Americans Finally Told How to Feel About Henry Louis Gates Arrest

We hope you haven't already made up your mind about the rightness or wrongness of Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates' arrest in his own home. Because after a full year, a Cambridge "blue-ribbon" panel has issued a worthless, wishy-washy review!

It's a wonderful metaphor for the world of academia, really. Something shocking happens; common sense causes widespread revulsion; it's chewed over by the media until we're all sick of it; politicians use it as an easy symbolic political football; and then, long after everyone has stopped talking about it and vowed to never revisit this cursed, deadened topic again, a too-large group of "experts" weighs in with a lengthy treatise that proves interesting to no one.

Saying that the situation had been "avoidable," the committee found in a 60-page report that "Sergeant Crowley and Professor Gates each missed opportunities to 'ratchet down' the situation and end it peacefully."

The dozen "experts in areas including police and criminal justice, race, and conflict resolution" also noted that water is wet.

[Boston Globe. Pic: AP]