Patterico's Pontifications


Gates’ Arrest Update

Filed under: Obama,Race — DRJ @ 2:15 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Sgt. Leon Lashley, a Cambridge police officer who was at the Gates’ house at the time of the arrest, has come forward in support of Sgt. Crowley’s actions and arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.:

“Sgt. Leon Lashley says Gates was probably tired and surprised when Sgt. James Crowley demanded identification from him as officers investigated a report of a burglary. Lashley says Gates’ reaction to Crowley was “a little bit stranger than it should have been.”

Asked if Gates should have been arrested, Lashley said [he] supported Crowley “100 percent.”

Sgt. Lashley is black.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama is trying to tamp down this story by toning down his prior rhetoric:

“This has been ratcheting up, and I obviously helped to contribute ratcheting it up,” he said. “I want to make clear that in my choice of words, I think I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge police department and Sgt. Crowley specifically. And I could’ve calibrated those words differently.”

Seeking to lighten the situation further, he said he had invited both Crowley and Gates for “a beer here in the White House.”

The article at the second link also notes that, prior to Obama’s remarks, “a multiracial group of police officers” called for both Obama and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to apologize. Patrick reportedly said Gates’ arrest was “every black man’s nightmare.”


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Obama also called the episode a “teachable moment.”

And so it might be. Hopefully it will teach Obama to keep his damn mouth shut next time.

29 Responses to “Gates’ Arrest Update”

  1. This is bad, but if I were to hope for an Obama backtrack and reversal I’d much rather it be on Honduras.

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  2. The Barack Obama also used the phrase “teachable moment.” Can he not stop being a dweeb? No. No he can’t.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  3. “The prior statement was not the statement I used to know.” Barack Obama.

    The Emperor (1b037c)

  4. He opened the Pandora’s box once again, and now it’s too late to close it. Open mouth, insert foot, over and over. Someone tell me again how intelligent, articulate and thoughtful this guy is? And Bush was the moron by comparison? Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  5. The President invited them for “a beer here in the White House.”

    And Clinton was called ‘Bubba’?

    For the good of the nation (and the world) I hope this President finds his even keel, he seems more and more ‘off-kilter’ lately. js

    Jesse (62b2bc)

  6. That doesn’t sound awkward at all.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  7. Obama needs a break. Or a brake. He needs to take a time out. Honestly speaking.

    The Emperor (1b037c)

  8. Given that Obama is trying to loot the country via health care in a craven attempt to buy votes, perhaps someone should check his ID, starting with his birth certificate.

    Joe (a32cff)

  9. Barack Obama: So. You’re not a vile stupid racist after all, huh.

    Cop guy: Um… not so much, no.

    Barack Obama: That’s great. That’s really really great.

    Cop guy: Yeah. I … I’m real comfortable with it.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  10. So Lashley’s black, eh? Well that changes everything doesn’t it.

    Obviously anti-black racism DOES NOT EXIST the REAL problem is ANTI-WHITE RACISM

    So y’all betta steer clear o’ da like of me. I jus might cut ya!

    David Ehrenstein (2550d9)

  11. Some people choose words. Obama calibrates them.

    Dan Collins (ebb146)

  12. Dan Collins! Hi. I hardly ever see you anywheres. It was a lot cause I never bookmarked your New Blog here at work. Here. Ok that’s fixed.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  13. Obama should never have apologized. What he said was right. What the cop did was “stupid”. He only needed to explain what “stupid” means, politically. He also needed to balance it by saying that Skip’s action was also stupid. Then invite these two stupid-acting folks to the White House for lunch. Apologizing makes him look weak. Not good for his “strong” decisive image.

    The Emperor (1b037c)

  14. Obama calibrates them.

    Hilarious how he always falls back on his inane lawyerly – talk. Just speak plainly, Einstein.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  15. Well said, Dan Collins. Or should I say well calibrated?

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  16. This will leave a mark.

    RUSH: I left something out of the pattern that I have learned watching and studying Obama. We will know when the heat gets too much to take, we will know when their internal polling on this is disastrous, because at that point he will throw Henry Louis Gates overboard, just as he threw his grandmother overboard, just as he threw Reverend Wright overboard, just as he did a Judas on Bill Ayers. “I don’t know the guy. He lives in the neighborhood.” Whenever the heat gets so hot, he’ll throw these clowns overboard. He’ll call Gates, “Look, I gotta throw you overboard, buddy, you know, I’ll make it up to you somehow, but I gotta throw you overboard.” And Gates will go out and say, “I understand the president has to be a politician.” Just like Reverend Wright said, “Well, look, he had to throw me overboard, he’s a politician, he can’t be who he really is.” That’s exactly right, except he is being who he is, except you just need somebody to translate it for you. So look for sometime next week Henry Louis Gates, distinguished professor, African-American studies at Harvard, to be thrown overboard by the White House, by Obama.

