Sunday, July 26, 2009

Obama's "stupid" comment - stupid?

I guess even a politician as smooth as Barack Obama can say something stupid every now and then. I cringed when I heard Obama make the "stupid" comment during his press conference and I was immediately concerned. I knew that he would spend days away from the debate on health care to mend a few fences.

To Obama's credit, he responded like a decent human being should. He admitted to adding to the problem, not resolving it. I can imagine how difficult it was for Officer Crowley to approach a situation where a break-in is reported. You know the adrenalin would really be pumping. It is very important for an officer to take immediate control of a situation such as this.

I understand the position of Louis Gates and his anger at being questioned on his own property. What Gates should have understood was that the police were there to protect his property. Gates should have cooled down to explain the situation and should not have been pumping up the adrenalin on a potentially volatile situation. I agree with officer Crowley that Gates was in total control of the possible outcome.

What remains unclear to me is why Gates was arrested, brought to police headquarters, fingerprinted and photographed. What was the initial charge? Breaking and entering? Into your own home? It seems to me that no matter how loud and obnoxious Gates became, he must of been telling officers that the home he was in was his. A simple question to a neighbor or a little more patience on the part of the police may have resolved the tension. Hauling Gates down town did have a certain level of stupidity in it. Gates screaming at the police had a greater level of stupidity, after all, those guys are carrying guns and I'm sure some officers had guns drawn. If they didn't, they should have.

So I think there is enough stupidity to go around; Obama was stupid, Officer Crowley was stupid and Gates was stupid. I hope they can all come together now and have a beer at the White House as has been reported.

What still perplexes me though is that the presumption is that this was a race related event. I don't think it had anything to do with race. Most of the officers on scene were black from the photographs that I saw that day. I would hope that the police would have responded in a similar fashion if this incident involved a white person. Officer Crowley has an excellent record and personally has been concerned about racial profiling. Officer Crowley gets a bum rap in this regard.


1 comment:

  1. I agree for the most part--all 3 could have acted better and more in a concilitaory fashion. I was very surpriesed that the President didn't just leave it that it was un unfortunate incident that he didn't know all the facts about, etc. I think the "summit" with the 3 of them and VP Biden was an excellent idea and a "teachable" moment. We should all try to get along, etc. All in the situation have their share of blame for the escalation of the turn of events.