Sounds fun, especially for Crowley. What better way to spend a Saturday night than being lectured by two leftist Ivy League pedants on a subject you’re already an expert in? If the rhetoric has already reached the point of teeth-gnashing pretentiousness demonstrated below — “larger meaning,” “teaching moment” — imagine what it’ll be like in person.
Maybe they can have a “friendly” chat about that documentary on racial profiling that Crowley’s inspired Gates to make.
“It was very kind of the President to phone me today. Vernon Jordan is absolutely correct: my unfortunate experience will only have a larger meaning if we can all use this to diminish racial profiling and to enhance fairness and equity in the criminal justice system for poor people and for people of color.
And to that end, I look forward to studying the history of racial profiling in a new documentary for PBS. I told the President that my principal regret was that all of the attention paid to his deeply supportive remarks during his press conference had distracted attention from his health care initiative. I am pleased that he, too, is eager to use my experience as a teaching moment, and if meeting Sgt. [James] Crowley for a beer with the President will further that end, then I would be happy to oblige.
After all, I first proposed that Sgt. Crowley and I meet as early as last Monday. If my experience leads to the lessening of the occurrence of racial profiling, then I would find that enormously gratifying. Because, in the end, this is not about me at all; it is about the creation of a society in which ‘equal justice before law’ is a lived reality.”
Right, except that arguably Gates’s problem with Crowley is that he did distribute equal justice. He saw a guy attempting to break into a house, confronted him about it, and when the guy popped off, he hauled him in for disorderly conduct — even though he’s a public intellectual, Harvard eminence, and official Friend of Barack. To put it another way, Crowley stands accused of two distinct abuses of power: Wrongly arresting a suspect because he’s black and wrongly arresting a suspect because he was rude. One is racist, the other isn’t. Ashley Herzog’s point that insolence towards police does not a criminal make is well taken, but of course that wasn’t the type of abuse Gates and Obama hinted at; they opted for theory number one, not number two. The question is why. Take it away, Patterico.