Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Biden joins Obama, Gates, Crowley for beer at the White House.

| 11 Comments

President Obama invited Vice President Biden to join Harvard Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Cambridge Sgt. James Crowley for beer at the White House on Thursday, to discuss Gates arrest by Crowley--and Obama saying the Cambridge police acted "stupidly."


from the pool report ...


Pool report
Beers in the Rose Garden

It was, alas, only a photo op. The pool had no opportunity to ask questions as we were roped off about 50 feet from the group.

The big surprise: Vice President Joe Biden was at the table with the men. POTUS invited him to join the group this afternoon.
Clockwise, they sat around the round, white table in this order: Obama, Crowley, Gates, Biden.

The men were drinking beer from clear glass mugs and munching on peanuts and pretzels served in small silver bowls.

The beers:
POTUS: Bud Light
VPOTUS: Bucklers
Gates: Sam Adams Light
Crowley: Blue Moon

In the 30 seconds your pool was out there, Sgt. Crowley was doing most of the talking. Gates appeared to be leaning in, listening intently. At one point, POTUS laughed heartily.

Gates and Crowley wore dark suits. POTUS and VPOTUS were in white shirts, jackets off. POTUS had his sleeves rolled up.

Both Gates and Crowley brought their families to the White House and they toured the East Wing together before the sit-down. Gates brough his kids, fiance and father. Crowley brought his wife and kids. The men met POTUS in the Oval Office before moving out into the Rose Garden.

During the sit-down, the family members were given a tour of the West Wing.

Mimi Hall/USA TODAY

11 Comments

That is the counter-clockwise order, not clockwise...right?

Mr. Biden was invited because the photo-op would have looked like two angry black men beating up on the poor little policeman who is an expert in racial profiling and racial sensitivity training courses.

We needed V.P. Biden to display Crowley's smugness on his apparent expertise in racial matters and interactions with minorities.

Vice President Biden had to be there to let officer Crowley know I work for a Black man, this is the POTUS and his friend is a well know scholar of African-American studies.

They are both graduates of Harvard University who are American citizens who happen to be black.

Sergeant Crowley quite apparently does not get the message considering his interview afterwards.

When white males who lay claim to be in charge of racial sensitivity courses and still do not comprehend an apology is needed, your courses are extremely weak, ineffective in how to interface with individuals of other ethnic backgrounds. It serves only one purpose and that is to maintain superiority over others.

Mr. Crowley, previously I tried not to view you as racist. I wrote several lengthy diatribes attacking the situation that you contributed to, by arresting Professor Gates. It does not matter if allegedly Mr. Gates hollered or became belligerent with you. Once Mr. Gates established his identity to you with several pieces of photo I.D.s, that was the end of it. There’s no way you are going to make me believe a Harvard professor – regardless of color - could not understand a mistake of a B&E was called in. Please explain to America again, why there was no apology made at this point and simply leave Mr. Gates home?

Not only was Professor Gates rights to the Fourth Amendment violated - http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am4, but also the First Amendment as well - http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am4. Professor Gates has the right to feel secure in his home and the right to tell you to get out as well, especially after identifying himself as the occupant or home-owner.

Mr. Crowley, how many times have you apologize to white males for a perceived slight, be it personal or while doing your job as an officer?

Another thing, just because you work with Black people who are backing you, everyone in America knows there is a Code of Blue in police departments. Their minute circumference of protection did not help your cause. It only confirmed the notion which not only minorities have but even the majority knows when dealing with police departments. If wearing a police uniform you stand up for the other individual in uniform whether they are right or wrong.

I would say I have empathy for you but I can’t nor can I sympathize with not wanting to give a simple apology after arresting Professor Gates brazenly because you felt a perceived slight. We don’t live in a Kafkaesque society Sergeant Crowley well at least that’s what America keeps telling me. I wonder does Professor Gates have that feeling now.

In conclusion, these so-called racial sensitivity classes you teach, please leave the podium and take a front row seat. Sergeant Crowley, you need to take the class over because you failed miserably in your interaction with Professor Gates. Please take the necessary pre-requisites first, your smugness at not wanting to give an apology displays your racist sub-conscious rather you want to believe it or not.


Douglas, you are obviously making this a race issue, which it isn't.

A neighbor reported what appeared to be a break-in to Mr. Gates' residence. Upon arriving, Sgt. Crowley simply asked for identification to prove this was his home.

