Thursday, July 30, 2009

Obama, Barkeep

Although he's called it a "teachable moment," I haven't quite figured out what his role is supposed to be. To lend a commiserating ear to the complaints of both men? It's probably over by now, but I was just wondering what it is that's being taught by the beer summit, and who it is that's being instructed. And what's in it for the white guy. If I were that latter fellow, I wouldn't go. Attending implies that there's a reason to attend. I'd go if Obama had said beforehand, "I'd like you to come to the White House so that I can apologize to you for having acted stupidly." It would be even more enticing if he'd added, "And so that I can advise that race-leech Henry Gates to apologize as well, and to crawl back into whatever academically protected pc fever swamp he crawled out of."

But what it's going to look like is that we have two men possessed by grievances of equal legitimacy, who will behave better toward each other next time around once Obie the Post-Racial Mediator has shown them a better way. Why is Officer Crowley sharing a beer with a man who thinks he's a racist? Does Crowley have something to apologize for? Is there something he can learn from Mr. Gates, the man who wrote on his Yale application, "As always, whitey now sits in judgment of me, preparing to cast my fate. It is your decision either to let me blow with the wind as a nonentity or to encourage the development of self. Allow me to prove myself," and whose resentment of whitey seems to have ripened with the years, along with his collection of academic honors and his general prosperity? "This isn't about me," he said on a morning talk show while contemplating a possible lawsuit. That's what people always say when they want to universalize their personal nuttiness. But no, he's just speaking for black people everywhere.

I know some black people for whom "being black in America" is awful. I know some white people like that too. But Henry Gates is not one of those for whom it is awful. Being black and Henry Gates in America is comparatively wonderful, especially if he can keep his mouth shut.

So what we have at the summit (which I think would have been more revealing if they'd thrown the bar open to other repasts, like vodka and whiskey and various foreign-grade wines) is one tenured, racial crank whose alternate reality will be found worth exploring, one liberalism-on-steroids politician whose mediocrity is revealed in his preference for stereotypes over facts, and one cop who did his job. No, I don't see anything in this for the white guy at all.

Except beer. It's free, so he should drink a lot of it, claiming as excuse that this is not about him, but about upholding the reputation of hard-drinking Irish cops everywhere. Anybody know how many Obama had?


Lydia McGrew said...

I completely agree. He should not have gone. It was a silly suggestion. The best thing I can say is that at least Crowley says he and Gates have agreed to disagree. Thank goodness he didn't just cave in and say he was wrong.

I note that it appears that Crowley is a Democrat. Perhaps this has something to do with his making the beer get-together suggestion and going along to it?

William Luse said...

I didn't know he'd made the suggestion. My word, there are just so many details to keep track of in this exceedingly important confab. The future of race relations in America probably hangs on the outcome. When you've got four Democrats sitting around drinking beer and talking about, oh, just anything, you know that progress is in the offing.

Peony Moss said...

Huh? Beer? I'm still stuck on this notion that one's choices in life are (1) Yale or (2) being a nonentity with no encouragement to develop one's self. Or is that supposed to be "ironic"? Irony, such a useful phrase when you're a sophomoric jerk who's getting called out.

William Luse said...

Go Peony.
Yeah, he resents submitting to whitey's judgement, but without it he's a nonentity. "Allow me to prove myself" is a plea for Whitey's generosity. So whitey gives it to him and 40 years later he's still complaining about it.

smockmomma said...

i'd never strap myself to a whipping post, and i don't understand people who would. okay, maybe for a delightful cabernet, but a lousy beer? pthfuh!

William Luse said...

I don't know what kind of beer they were drinking, but I do know the brands that would tempt me to show up. If you're saying that you don't like beer, period, then I suggest you do a little yardwork in the Texas summer sun.

MamaT said...

Ha ha Ha Ha Ha......

That is me laughing over the thought of the Smock doing yardwork in the Texas sun.


Not in this lifetime.

MamaT said...

Oh, and my guess is that Obama had, like, 1/2 a beer.

And it was probably a Bud Lite.

William Luse said...

Lite portions of lite stuff for liteweights on a lite news day.

Yeah, that whole man's man "let's have a beer and talk it over" shtick never sounded right. He doesn't strike me as the kind of fellow who really knows how to drink beer, though I think he could use the calories.

Hope Smock sees your comment.