Less than a month after being confirmed as the nation’s attorney General, Eric H. Holder Jr. called out the American people as “essentially a nation of cowards” for refusing to talk openly about race.
So, thank you, professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and President Obama, for starting the long-awaited national discussion on black and white identity – while averting our attention from the cockamamie scheme to nationalize health care.
And kudos to the professor and the president for choosing Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department as the representative of the Caucasian-American side of this difficult and much-needed historic debate.
Poetry was at work as the archetypal racist white cop who, according to the admittedly fact-challenged president, “stupidly” arrested his “friend.” Sgt. Crowley waged a swift and effective public relations campaign that quashed the racism meme that Mr. Gates was recklessly pushing.
Sgt. Crowley, as it happens, is the Cambridge police force’s hand-picked racial profiling expert and was selected by a former black police commissioner. He also performed CPR on black basketball star Reggie Lewis, whose widow praised the public servant for doing everything he could to save her husband. Sgt. Crowley’s own police department immediately jumped to his defense in a picture-perfect multiracial photo op and press conference.
Even though Mr. Gates and Sgt. Crowley are poised to put their individual grievances to rest – over a beer negotiated by the president of the United States – the scope of the problem that brought them international attention lingers, underscoring the need for continued robust public dialogue.
We’re finally talking, Mr. Holder and Mr. Obama. Why stop now?
For the record — there is not any part of this debate that I like and it should never have happened but it did. Now it is up to cooler heads to prevail and put the matter to bed before it completely destroys President Obama’s credibility if it hasn’t already. Those insignificant matters of health care and climate change? For the time being you can forget all about them because they’ll now be on the back burner. This situation is sucking up all the oxygen in the room.