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Obama meets with police officer, Harvard professor

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by MziziMkavu, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

    Jul 31, 2009
    Joined: Feb 3, 2009
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    [​IMG] Play Video ABC News – The Bottom Line on Beer Diplomacy

    [​IMG] AP – President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have a beer with Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates …

    By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer Ben Feller, Associated Press Writer – 6 mins ago
    WASHINGTON – With mugs of beer and more-carefully chosen words, President Barack Obama tried to push himself and the nation beyond an uproar over race, chatting in his garden Thursday with the black professor and the white policeman whose dispute had ignited a fierce, consuming debate.
    Under the canopy of a magnolia tree in the early evening, Obama joined the other players in a story that had knocked the White House off stride: Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge, Mass., police Sgt. James Crowley. Vice President Joe Biden was with them on a Rose Garden patio.
    The men were seen chatting with each other, each with a mug of beer. The media were stationed far away, out of earshot, and ushered away quickly.
    Although Obama had invited Crowley and Gates as part of what he called a "teachable moment," it wasn't quite reachable for the masses. The coverage allowed the public to get the we've-come-together photos and video footage that the White House wanted, while keeping the discussion private among the men.
    Crowley and Gates, in dark suits for the highly anticipated meeting, seemed more formal than Obama and Biden, who had ditched their coats in the early evening. The president nibbled on snacks and was seen laughing at one point.
    The meeting lasted over 40 minutes.
    A short time earlier from the Oval Office, Obama had done what his aides had been doing for days: lowering expectations.
    "I noticed this has been called the 'Beer Summit.' It's a clever term, but this is not a summit, guys," Obama told reporters. "This is three folks having a drink at the end of the day, and hopefully giving people an opportunity to listen to each other. And that's really all it is. This is not a university seminar."
    There's been a political cost for Obama for the episode, stealing attention from his agenda and drawing negative public reviews on how he handled the matter.
    It began when Crowley investigated a potential burglary at Gates' house and ended up arresting the protesting professor for disorderly conduct. The matter mushroomed into a debate on racial profiling, fueled when Obama said in a prime-time news conference that the police "acted stupidly." He later expressed regret.
    Gates, 58, is black. Crowley, 42, is white. The charge against Gates has been dropped.
    The White House meeting drew such media interest that press secretary Robert Gibbs said he looked forward to facing no more questions about what beers each man would drink. For the record, it was Bud Light for Obama, Sam Adams Light for Gates, Blue Moon for Crowley, and nonalcoholic Buckler for Biden.
    Before the photo-op moment of diplomacy, Obama confessed that he was "fascinated by the fascination about this evening."
    "Hopefully, instead of ginning up anger and hyperbole everybody can just spend a little bit of time with some self-reflection and recognizing that other people have different points of view," Obama said. "And that's it."
    Crowley told Boston TV station WHDH that he hoped for a meaningful discussion with the president and then a quick return to his job.
    "Right now I just want to get back to work, get back to doing what it is I do, get back to being a dad to my three children," he said at an airport in Washington.
    It was Obama himself who said last week the episode could be a "teachable moment" on improving relations between police and minority communities.
    Yet his agenda became simply to allow for a good, productive conversation. The hope, in turn, is that people in communities across the nation will see the meeting as a model for how to solve differences — more listening, less shooting from the lip.
    Yet a parallel goal for Obama is to cap this story and move attention back to his push for a national health care overhaul.
    The White House says it is not paying for any transportation or other accommodation costs for Gates or Crowley.
    Gates and Crowley had family members with them. They got tours and pictures.
    "I hope it's more than media hype. I really hope that it's a moment where everyone acknowledges the complexity of race relations in our country," said Kelly McBride, a specialist in ethics at the Poynter Institute journalism center.
    "Everybody can walk out of the meeting thinking exactly what they thought walking in, and that would be fine," she said. "But I would hope they would understand the others' positions. If they get that far, it could be a model for what we should be doing when things like this happen again. Because it's going to happen again."
    At the time of the incident, Gates demanded an apology from Crowley and called him a "rogue policeman." Obama said the Cambridge policed "acted stupidly" in arresting Gates when he had shown proof he was in his home. Crowley said that, while he supported the president, Obama was "way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts."

    Obama hails meeting with police officer, Gates - Yahoo! News
  2. MNDEE

    MNDEE JF-Expert Member

    Jul 31, 2009
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    The beer summit has just ended after which officer Crowley held a press conference. From what I saw this will not be the last time we see or hear about this guy (Crowley), kinda arrogant too!
  3. Kaizer

    Kaizer JF-Expert Member

    Jul 31, 2009
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    Thambi ya ubaguzi mbaya sana...hao wajamaa naona bado wako nayo t! na nadhani ma anto Obama wamepata sehemu ya kuspin hii kitu
  4. T

    The Truth JF-Expert Member

    Aug 4, 2009
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    Barack Hussein's really stepped in it this time. He has alienated many White voters because of this incidence.
  5. Abdulhalim

    Abdulhalim JF-Expert Member

    Aug 4, 2009
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    Yep it could be so. It is best for him to remain with few 'clean' supporters rather than having a big flock of racist supporters.
  6. H

    Hofstede JF-Expert Member

    Aug 4, 2009
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    Hawa jamaa wanakazi kweli yaani mpaka Obama amalize mihula yake 2016, watakuwa wameshateseka vya kutosha. Wanatafuta na kufunua kila jiwe kuona kama kuna something about Obama wapi wanaishia kung'atwa na nge tu.

    Wakubali wasikubali Obama tayari ni Rais wa Marekani and its irreversible. They'll do all mudslinging on Obama and nothing will stick.
  7. T

    The Truth JF-Expert Member

    Aug 6, 2009
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    If they were racist they wouldn't support Barack Hussein.