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July 28th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Should Obama meet with Prof. Gates and Officer Crowley?

ALT TEXT

Pres. Obama has invited Sgt. James Crowley (left) and Prof. Henry Louis Gates (right) to the White House Thursday evening. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

After the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates spiraled into a national debate about race, President Obama is hoping to take things down a notch with a casual meeting at the White House.

The president is scheduled to meet Thursday evening with Professor Gates and the arresting officer - Sgt. James Crowley. The White House says the meeting - which is set to happen at a picnic table outside the Oval Office - is about "having a beer and de-escalation."

It's clearly to the president's advantage if he can take the heat away from this story, get it out of the news, and let the focus return to his priority of health care reform.

Mr. Obama has said he hopes the incident in Cambridge can end up being a "teachable moment" for the country. The president acknowledged that he contributed to the whole incident by saying the police "acted stupidly" without knowing all the facts in the case.

Gates initially called himself the victim of a rogue officer and made allegations of racism; although Friday he said he looks forward to meeting with the president and Crowley. Gates says he hopes this moment can help improve racial relations.

Crowley, who has taught a course on racial profiling for years, stands by his actions; and Cambridge police - who had called on President Obama to apologize - have praised Crowley.

Here’s my question to you: Should President Obama meet at the White House with Professor Gates and Officer Crowley?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

DJ from Walton Beach, Florida writes:
Honestly it seems to me like a waste of time. It seems this nation will always have racial tensions of some sort. This is very small compared to health care, where Obama should be focusing pretty much all of his energy. And I’m not being racist at all; I am a black man.

Esther from Alexandria, Virginia writes:
A man who had proved he was in his own home was arrested anyway by a policeman who didn't like his attitude. The arrested man has an exemplary record of service through books, public TV series, and teaching. The policeman evidently has an exemplary record too. I applaud Pres. Obama for reducing the whole mess to a beer at the White House. May all our tense confrontations end that way this hot summer. I'm not much of a drinker, but I'll drink to that.

Yan writes:
Yes. And Obama should apologize to Officer Crowley in person and in public, if he does not want racism to be part of his legacy. The whole race issue over the incident was stirred first by his friend Gates and then by the president himself.

Joe writes:
No. The media has played this into a huge incident. The parties involved probably feel that it has become an important incident. The reality is that this is just a misunderstanding between two men. They both could have handled themselves a little better. But the bottom line is that this was a small incident. Nobody was hurt or killed. No shots were fired. No punches were thrown…. The president has better things to do than insert himself into small disagreements.

Don writes:
Hey, maybe we should all get into a royal rumble with the police and fight it out, then we can have a kegger at the White House.

Craig from Arizona writes:
Well, I guess if Obama doesn't have anything more pressing. Maybe he could do it once a week. Pick out a couple of guys with a dispute and put it on daytime TV. Instead of Judge Judy, we'll call it "Let's Have A Beer" starring Pres. Obama. The revenues from the show could pay for his health care plan.


Filed under: President Barack Obama
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Nancy Mendelsohn

    Absolutely not! I presume that if Prof. Gates and Officer Crowley would have handled this situation like gentleman, none of this would have happened. I am appauled that President Obama would waste his time on this! And...who is paying for the trip to the White House? The taxpayers? By the way, I am an Obama fan!

    July 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  2. Richard

    Sure he should . Its in HIS best interest. If the officer had been shown to be wrong there would be those asking for his job. Police department are tough on their people. He would surely at least have been disciplined. Obama wants this all to go away over a beer. No way will Gates be held responsible for anything. I hope this incident will tarnish his expertise.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  3. Ray Wood

    Damage control at it's best. Obama obviously wants to take the focus off himself for turning this into a racial matter. I wonder how many other arrest scenarios will now be settled on the White House lawn around the picnic table of justice?

    July 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  4. Rochelle

    Yes they should meet. I would like to know why Sgt. Crowley wrote in his notes that there were 2 Black men with backpacks breaking into the home, when the 911 tape clearly does not state that.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  5. Mary Tarrant

    Yes, President Obama should meet with Professor Gates and the police officer if he wishes. But, he should not apologize for anything. This man should have never been arrested, and while it may not be racist, it certainly involves an ego problem. Probably on both gentlemen, but the idea that I am the law, and must be spoken to completely respectful when I am in someone elses home, that just returned from a long plane trip, is ridiculous. This was an almost elderly man, and certainly one with physical disabilities. It is shameful that the whole police department thought they were correct.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  6. Emmanuel

    Although I think meeting with the President and having a beverage of choice is something majority of Americans would love to do; I don't think this situation warrants the meeting. I watched the night the President chose his words poorly, and thought...he'll be catching some heat for that one. A simple apology to the Cambridge police department would have extinguished the fire.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  7. Anthony

    It's great President Obama wants to be proactive about race, an oft forgotten issue. However, he may be taking the job of president a little too far; he needs to know there are some issues we have to solve on our own. I wouldn't want him to ruin his credibility by overextending himself on every possible issues. Right now the battle is health care.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  8. Ed

    Real simple. Obama needs to apologize. By his own admission, he confessed that he not only didn't know the facts but he was also biased by his friendsip with Prof Gates. That didn't stop him from leaping to judgment against the police. Forget the beer summit. Just apologize. That's what we do when we make mistakes and say stupid things without knowing the facts. Yes, this is a learning experience. I hope Obama has learned NOT to shoot his mouth off!