    Joe (a32cff)

  17. The Gates arrest – an outrage, the temporary arrest of Prof. Gates is an example of the authorities acting stupidly!!!

    Unarmed Iranian female art student shot and bleeds to death on camera…..(sound of crickets from white house)(What!? We couldn’t possibily comment without all the facts!)

    “It is NOT TRUE that friends of the Administration get preferential treatment!” Marc Rich – presidential pardon recipient.

    Californio (9b0d11)

  18. The Democratic Party: where America’s enemies always get the benefit of the doubt.

    Mike LaRoche (d83224)

  19. Again, I have been looking for the video on YouTube, but I can’t find it. It is from SNL, during the first or second season.

    Garrett Morris plays a television commentator who often brings up issues of race and prejudice. He starts by saying that racism is everywhere, even on the basketball court. He goes on to say that this is more common in America than people think.

    He shows a video clip where a black player punches a white player smack in the face. This was much in the news at the time.

    Garrett Morris sits there a moment. Then he says, I know how that looks. People are making assumptions. Let’s look at it in slow motion.

    So the audience gets to see the black player smack the white player into next week, in slow motion, with no apparent provocation.

    And it continues, as Morris’ character looks more and more uncomfortable, and tries less and less successfully to make the clip an example of racism.

    So it is with the Gates affair. What we will learn, I am pretty sure, is that Professor Gates threw a tantrum. I could be wrong, but I suspect we will know shortly—the police will want to defend their reputations, especially given the President’s unprofessional and uninformed statement (not precisely “pitch-perfect”). And most Americans don’t think that throwing tantrums at police officers is mature or professional behavior. Particularly with cameras and tape recorders running, as they always do in this kind of situation. And with good reason, as is clear now.

    The press will back away to protect the President, and it will become a nonissue. But it is clear that the President has long been part of the “ethnocratic movement.” That works for Senators and Representatives, maybe. Not the Presidency.

    Look for a “discussion on race” announcement soon. The President bungled this one badly.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  20. As far as the “acting out” by Professor Gates, I much prefer this “oldie but goodie” from The Onion, describing Christopher Hitchens getting into Jerry Springer like battles in a trailer park.

    My guess is that Hitchens has a copy of this article, framed. The first casualty of partisanship is a sense of humor.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  21. Patterico makes a good point in the Update about this “teachable moment.” Ditto William A. Jacobson at Le*gal In*sur*rec*tion, who thinks it also teaches us about class divides:

    “While there may be aspects of the case which reflect a “national Rohrsach test on race,” this may be more of a national Rohrsach test on class. A member of Cambridge’s intellectual elite viewing the scene from the perch of academic smarts, and a police sergeant viewing the same events from the perch of street smarts. A real class divide hidden behind the rhetoric of race.

    This incident, and a full exploration of what happened and why, really could be a teaching moment.”

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  22. There are way way too many smart people generally and smart black people specifically what don’t act like badly written poncey tv characters for this to be a for real teachable moment I think. This Harvard guy is defective is all.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  23. This obama speak translates as, “I’ll have his job and make him wish he had never been born.”

    But what can we expect of Rev. Wright’s prize pupil?

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  24. A very difficult job for Mr. Obama, this President thingy.

    Ivan (c8b031)

  25. Its beyond him, in fact, Ivan. Obama is the Empty Suit(tm).

    SPQR (26be8b)

  26. i’ve been thinking about this.

    both back home and here in the uk, i have neighbors who have keys to my house should i ever lock myself out of the house (it happens with more frequency than i care to admit smile). they also have the code for the alarm, gullible me.

    what is it –
    1. does he not have any neighbors who he trusts with keys (are they all white, so he doesn’t trust them)
    2. does he not have friends who he trusts with keys (wait, his friend lives in the wh and doesn’t do housecalls)
    3. what does he have against a locksmith who could open his door professionally (they’d probably be white, so he wouldn’t trust them)
    4. if he was able to jigger his door open, his security system isn’t very good and he’s just asking for a white burglar to come in and rob him. you do know white folks committ more crimes than blacks african-americans do.

    sorry state of affairs if this man is so isolated in his own neighborhood, his neighbors don’t recognize him. but wait, he wouldn’t they’re all white, idiot.

    ktr (2273a6)

  27. just because a blk police officer co-signed an incident doesnt make it right. i have a been a police ofcr for almost 30 yrs. i have seen minorities for yrs agree with non sense, just to get along. if cambridge police go away. problem goes away. they wanted to stay there and make sure he stays quiet. obviously this so called witness wasnt a neighbor…she didnt know doctor gates. so u can arrest a man for being pissed on his own porch. pretty silly.

    vjm (c14fe5)

  28. It makes me angry to see this as national news at all. Just that distinctions of race are in the headlines at all adds significance to racial barriers. Whether or not it is intentional, by covering news like this rather than say the violence on the streets of Tehran, journalists are only continuing age old stereotypes. I found a good discussion of the matter here:

    Annie (52fd91)

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