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Steve Lunetta: Let 'BeerGate' be a learning experience

Right About Now

Posted: August 9, 2009 3:17 p.m.
Updated: August 10, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Recently, the President of the United States, Leader of the Free World, and the Most Powerful Man on the Planet, sat down to calm a squabble that could have easily been the subject of a "Cops" episode.

Barack Obama invited police Sergeant James Crowley and Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. to the White House for a beer.

The intention was to settle the firestorm around the encounter that resulted in Gates' arrest for disorderly conduct.

Sergeant Crowley responded to a call that two men were breaking into a home in an upscale residential neighborhood. It turns out that Gates and a buddy were trying to get into his own house.

The reason he couldn't get into the house is because the door had been damaged by another intruder who tried to rob him earlier in the month.

During Crowley's investigation, the encounter turned ugly with Gates following Crowley out in the front of the house yelling at him. Gates thought Crowley was being "racist" for assuming that Gates was a criminal.

When Crowley had enough, he arrested Gates for his clearly uncontrolled, over-the-top, and, frankly, moronic behavior.

This is where it gets good. In a news conference, President Obama commented that the Cambridge police acted "stupidly" in the situation. Golly, Mr. President, were you there? How could you know? Was it clearly just another case of white police beating up a black man?

So, our president injects himself into a situation where he clearly should not have been. After the facts came out, Obama had egg on his face. A big ol' Denver omelette.

Reacting fast, the president decided to get these new BFFs together for a beer in the Rose Garden. What was he thinking? And to make it even better, Obama brings along the gaffe-meister himself, Joe Biden, to add to the hilarity.

I can just imagine the conversation:

Obama: Thank you both for coming. I hope that we can talk honestly about our differences and span the gaps that force us apart.

Gates: No one comes between me and my house! Cop here thinks I'm stealing. Just because I'm black! And I know, ‘cause I'm a professor!

Sgt. Crowley: Sir, I appreciate the invitation. However, I cannot understand Mr. Gates' response. I was protecting his property. He should have thanked me.

Biden: Hey, Barack. I got something to break the tension. A Jew, an Irishman and a Lesbian are walking down the street ...

Obama: Joe, not now.

Gates: Listen, Barack, we know you got elected because of "white guilt." No one thinks you can really run this country. To racists like Crowley here, you are just another black breaking into nice peoples' houses.

Sgt. Crowley: That is not true, Mr. Gates. No one brought up the issue of race except you. In a review of the 911 call, the lady who reported the incident could not even make out race. She thought one of you "may have been Latino." In point of fact, I had no idea who you were other than a supposed intruder. I came to your house to protect and serve.

Gates: That's a lie! That racist woman who reported us sent a telepathic message to the 911 operator that we were black! I know, ‘cause I'm a professor!

Obama: Er, Henry, that's even too outlandish for even me to believe. And this coming from a man who sat for 20 years in a church being told that Jesus was a black man, "God damn America," and we deserved 9/11 because our "chickens came home to roost."

Biden: Hey, Boss, are you going to finish that brewski? I hope you don't backwash...

Gates: I can't believe you are turning on me, Barack! This white, racist cop arrests me and you are taking his side. My brother, I'm going to revoke your NAACP membership!

Sgt. Crowley: Mr. President, thank you for inviting me to the White House. In the future, I would suggest that you refrain from making comments in matters where you have less than adequate knowledge.

Obama: Point well-taken, officer. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a nation to run. Will someone get in here and pick Joe off the ground? Take him into the Oval Office so he can sleep it off.

Ah, to be a fly on the wall.

Let's just hope our president learns that jumping to conclusions is not a good way to operate and that policemen are here to protect and help us. Only three and half more years, folks.

Steve Lunetta is a Santa Clarita resident. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. "Right About Now" runs Mondays in The Signal.


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