Sort it out over booze, the old American way, right? Obama offered both Henry Louis Gates and the cop who arrested him to the White House for a beer. Gates - the Ivy Leauge African American studies scholar - accepted.
Per the New York Post:
Gates told the Boston Globe in an e-mail late Friday that he spoke to Obama and said he would meet with Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley. Gates said he hoped his arrest by Crowley leads to greater sensitivity on racial profiling and that it was time to "move on." Obama extended the invitation Friday in phone calls to the two men as he sought to calm a national debate over racial profiling.
I'm sorry, but doesn't this seem vaguely...Dubya-ish? The intention's good, but honestly, it's a little hokey, feels a little gauche, and it's completely transparent as spin for Obama even bringing it to the executive level, anyway. Yeah, it was stupid on both sides, but did our president need to talk about it?
Then again, bringing conversation about race to the foreground is, honestly, never a bad thing, and Gates would be a moron to turn down a dialogue with one of the most important figures in American - and especially African American - history. Hell, bringing racial profiling to the White House is, in it of itself, maybe a moment in history. Too bad it comes at the cost of more pertinent issues, like keeping all of us - the racists, the racially profiled, and everyone in between - somewhat healthy.