I don't think I've written anything about the whole Officer Crowley/Professor Gates/President Obama brouhaha on the blog. I did discuss it with my former-cop friend Les, who was--shall we say--animated on the issue. Understandable, since he can easily put himself into the situation.
Me, I just assumed both sides overreacted, and that the President--who knows Gates personally--used a few ill chosen words describing the incident. I was frankly surprised the story had enough legs to stomp around as much as it has. But the story keeps chugging, egged on by both sides. I personally tend to try and give the benefit of the doubt in stories where I have no personal knowledge
In my mind, it goes something like this: The cop checks out the situation, hears from the witness, and goes up to the house. Gates, taken aback by the appearance of the cop, flies off the handle (having just travelled from China, probably already irritable). Gates--who has likely been in racially charged confrontations before--rightly or wrongly assumes his race has something to do with it, adding to his irritation. The cop--who I won't assume was racially motivated--is now irritable too. "Hey, I'm just doing my job, and this guy's busting my balls" he might think. So, when Gates steps outside, the cop sees a way to "win" this particular argument, and does. He probably shouldn't have done that, arresting somebody for being annoying. And Gates probably shouldn't have flown into a rage on the assumption that the cop was a racist.
In my view, there's every possibility that both men were right and wrong in their own way. I'd be irritated if a cop was still acting like I was a suspect after I produced ID. And I'd be irritated if I was accused of being a racist if I wasn't. Both had reason to get upset, and both took it too far. There, all done, right? Especially after the truce being drawn, and an agreed to meeting at the White House. Something tells me, it's not over though. Betcha this just keeps finding new ways to irritate people. For instance, this clip from Countdown with Keith Olbermann, with fill-in host Lawrence O'Donnell. I enjoyed the segment, but I'd wager it will start a new round of grousing. . .