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…
… it probably wouldn’t happen. But let’s say my old house in Chicago.
Here, I’d get shot.
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.