Thursday, July 30, 2009

So a cop, a professor, the Vice President, and the President are having a beer...

President Obama's Teleprompter has posted an interesting description of the beer police officer Sgt. Crowley and Professor Gates shared with our President and Vice President on its blog. It sounds like it may have been a little contentious:

So Big Guy, Skip, Joey B and I got together with Jim Crowley this evening for
Festivus's airing of grievances (since Big Guy celebrates Kwanza, he adheres to
the Festivus in August tradition). The difference this time was that we aired
national grievances about race, name-calling, and Big Guy's refusal to man up
and chug a full-bodied beer.

You'll see me in the picture over Crowley's right shoulder. I was there in case talk turned to the Boston Red Sox, and Big Guy needed to pull something out of thin air. The discussion went pretty much as planned, until the conversation turned to the Michael Vick situation. Crowley thinks Vick shouldn't be let back in the NFL, and Biden thinks Vick should be forgiven. Crowley was insistent and Biden told Crowley, "Hey, don't make a federal case out of it."

And Crowley said, "Well maybe I should."

Then Skip, who'd fallen asleep about a half hour earlier, woke up and said, "Wait,
I'm the one making a federal case."

Joe had lost interest and went to play on the swing set, Crowley left in a huff, and Big O and Skip went to Hell Burger for dinner to show they could eat blue collar food at white collar prices. Toes was pretty annoyed by all of this, since nothing was done today on health care, Russia, Iran, Syria or stimulus. So all in all, a good day for America.

Here is what I find most interesting about this whole brouhaha: the men who had the power in this incident were both African-American, President Obama and Skip Gates, and the man with everything to lose was white, Sgt. Crowley. Sometimes progress comes in weird forms.

Update: There is another police officer, Sgt. Leon Lashley, who was also at the scene of Gates's arrest. Interestingly, Sgt. Lashley is an African-American, who in sticking up for his friend Sgt. Crowley after the President said (without admittedly not knowing the facts) the Cambridge police acted stupidly has now been labeled an "Uncle Tom" by some. It would be nice if the races of two friends wasn't an issue for anyone. Unfortunately, that appears not to be the case, and Sgt. Lashley sent a letter to the President tonight:

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