Controversy In Cambridge

By now,  many of us have heard about an incident in Cambridge,Ma involving Harvard professor Dr Henry Gates. Just to establish some facts; Dr Gates  is a friend of both President Obama and Oprah, the president has spent time in Cambridge as a student and the President responded to a question at his press conference regarding the  incident. Oh yes, one additional thing, if there is a quintessential liberal town in this country  I  would think  it  to be Cambridge. The nonpartisan Bay Area Center for Voting Research ranks it  the 8th most liberal city in the United States. Sounds a bit low, but I guess it will do.

The above paragraph generally represents facts about the situation. Beyond that, the best thing I have heard was a television interview with Bill Cosby. He was asked a rather lengthy question about the situation and gave  what I deemed to be a reasoned and  thoughtful  answer. He said several things but what struck me the most was his first comment. ” I wasn’t there.” His answer seemed  a bit more presidential than Mr Obama’s. And  this is what struck me most about  Mr Obama’s  response.  He  admittedly said he didn’t have all   the  facts but proceeded anywayto  interject himself and by extension his office into what needs to be a local matter. The President used the word stupidly in describing the actions of law enforcement  and then  said through a spokesman  that he called no one stupid . ABC reporter Terry Moran has a sit down interview that I believe airs tonight. In the interview, the President says he is surprised by the controversy his comments have caused(fyi: a good deal of the controversy involves avowed Obama supporters who think he went too far) and that surprises me. Having been in office a while, he should be well aware of the “bully pulpit” as Theodore Roosevelt termed it. The President’s comments about anything are newsworthy and they have an impact, for good or bad.

Perhaps, he could have someone get  him the facts next time. I fear this situation has the potential for causing more havoc than necessary. As Cosby said, may cooler heads prevail.


July 23, 2009 - Posted by | Culture, Media | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. If it had been me, I probably would have avoided using a word like “stupidly”. But, then again, we don’t know what Obama knows, either. The police report — written by the arresting officer and, one could infer, is him putting his best argument forward — has hit the Internet today and, to be honest, it smells fishy. At the very least, it sounds like the officer suckered the old guy and abused his authority. Even if you want to take his word for everything, the worst that happened was that Prof. Gates was yelling at Sgt. Crowley in Gates’ own house. Crowley then asked Gates to “step outside” where he was able to arrest him for disorderly conduct. .. which wouldn’t have been disorderly conduct if it happened in his own house!

    Cambridge is certainly one of the most liberal towns in America, but that doesn’t mean that their cops are liberal. Remember “Good Will Hunting”? The locals have a huge chip on their shoulders for the college types, and vice versa.

    Comment by diogenes | July 23, 2009 | Reply

  2. What’s going on in New Jersey?

    Comment by Laura | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  3. Black Harvard professor, Henry Gates, friend of Obama, arrested by police when a neighbor reported someone trying to break into Gates’ home. The arrest was ,according to police, due to Gates actions after they approached him rather than the alleged breakin. Charges have since been dropped. Situation is still fluid.

    Comment by Tarheeltalker | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  4. Good points, Diogenes. I still like what Cosby said quite a bit. Noticed today that Obama said he regretted using the word stupidly. Good move on his part.

    Comment by tarheeltalker | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  5. Boy, this just won’t go away. The police tapes released today make it VERY hard to believe Sgt. Crowley’s story. He says he was told that the suspects were two black men, but the tapes don’t reflect that at all. I was pretty sure that he abused his authority before this, but now I have to question whether or not, after all, it was racially motivated on his part. And, if you compare his own police report to the tapes, Sgt. Crowley has about 20 different things that happen in his report, but only 28 seconds elapse on the tapes. Oooops?

    Comment by diogenes | July 27, 2009 | Reply

  6. That ought to be an interesting ‘Beer Summit” at the ole White House!

    Comment by larrys | July 27, 2009 | Reply

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