clayton Taylor

    Even as you try to sound neutral, your lack of understanding and ignorance of how the police act towards Black's (usually) obscures your understanding and is something you’ve probably never experienced.

    Were you may be treated as a citizen “in a situation”, most cops treat Black's as if they’ve already done something wrong and it’s for them to prove that they did not. Being treated with suspicion and disdain before anything is even said puts an obstacle there you may have never had to deal with and cannot comprehend the antagonisms it brings into play.

    I know, I know, you’re saying to yourself, “here we go again, it’s always the same old song with these people”.

    Well, sir. It IS always the same old song. The police don’t patrol all neighborhoods the same way. In some, they act like an invading army and treat everyone with suspicion and malice, is that how it's done in your neighborhood?

    Right or wrong, that’s a fact and if you somehow fail to add this truth into any equation you formulate, you’re starting from a false proposition and can never come to a fair resolution.

    music seawater

    Please disregard my prior message (5 minutes ago) and post this in its place, thank you.

    September 3, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  352. doncolecartoons

    Re: Candice: I stand by what I wrote. The professor was breaking the law by giving the police officer a hard time during the time the police officer was trying to establish the residency. This was a dangerous obstruction of justice. Where was the other man who had been breaking into the house, along with the professor? Time and safety is an important factor here. Of COURSE the officer has to be ready and to expect the worse, until he is assured otherwise. How is he to know? What would YOU do?

    Re: G. Clayton Taylor: I believe a lot of blacks are forever paranoid, and I do certainly understand how that happens, through bad situations where blacks are, and have been, indeed terribly wronged. I believe that you will find that MOST cops treat EVERY suspect, in your words: "as as if they’ve already done something wrong and it’s for us to prove to them that we did not. We’re treated with suspicion and disdain before anything is even said!" Put yourself in the shoes of the police officer, –How are they to know? While he is patting the suspect on the head, saying "Naughty-Naughty," –the police officer could be knifed or shot! Was there not a black poice officer at the scene, in this particular case? What did HE say? See what he had to take from the black community for telling the truth. –"Uncle Tom!" Can't you see, that by taking this attitude, you are making things even worse? What is a white police officer to think, about his own safety, knowing that he is already hated by the blacks before he even gets to the scene? This highly educated professor, and probably a role model to the black community, should have known better. He presented a terrible example for a person to act in such a situation. So maybe he was tired, or whatever, and just made a mistake. But he took it all the way to the White House, and still he has yet to apologize to the public, nor to the police officer who was doing his job in a correct manner. The professor should be ashamed of himself. This case had nothing to do with race; other than the professor who wrongly claimed it to be.

    Stop and THINK, people, –Did the actions of the college professor make things better, or worse? Is this the kind of role model you want to hold up for the black community? With this kind of perpetual hateful thinking among blacks, how are race relations going to move forward, and how can our justice system work? We all have to be able to seperate right from wrong, regardless of race, or whatever. No one should take the attitude of the professor being right, just because he is black, –or the police officer being wrong, just because he is white. Maybe you would have the likes of Jerimiah Wright run for president? –dc

    September 7, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  353. doncolecartoons

    "For as mny of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galations 3:27-28). –dc

    September 7, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  354. Dave Cohen

    We are all one in the human family or in the sight of God. However, saying it does nothing to fix the problem. The many socio-political reasons for misunderstanding or intolerance run counter to that statement and render it as a cliché.
    Racial profiling in this and other countries is a reality, even if this incident was mistaken as one.
    Just look at the history of the 20th century if you don't believe me.

    September 8, 2009 at 8:24 am |
  355. Roi

    DC.

    You just don't get it and that is why the problem persist. Until you can recognize you don't understand you not being able to see this through the eyes of those that have and are experiencing this behavour it will never be resolved.

    Ignorrance is something we can all change, by learning what we don't know or understand. You haven't done that yet. You don't even see what you can't admit. You need to talk with someone who does.

    I am not African American, but have spent a lifetime living working and playing people of many colors. I see it everyday. You must be on another planet.

    You seem like you have the intelligence to get to understand it, but you have to admit you don't first. Until then, you are wrong about this.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  356. doncolecartoons

    Dave Cohen
    Saying it does not fix the problem, but it helps to think about who we are in the sight of God. God is no respector of persons. We are to love God and one another, and not to think that we are better than others. Yes, I believe that as you admit, this incident could have been mistaken in being labeled as racial profiling. When you look at the facts without prejudices, it is very clear that this incident had nothing to do with racial profiling, other than what the professor, who was totally out of line, made it out to be. I thought I had made my self clear, that this has nothing to do about anyone saying that racial profiling doesn't exist. What is troublesome, is the idea that because racial profiling exists, as does many other wrongs in this world, it should be a reason or excuse to throw our justice system out the window, assuming who is right and who is wrong according to their race. Professor Gates needs to obey and respect the authority of police officers doing their job, just like everyone else. What is so ironic in this particular case, is that the police were there to protect the professor's own property. Professor Gates should have been thankful and eager to cooperate. It is shocking that a man of his standing, education and caliber would harbor such a racial and hateful attitude to a public servent just because that person is white. The professor should apologize to society, get off his high horse and go out on a few shifts with these courageous police officers, who are risking their lives daily, in order to help protect society. We need to be reaching forward for what is good and right, not hindering that process by steping backwards in our walk. –dc

    September 8, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  357. Roi

    DC, I spoke wrongly when I said;

    "You seem like you have the intelligence to get to understand it, but you have to admit you don’t first. Until then, you are wrong about this."

    You don't seem to have the intelligence to get to understand...

    After your repeated attempts to mask your understanding of the problem, I believe you are living on another planet. You don't understand and perhaps never will. The policeman mishandled the situation and even lied, according to the lady whom he claimed said there were two BLACK MEN entering the house the Professor lived in. Second, how is it that the local police didn't know that a Black Professor lived there. Are there so many in the neighborhood. You can bet they would have known if it was a drug dealer.

    DC, you are a prime example of why it is so difficult to get people to understand the reality of racial bias and unfairness. You want to blame the professor. I think the police generally do a good job. This was not one of those times.

    By the way, stop hiding behind 'god'

    September 9, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  358. G. Clayton Taylor

    @ Paul Diamond

    Yours, is one of the more truthful and heartfelt comments on this page and I appluad your understanding and sensitivity to the issue.

    I came over here to respond the day it was posted , but got sidetracked with this Don person. I apologise for that, as I've since come to understand that there's no reasoning with someone so hateful and set in their ways.

    Rather, I'd like to thank you for your input and wish you a good life.

    September 14, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
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