Obama Acted Stupidly

On Wednesday, July 22, 2009, President Obama acted stupidly. In point of fact, he behaved beyond stupidly. He behaved in an obviously racist manner that showed that he is still bitterly clinging to the Blacks’ tired grievances and feelings of insecurity. He also showed an intrinsic distrust of- and lack of respect for law enforcement personnel.

This is not the sort of attitude or behavior that right-thinking Americans wish to see publicly displayed by a POTUS. It is sadly not a completely unexpected attitude or behavior on President Obama’s part though.

From CNN’s transcript of President Obama’s July 22, 2009 press conference:

Question: Thank you, Mr. President. Recently, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested at his home in Cambridge. What does that incident say to you and what does it say about race relations in America?

Obama: Well, I should say at the outset that Skip Gates is a friend, so I may be a little biased here. I don’t know all the facts.

What’s been reported, though, is that the guy forgot his keys, jimmied his way to get into the house. There was a report called in to the police station that there might be a burglary taking place. So far, so good, right? I mean, if I was trying to jigger into — well, I guess this is my house now, so…

(Laughter)

… it probably wouldn’t happen. But let’s say my old house in Chicago.

(Laughter)

Here, I’d get shot.

(Laughter)

But so far, so good. They’re — they’re reporting. The police are doing what they should. There’s a call. They go investigate what happens.

My understanding is, at that point, Professor Gates is already in his house. The police officer comes in. I’m sure there’s some exchange of words. But my understanding is, is that Professor Gates then shows his ID to show that this is his house and, at that point, he gets arrested for disorderly conduct, charges which are later dropped.

Now, I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it’s fair to say, No. 1, any of us would be pretty angry; No. 2, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, No. 3, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.

President Obama accused Officer Crowley of behaving stupidly for “arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home.” This is an accusation that showed that President Obama was choosing to both comment and render judgment upon something that he knew little or nothing about.

Of course President Obama might have known all he needed to about the incident to form an opinion about it – that being that it involved a Black man and White police officer.

Gates was arrested, as President Obama stated, for Disorderly Conduct. What the POTUS chose to ignore was that the conduct in question was acting in a loud and disturbing manner in public while harassing, insulting, and threatening a police officer who was there solely to protect Mr. Gates’ property.

The details of the debacle – which nobody except for Mr. Gates seems to dispute – surrounding Gates’ arrest are fairly well known, so I won’t post them here. The police report on the incident, filed by both Officer James Crowley and Officer Carlos Figueroa – one of those oft-abused Latinos – can be found here, if you’re interested.

Stupid, racist, bitter, insecure, and hateful to law enforcement – that pretty much sums up President Obama’s performance as far as I’m concerned. Sad when you consider that he was heralded as an inspiration to every Black child in America.

Some inspiration; they already have too many role models for that sort of mindset. :(

Related Reading:

A Summer Shame: A Pride and Prejudice Novella Variation (Seasons of Serendipity Book 3)
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences (Cambridge Handbooks in Psychology)
Politics For Dummies
Cambridge

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7 Responses to “Obama Acted Stupidly”

  1. zhann Says:

    I agree with you here. Obama should have simply kept his mouth shut. While I understand his desire to protect his kin, a natural feeling for most races, if you have acheived the status of President you should have learned when to keep your mouth shut. While, personally, I think that race played a role in this situation, Obama should know better than aggravate the situation.

  2. jonolan Says:

    I too firmly believe that race played a part in Gates’ arrest. I believe that race and racism were central to the affair. As far as I can see it was Gates’ racism and ingrained prejudice against the police that instigated the whole matter.

    That Obama chose to comment on a local issue at show stupidity and meddlesomeness on his part. That Obama decided to use his comment to further racial stereotypes and the minorities’ hatred of the police shows his inherent racism.

    Perhaps, deep down, Obama really is what Sharpton and others complained so bitterly that he wasn’t – a Black President. I’m sure Rev. Wright is chortling…

  3. zhann Says:

    I am not entirely sure how you attribute Racism to the other side. I feel that the Police here are definitely at fault … have you ever broken into your house? I have, on numerous occasions. Imagine yourself in a situation where the police showed up half way. I would show them my drivers license, prove that my belongings were inside, and hope that they were understanding of the situation. If they proceeded to arrest me, like they did Gates, I would be anything buy quiet. This is expected when one feels that they are being wronged, especially by the police. Gates words or actions may have been improper at the time, he played the race card which was in his repertoire … I am not black so I couldn’t do that. However, I would do my best to defend myself from being arrested any way I know. Most likely, knowing myself, I would start by pointing out the obvious then move to attacking the Police Officer in question’s character. I am not saying that this is a good move, I am simply saying that I understand Gates, or anyone, in the same situation.

    As for Obama … again, I feel he is wrong here. Not entirely sure about racist, but definitely wrong.

  4. jonolan Says:

    zhann,

    Read the police report (link in post), or almost any other news report on the incident. Gates wasn’t arrested for breaking into his own home. He was arrested for getting loudly belligerent with a Cop and continuing to be loudly belligerent with him even after they moved to a public setting.

    That’s the racism I’m talking about. Gates saw a White officer and apparently immediately became hostile and uncooperative and chose to remain so.

    If I’m breaking into my house and the cops show up, I’m a combination of happy and frustrated that they did so. The last thing I would be though is belligerent.

    No matter what the respective races were, if you get up in a cops face and stay there while he’s trying to do his job – protecting your property in this case – you’re going to spend the night in jail.

    Cartman said it best, “You will respect their authortaaaaaay!”

  5. jj Says:

    What a dummy(barrack) why wouldn’t he just take the neutral stance in a situation that he is not a witness of, nor is he aware of all the facts.

    Instead he takes his friends side, dont get me wrong he shouln’t take the cops side either.
    just say i will not comment until all the facts are known.
    If this situation occurs in my house and i start acting like his friend i bet i will be locked up too.

    Mind you i’m a man of color. Oh and i bet alot of those cops on that cambridge force voted for obama wow what a dummy.

  6. jonolan Says:

    Yes, jj; you’re absolutely right. The greatest stupidity on Obama’s part was rendering a judgment on the situation at all. It was a local matter that did not in any way benefit from comments by the POTUS.

  7. Obamacare Metaphor | Reflections From a Murky Pond Says:

    […] Whatever value the tÍte-ŗ-tÍte had in the context of race relations and racial reconciliation remains to be seen, as does whatever value it may have in smoothing over Pres. Obama’s earlier “racial charged” stupidity. […]

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