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Friday, July 31, 2009

The Beer Summit and Lessons Learned

Yesterday evening's Beer Summit between African-American professor Henry Louis Gates, European-American Sergeant James Crowley, African/European-American President Barack Hussein Obama, and an unexpected Summit attendee, European-American Vice President Joe Biden, was a teachable moment. In fact, I am in awe at the abilities of both Professor Gates and President Obama to create such a teachable moment.

We all know that racism is still rampant in this country. The fact that we now have a black, er, African-American... no, sorry, an African/European-American President, certainly does not mean that European-American people are no longer racist. After all, you have to remember that only 43 percent of all European-American voters voted for Mr. Obama, so 57 percent of them are clearly still racist. Also remember that a full 4 percent of African-American voters voted for the extremely Caucasian John McCain, clearly proving that African-Americans thoughtfully voted for the candidate they believed would do the best job, regardless of race.

In this environment of blatant racism of European-Americans toward African-Americans, we all need a lesson in race relations. Fortunately for us, Professor Gates, who just happens to be the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, and President Obama, who has written and spoken extensively on race, wisely recognized the opportunity to create just the teachable moment we all needed.

When Gates was seen forcing his way into his own home because the door was jammed, a neighbor, not recognizing that it was Gates, did the neighborly thing and called the police. Sgt. Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department responded to the call. When Crowley arrived on the scene, he asked Gates for identification - nothing unusual there, pretty routine, no teachable moment so far. However, Professor Gates could sense what only a Harvard educator would have the ability to sense: the possibility of a teachable moment.

Gates quickly sprang into action by refusing Sgt. Crowley's request for identification. When Crowley informed Gates that he was investigating a possible break-in, Gates asked, "Why, because I'm a black man in America?" Gates became belligerent toward Crowley and was eventually arrested for disorderly conduct. The groundwork for the teachable moment had been developed.

When President Obama was later asked for his comments on the Gates arrest, he almost destroyed the developing teachable moment by admitting that he didn't have all the facts. He quickly recovered, however, by stating that "the Cambridge police acted stupidly." We now had a fully developed teachable moment.

Yesterday evening's Beer Summit was the culmination of the lessons that we have all learned through this teachable moment created by the non-racist African-American Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates and the equally non-racist African/European-American President Barack Hussein Obama. So what are those lessons? Certainly there are many, but as I see it, here are the main three.

1. If you are a black person - I mean an African-American person - and you are stopped by the police, start loudly proclaiming that the officer is a racist and that he or she is only stopping you because you are an African-American person. If you do this, you will get to have a beer with the President.

2. If you are a European-American police officer, and you are called to investigate any possible violation of the law, and you see that the suspect is an African-American person, you have a difficult decision to make. If you do your job and investigate as you should, you will be called stupid by the President. If that doesn't bother you, however, go ahead and investigate, because after being called stupid by the President, you'll get to go have a beer with him.

3. If you see someone who appears to be breaking into a neighbor's home, make sure you find out that person's race before you decide whether or not to call the police. If you find out that the person is a European-American, go ahead and call the police. If you find out that the person is an African-American, do NOT call the police. Everyone will know that you are a racist, and you will NOT get to have beer with the President.


Blogger SkyePuppy said...

I see the teachable moment taught you plenty. Nicely done!

2:10 PM  
Blogger Bryan Alexander said...


Unfortunately, in all seriousness, the lesson that I think Obama taught all minorities is that it's OK to resist authority, not only law enforcement but also teachers and anyone else in authority who happens to be white. By calling the actions of the police "stupid" and by then going on in his speech and talking about racial profiling when in this case there was none, Obama just gave minorities an excuse to maintain the victim mentality that benefits neither them nor rest of society.

4:53 PM  

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