Thursday, July 23, 2009

On Gates arrest, Obama says Cambridge police "acted stupidly," conservatives freak out

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Bill "Krazy" Kristol -- as krazy, and as shamelessly partisan and neoconish, at the WaPo as he was at the NYT -- may think, spinning recklessly, that Obama was irresponsibly attacking the police when he asserted in his press conference last night that the Cambridge cops who arrested Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his own house "acted stupidly," but the truth is that, even in 2009, it takes a black man in the Oval Office to point out the obvious.

Alas, the obvious is no longer obvious when filtered through the ideological prism -- see no evil, hear no evil, at least when it comes to race (unless it's the alleged reverse racism of minorities like Sotomayor, which white men across the land are oh-so-sensitive about, any threat to the privilege of their little establishment) -- of the likes of Bill Kristol.


Obama has since defended his comments, and rightly so, saying that "everybody should have just settled down and cooler heads should have prevailed."

For more, including all the Kristol-like right-wing reaction, see Memeorandum.


Most stupid of all, perhaps, Kristol claims in his post that Gates was likely to blame for the incident. And why? Simply because he's a Harvard professor -- who are all, it seems, stupid and arrogant.

This is why Kristol sides instinctually with the Cambridge cops.

Really? This sort of inane, instinctual commentary is what got Kristol a post at the WaPo after his dismissal from the NYT?


The Boston Herald is reporting that the cop who stupidly arrested Gates tried valiantly to keep Celtics star Reggie Lewis alive.

And the point is what? That a good and noble act excuses all else? Forever?



The NYT article linked above stupidly claims that "Obama has sought to transcend, if not avoid, the issue of race."

Really? Yes, I would agree that much of his rhetoric has been post-racial, but he has never avoided the issue.

What he has sought to do throughout his political career -- think back to his 2004 DNC keynote address -- is build bridges across America's deepest divides. In his brilliant speech on race during the primary campaign last year, partly a response to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright conflagration, he emphasized that America's still-abundant racial divides pose an obstacle to the realization of the more perfect union that the Founders envisioned.

Just because he talks about overcoming these racial divides -- that is, about "transcendence" -- it doesn't mean he is oblivious to the realities of the present, nor that he wants to avoid race altogether.

Apparently, though, talking maturely about race and racism flies over the heads not just of conservatives but of reporters at the NYT.

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  • But you don't understand! When blacks play the "race card," we whites are helpless before it's power and must stand together behind our white policemen (who are holy and blameless creatures) cause there is NOTHING, I mean NOTHING scarier in America than an Angry Black Man. A mere glance or whispered word of "racism" can shatter even the whitest man's career in a heartbeat. Against such power, what can we do but stand together monolithically and tsk tsk the president for calling....a policeman's actions..."STUPID!" *swoons*

    Obama has proved all blacks act as One with a Borg-like Hive Overmind...when one knows racism exists...they all do!! *shrieks*

    On the other hand, a lot of commentators at TMV and elsewhere are relieved they can simply hate Obama because he "obviously" hates whites. No more pretending!

    By Anonymous Lit3Bolt, at 12:42 AM  

  • Nice work Barack... with one comment you managed to alienate 75% of America.

    And anyone who has spent any amount of time in the "higher" education system knows the Professor Gates type: bitter, spiteful, bigoted racist with a position of power who felt emboldened to make a political statement.

    This is the type of Professor who would change the subject on you when you attempt to engage in a debate- or would give you a poor grade because you actually have an opinion, and done research outside of marxist texts and such. You are fooling no one, Mr Gates.

    And Mr President, is this "nuance" you've spoke of? "the police acted stupidly"? -please

    Obama is out to rip this country to shreds in EVERY way- who can question that such ill-advised statements are divisive... and NOT helpful? He has no idea what happened, he admitted it- and apparently doesn't care, either... he's picked his side.

    But back in reality, the childish and paranoid Gates completely baited the cop, who acted with admirable restraint, IMO... all he had to do is show his ID and shut up, he was treated with respect. This guy was clearly looking for a fight... and he ought to thank God he didn't find one.

    Obama is going to destroy race relations in this country with his vengeful "get even" mentality... some messiah- Americans should have chosen a fair and sensible human being instead of this embittered nut.

    By Blogger R-R-R, at 9:08 AM  

  • Reaganite Republican resistance? You sound more like one of those dolls that spouts canned blather when you pull the string.

    You're got a lot of bottled up resentment, old chap and it has little to do with the discussion here and nothing to do with Obama except that you hate him irrationally.

    I guess it's OK to spew this crap, but really, they make toilets for that and this isn't the place.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 9:47 AM  

  • "And anyone who has spent any amount of time in the "higher" education system knows the Professor Gates type: bitter, spiteful, bigoted racist with a position of power who felt emboldened to make a political statement."

    Arguing on the basis of "types" is the exclusive province of bigots. While I admit that Gates might have have something to gain by the arrest -- I speculated about that earlier -- there's no evidence for it as yet and to "prove" his intent by invoking a "type" of your own concoction is less sophistry than dishonesty -- and yes, that's an ornate way of calling you a liar and bigot.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 9:53 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:21 AM  

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