The union, predictably, backs the officer in the Henry Louis Gates arrest …and then escalates, demanding the president apologize … Sgt. Crowley does some television, and some more televison, and some more television… getting his side of the story out quickly (does this guy have a publicist or what?) And on Friday, President Obama calls the press back in, and while he doesn’t go the whole hog and apologize to Sgt. Crowley for his “stupidly” comment, he does qualify his remarks, removing the “stupidly,” and says he called Crowley and discussed having a beer with the guy (and Gates). Watch:
And the parties involved are well pleased … except of course for those living on the fringes of the right, who have made race baiting the organizing principle of opposition to Obama (and to his Supreme Court appointee, and to the Ricci case, and to … well … everything. One question: does Obama’s walk back resolve the question of whether the arrest itself was proper? On that, I’m not so sure.
Meanwhile, the AP makes the startling discover that the Black Cambridge police officer on the scene of the arrest (pictured in the bottom right of the picture at left) backs Crowley’s version of the arrest “100 percent.” And the alternative would be …? I mean I’d hate to be in the station with a bunch of guys carrying guns had I been him and not backed Crowley up.
UPDATE: Gates is down for the beer meet-up.
UPDATE 2: The Village Voice’s Roy Edroso sums up the rightosphere’s reaction to the provocations of race…