Gates-Gate (or, Dealing with the Brew-haha)

July 23rd, 2009

Inspired by Harvard Scholar Henry Louis Gates Arrested (Washington Post 7/21/09), Obama: Cambridge police acted ‘stupidly’ in Gates arrest ( 7/22/09), and Officer Tells His Side of the Story in Arrest of Harvard Scholar (Washington Post 7/23/09).

Sergeant Crowley, I don’t think you’re a racist

Because you on being respected insist.

Cops don’t like people to talk to them disrespectfully,

Which I myself understand fully.

But in arresting Professor Gates just for that,

You make your argument fall flat.

You could have easily just let him go

(It was his own house, you know).

President Obama was correct

That the police response was incorrect.

Acting stupidly isn’t the same as being stupid, so please chill out:

That you’re a decent cop isn’t in doubt.

But you should be willing to admit that you made a mistake—

A simple apology is all it would take.

Explain that cops don’t like to be dissed by anyone, black or white,

And that you shouldn’t have arrested Professor Gates that night.

And Professor Gates you made a mistake too,

Which everyone, black or white, knows better to do.

It’s never a good idea to be in “contempt of cop.”

And the police did agree, the charges to drop.

As President Obama said, there’s still racism out there,

And sometimes police with minorities are unfair.

That doesn’t mean that you, Sergeant Crowley, are one of them,

But we must all recognize the impacts that from our history stem.

We all need to try harder, black and white,

And sometimes things won’t work out right.

Then, we just need to figure out what went wrong,

Learn the lesson and move on.

I’m sure that’s what we’ll (eventually) do here.

And as the President says, it never hurts to have a beer.


Here’s President Obama’s statement at the press conference.

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