Saying he doesn't know the facts, President Barack Obama, from his distant White House post said that Cambridge, Mass. police, in arresting Harvard Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. "acted stupidly."
Now that's what I call stupid.
Maybe it's just another example of Obama's double-speak, but if you say
you don't know the
facts, how can you call the action of one or
other parties stupid?
Not surprisingly, Gate's arrest in his home by police who were
responding to a call of a break-in there, has ignited the usual
national furor over "racial profiling," "police misconduct" and, from
the other side, "tiresome whinning," and "playing the race card."
The facts as told by Gates and the police are starkly different, and no more reasonable to try to sort them out from my perch 979 miles away
than it is for Obama to do the same from 437 miles away. But distance
and ignorance hasn't seemed to stop the cascade of "told-you-sos"
erupting from mouths and keyboards of the politically, racially and
ideologically blinded throughout the country.
Perhaps no other phrase has been as damaging in modern America as "here
is just another example of [fill in the blank]." As logically dangerous
as it is to proceed to a universal conclusion from isolated cases, that hasn't cooled the habit of many folks today, from commentators to race
batters on both sides, to make that kind of jump.
It's too bad that our "post-racial" president has fallen into the same trap.