We have finally made it.
We have finally entered the long-awaited “Post-Racial” era in the United States of America – the era of colorblindness envisioned by the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – where character is central to how we judge our fellow man. This is (coincidentally enough) synonymous with the coming of the Obamacratic Age – a new Messianic Age – where harmony and understanding finally sit at the foundation of American society, particularly among grey-haired pony-tail types, aging angry blacks, and members of academia. It is the time when both sympathy and trust abound. (Indeed, peace shall guide the planets while love steers the stars).
Today, in fact, at the White House, President Obama – the Post-Racial President, the Unifier, the One – will be hosting what is being billed as a “teachable moment” as he brings together white Cambridge, Massachusetts police office James Crowley and black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for a glass of beer and a slice of understanding.
Whether Crowley and Gates will be helicoptered in or will simply balance themselves on the shoulders of President Savior as he water-shuffles onto the south lawn is unclear, but media coverage of the event should displace all other news stories for a good five to six hours – even pushing aside the latest on the month-old death of Michael Jackson. (Yes, he is still dead).
The police officer (who acted “stupidly,” according to the President’s initial evaluation of the situation, void of facts and full of crap) and the professor (angry that he wasn’t instantly recognized as one of planet’s most important academics, only to blame it on racism) will hopefully clear the air, mend fences and put a pretty bow on the latest Obama photo-op. After all, what kind of “Post-Racial” America is this if white Americans and black Americans can’t come together to agree that the United States is full of bad white Americans?
And that goes for their institutions, too!
It ought to be a hoot.
There will be so much for them to talk about.
Sadly, however, the one person that really ought to be at the big powwow today – and will not – is Lucia Whalen.
She played a fairly important role in this over hyped, overplayed, non-story that only became newsworthy because a relic black professor, bitter that the Cambridge Police Department asked for his identification instead of his autograph, made it so. It goes without saying that if Gates had never screamed “racism” after being asked to produce identification, there would not have been a piece of newsprint small enough, or a slice of bandwidth narrow enough, to accommodate an event as painfully routine and extraordinarily uninteresting as this.
Whalen is the one who placed the call to 9-1-1 that brought the police to Gates’ residence after he and his driver were seen breaking into the house.
Since then, Whalen has been ostracized, scrutinized and abused almost everywhere – from the leftist end of the blogosphere to the mainstream alphabet channels. She has been picked apart, her motivations dissected, her character questioned, and flat-out been branded a racist simply for doing what any reasonable human being would have done given the circumstances. She saw something that was, at the very least, an unusual event and, at most, a felony – and she’s been paying for it ever since.
Beating me to the punch, Roger Simon at Politico commented on this White House “shunning” of the widely reviled Lucia Whalen before I had the opportunity to finish this piece.
She will not get a beer with the boys. Lucia Whalen has not been invited to the White House.
The three amigos — Henry Louis Gates Jr., James Crowley and Barack Obama — will throw back some cold ones on the South Lawn on Thursday as the whole world watches this “teachable moment” on race in America.
And they deserve a drink. They have been through so much! How they have suffered!
In reality, only Whalen, the woman who called 911 on July 16 to report a possible break-in at the Cambridge, Mass., home of Gates, acted responsibly from beginning to end in this whole affair.
And she doesn’t even get a free drink out of it.
Whalen never used the words “black” or “African American” in her 9-1-1 call. In fact, except for a dubious description about one of the men possibly looking Hispanic (after being asked to describe the men), there was absolutely nothing in her call about race or ethnicity.
Simon is also incorrect on one point.
Having read the police reports, heard the comments from the parties involved, and weighed analysis from law enforcement officials who are familiar with the accounts and details of the incident, I am convinced that Officer Crowley did precisely what he was supposed to do. He did act responsibly, following proper procedures in responding to a possible breaking-and-entering call.
In this instance, I refuse to be one of those “both-sides-could-have-handled-it-better,” mushy-in-the-middle, lightweight, friend-to-everyone peace makers.
The truth is the truth.
Gates was in the wrong – not for locking himself out of his own home, but for behaving like an ass when the police arrived to protect that home. Ultimately, his foot-stomping got him arrested … and a trip to the White House for a beer.
Meanwhile, Lucia Whalen – the vigilant citizen – is under fire.
Eric at the Great Vocal Minority blog writes:
This morning Ms. Whelan, on the verge of tears, went on nationwide television and delivered a public statement defending herself against what is nothing other than a modern-day tarring and feathering.
Only in “post-racial” America does a woman who did absolutely nothing wrong have to do this. Whoever has leveled such charges against her no doubt adopted their sick ideology from hate-Whitey liberals like the Harvard professor. And it is of no small significance that Gates is a friend of our pathetic hate-Whitey president.
I am embarrassed for Cambridge, for Harvard, and for the president of the United States, who I consider personally responsible for flaring this story up into a national debacle.
The transcript of Whelan’s 911 call is right here and there is not a single racist remark made in the whole thing. Whoever has done this to her should be ashamed of themselves. They are no different from the 88 loathsome Duke Professors who wrote and still for the most part defend their letter smearing the Duke lacrosse players.
It is a sad irony that an innocent bystander trying to do the right thing has been the target of more hateful racist remarks in a few days than Henry Louis Gates Jr. has probably had to endure for many years.
Had he even been remotely subjugated to the kind of “racism” he claims he had to brave at the hands of the Cambridge Police Department at any point in the last, say, fifteen or twenty years, is there anyone alive who honestly believes America would not have heard about it in grizzly detail by now?
He’d already have created at least two documentaries on “Black Hatred in Modern America.”
He might even have a telethon.
Of course, this is not to claim that racism has been erradicated in America. Belief in a flat Earth hasn’t been erradicated in America, let alone racism.
I would submit, however, that Americans like Professor Gates are far more likely to experience everyday, run-of-the-mill, normal human “unpleasantness” due to the disposition of others and the routine nature of human interaction than racism.
Welcome to the “Post-Racial” United States.
And by the way, Officer Crowley’s integrity was not only brought under fire on a national level, he was roundly insulted by an uninformed, quick-to-twitch President of the United States for doing his job “stupidly.”
Mr. President, you know what you can do with that beer.