Now if this had happened to me, a white man, and a black cop asked me to provide ID, I would have not only IMMEDIATELY produced it, I would have been extremely embarrassed, but I would have also profusely thanked the officer for his service. And guess what, if that had happened in this case, I bet Sgt. Crowley would have smiled and told Mr. Gates to have a nice night.

"Please explain to America again, why there was no apology made at this point and simply leave Mr. Gates home?" Are you kidding me? At this point Sgt. Crowley had done nothing wrong. It was the continued disrespect and abuse that you wouldn't expect from an educated Harvard professor.

You don't think some slick talking criminals would be smart enough to try to tell a police officer they live in the house they just broke into? Once the police pull up, turn on the TV, sit down on the couch and grab a beer and just act like they live there. If I was a police officer, once a call has been made, I would not leave without verifying the identity of these people, white, black or whatever color they are. Could you imagine what Mr. Gates would have said if he heard the police where at his house investigating a real break in and let the criminals go because they had a good line of BS and his 70 inch flat-screen was stolen?

Neither the 1st or 4th Ammendment to the Constitution were violated here. You're just being ignorant.

You need to grow up Douglas. Be a man and admit that Gates was wrong, black or not.

The people here who owe an apology are Gates and Obama, they both made this a race issue. Sgt. Crowley deserves an apology. Too bad Obama is just too stupid to think before opening his mouth.

Douglas is exactly right an apology is needed. Obama needs to apologize for speaking before knowing the facts. Crowley's claims are based on his job description and training he has received and given. IF Gate's statements are correctly given in the police report than who was profiling? Could it have been the home owner who was having a bad day and decided to take it out on the white police officer? HMMMM a little patience on every side could have prevented this.

Rasism is alive and well in America. Now it is on the Black side of the ledger and not the white side.

I think what people don't understand is that everyone says things the wrong way. It's just that when the President does it, the consequences are amplified by a million. Wouldn't it be nice if we could solve more problems like this though?
runescape money

Hello,
A period (year) of forgiveness and atonement should take place for the entire USA. Any act (particular of police against Afro-American) in which the rights of others were violated should be confessed to the individual and repayment made to the same as best as one can afford. A blanket statement/law directed to a group does not satisfy the unpleasantry of being falsely accused, arrested, convicted and fined or even executed (Illinois) for the individual. Such an act is necessary for me to believe that respect for human (not civil) rights is deserved by all.

KINDA REMINDS YOU OF BULL CONNER, HE HANDCUFFED THE MAN IN HIS OWN HOME, BECAUSE A MAN WITH A CANE WAS BELLIGERENT TOWARDS HIM, THANK GOD HE DIDN'T HAVE A WATERHOSE!

Douglas, You my friend are so out of touch with reality. Gates was in the wrong, it believe it is widely accepted. I believe that racism is real, however it has made a 180 turn. Blacks are the real racists in this country.

YOU MIGHT BE ANGRY WITH DOUGLAS, BUT PROFESSOR GATES WASN'T WRONG, HE WAS RIGHT AND IF HE WAS WRONG THEN THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES IS WRONG, IF HE WAS WRONG THEN THE BILL OF RIGHTS IS WRONG, THE MAN WAS IN HIS OWN HOME, BEING FOLLOWED AROUND LIKE A COMMON CRIMINAL, ALL THE OFFICER HAD TO DO WAS LOOK AT THE PICTURES ON HIS WALL TO SEE ALL OF THE OTHER FAMOUS PEOPLE HE HAD TAKEN PICTURES WITH, THE PROBLEM WAS THE OFFICER FLEXED AND HE DIDN'T THINK THE MAN WAS A COLLEGE PROFESSOR, HE DIDN'T THINK THE MAN LIVED IN THAT PARTICULAR HOUSE, YOU CAN LET THE POLICEMAN OFF THE HOOK ALL YOU WANT, BUT THE FACTS ARE THE FACTS, THE TRUTH HURTS BUT IT WILL SET YOU FREE!

I cannot believe the crap that makes news anywhere in the world, never mind the US. The Cop was wrong, the Professor was wrong, Obama was acting like the schoolyard principal. So what!! How about humans stop doing this kind of Political crap to gain publicity, oh wait, who will have a journalist job if we do that. Crap sells, people buy it, at least the POTUS had some common sense to realize this was Waaaay out of proportion. Like him or not, where has common sense gone.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 30, 2009 5:44 PM.

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