A week ago (-ish), Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates locked himself out of his own house, and tried to break in. The neighbors saw a black guy trying to break into a big house in Cambridge, Mass., and called 9-11. When the cop showed up, Gates was bellicose, so the cop put Gates in cuffs. When the president was asked about the cop’s behavior at a press conference, he called it “stupid.”
If you’re keeping score at home, that’s one strike against Gates for bawling out a cop just doing his job, one strike against the cop for arresting a guy in his own house without a warrant, and one strike against the president for calling a public servant “stupid” on primetime TV.
How to solve this sticky wicket? Beer.
The Blog thinks Gates is doing the right thing by using this sitchu to make racism a topic of public discussion. The Blog also feels bad for the cop. Gates refused to let him in, and he doesn’t know whether there’s an actual burglar hiding in the basement that Gates just hasn’t found yet. He did what he had to do to make sure everything was as it should be, which is his job, and the president called him “stupid.”
And it’s not every day the leader of the free world admits a mistake and invites the interested parties over for a beer to talk the whole thing out. It’s not exactly the UN Charter, but it’s a strategy that could help foster peace in our time.