Jennifer Rubin has an excellent article up at Pajamas Media explaining why President Obama is likely so desirous to have Gatesgate swept under the rug via a meaningless photo-op “beer meeting” between him, Gates, and Sgt. Crowley. Excerpts:
First, it suggests he is an uninformed busy-body. With a paucity of facts and no evidence of racism, he chose to opine on a local matter which otherwise would never rise to the level of a presidential issue.
Second, he sucked the oxygen out of the health care debate at the very moment Democrats were pleading for him to become more involved. On the front pages of major newspapers, on TV news, and on every talk radio show the number one topic was: did Obama mess up on the Gates affair?
Third, Obama indisputably fanned the flames of racism and rekindled animosity on both sides by assuming or making this all about race.  Juan Williams, on Fox News Sunday, did the country an immense service by recounting what exactly occurred: “The president spoke without the facts. You can’t have a ‘teachable moment’ if it’s based on a lie.”As Williams explained, in this case, the neighbor called the police, Gates began to berate the officer (“Do you know who I am?”), trash-talking about the officer’s mother and pursuing him out of the house. The black and Hispanic officers confirmed Gates’ abusive behavior, and Sergeant Crowley took out the handcuffs and warned Gates before finally having to cuff him.
She gives two more reasons why this issue is a loser for Obama. Make sure to read the whole thing.
Something else I was thinking about related to this issue over the weekend is how we hear so often from “black leaders” like Jackson and Sharpton on how “rich white kids” supposedly can so often “buy justice” from “rich white lawyers.” I think in the instance of Gates, we have a prominent rich black professor and scholar whose (black) lawyer likely put pressure on the police department through – perhaps – Cambridge’s black mayor to have the charges dropped against his client in the interest of “moving on.” Gates’ laywer, by the way, was a mentor to a young Barack Obama. Go figure.
What a poor role model Gates has turned out to be for young black men in this country, considering his non-sensical actions during and after the arrest. Gates may “win” this argument in the short term because all too few in this country are willing to confront the issue of reverse racism head-on without backing down when the heat gets to be too hot, but in the long run, young black youths looking up to Gates – and Obama – lose on this issue.
So much for Gates wanting to “help out” the next generation.
Update 1 – 1:04 PM: Hot off the presses – the Cambridge police have released the tapes of the 911 call and police radio transmissions from the Gates arrest. I have not heard about or read any transcript. Am on the hunt for links. Anyone who finds one, please post it in the comments.
- Boston Globe – Gates caller says she didn’t cite race