#1 What the Gates-Crowley "Teachable Moment" Really Teaches
08-04-2009, 10:42 AM
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
Readers on the left will be shocked, if not incredulous, to learn that neither I nor any conservative I know realized why the president asked Vice President Joseph Biden to join him, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Cambridge police Sgt. James Crowley for their fabled "beer summit" at the White House.
I had simply assumed that the president invited Biden in order to lessen any tension by having someone with no connection to the case join the meeting. Likewise, another conservative, the producer of my radio show, Allen Estrin, assumed that the vice president was in the area...
It has indeed turned out to be, but not at all in the way the president has meant it to be.
All it has taught, indeed reconfirmed, is how much more race-conscious the left is.
And it has taught us once again us that no matter how little anti-black racism actually exists in America, most blacks and nearly all of the left deny this. That the vast majority of non-blacks are either proud of the fact or could not care less that a black man is president of the United States apparently means next to nothing to most blacks and most liberals of all colors. Too many blacks and liberals continue to see whites as racist and therefore to see black-white interactions as race-centered even when they are not.
This is highly instructive.
So here's the teachable moment: Harvard historian Louis Gates talked back to a police officer because he was treated as a suspect when he felt he should not be, given his fame as a Harvard professor. The professor was certain that the only possible explanation for such treatment was that he, Gates, was a black and the officer just another racist white policeman. The professor was wrong. The president was wrong. The press is wrong. Liberals are wrong. Even most blacks are wrong.
Many American non-blacks -- even those who did not vote for Barack Obama -- were hopeful that the election of a black as president of the United States would mean the end or at least the beginning of the end of the black and liberal view of America as racist.And here's the other teachable moment: We were quite naïve. As far as most liberals and blacks are concerned, nothing has changed.
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