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  9. Rob

    Yeah, Jack, I'm a liberal and it should be a "teachable moment" especially if Henry Louis Gates can be taught to stop screaming "racism...racism...racism..." everytime something doesn't go right in his life. I'm convinced that many black leaders, and I count Obama among them, do not seriously want a "post-racial" America because it would remove the ability of people like Gates, and Obama, to continually use the race card.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  10. Tina

    I must start by saying how truly over this story I am. But to answer your question..of course the President should meet with the officer and Dr. Gates. Afterall, it was the officer who suggested the get together.

    If the President had not agreed to this meeting, you guys in the press would have had a FEEDING FRENZY! You would have made it look like the President was somehow slighting the officer.

    Thank God we have someone smart in the Whitehouse. President Obama took what could have been a very ugly situation and turned it into something we could all learn from.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  11. Jim

    They should have a beer, or several beers, and all apologize to each other. Gates should apologize for being a jerk, Crowley should apologize for arresting someone who should have been ignored, and Obama should apologize for making this into a racial thing when it was just about two idiots that got into a spat.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  12. Jim

    Pres.Obama should mind his own business.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  13. Larry

    I would not want to meet them at the white house instead at the water fountain next to White House incase they get drunk and start punching each other.

    Larry,
    Mckinney, Texas

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  14. no

    everyone wants to drink beer at the White House

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  15. Linda

    While I believe there should be a conversation concerning race, I don't think this incident should be the stage for it. I don't understan why everyone is jumping all over the president. He is, avvording to the Jim Crowe! A black man and entitled to an opinion based on his personal experiences even if its embarrassing some of you conservative folk. All this apologizing him and sensationalizing his comments are uncalled for. Are you going to stop EVERYONE from voicing an opinion?

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  16. Melody

    I don't think there is a choice now.....President Obama has made a terrible error with his comments about the Officer.What I would like to see is Professor Gates appologize.I am disappointed with our President.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  17. Mary Cadman

    I think they should meet and half way through the first beer, the Officer should ask Obama for a personal Apology with the intention of putting this on the Airwaves, etc. to let the world know that he did indeed get carried away that night, and off topic when talking about "Health Care Reform". After all, this particular Police Officer was only doing his job at the time and showed no evidence whatsoever of racial profiling, after all, he taught this subject. These officers are human beings and only have a split second to their decision making in every shift of their daily job and he did what any good Police Officer would do. Sure, go meet with Obama but demand an apology as what we have so far is only half an apology in my view.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  18. TheRamones

    No...........Obama is spinning this as a race issue, not a police issue.

    Obama may still have a chance to properly address this as a police matter. We'll see.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  19. Janet Spaulding

    Well ... isn't "Let's get together and have a beer" reflective of his foreign policy? So, why not use it domestically?

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  20. Lori, Minneapolis

    The question should be "should Officer Crowley meet with President Obama and Professor Gates?" and the answer is "no." Both Obama and Gates are using Officer Crowley to cover up for irresponsible and offensive behavior. Some may not see through it, but many of us see it exactly for what it is.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  21. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: Yes, the meeting should take place: if for no other reason than to give an example of how disagreement can be managed. In the old days (of W) it would be more of a "make my day," "bring em on" school of conflict resolution. We don't even do that out here in the wild west of Scottsdale, AZ. Kudos again to our President!

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  22. Carlton

    No!!! Instead of all this political correctness, we should be talking about a real issue. Racial profiling is a problem that as we all (maybe not all) can see, but still isn't discussed or dealt with. I'm not suprised though, espcially when it only affects a certain part of the "AMERICAN" population!!!

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  23. Jeff , Douglass, KS

    Jack,
    Yes. There can be no wrong in dialog. Perhaps even the President can bring something away from this.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  24. shawn

    I been a policeman for a big city for over 29 years, sgt. crowley made
    a bad arrest, the D.A did not charge gates because he was not in
    the public as the law states. with that said gates did not help, by
    not following the police orders. as for the city looking at a law suit
    what do you think they going to say and the police well blue wall. I think this set down made make both men say and do what right.
    shawn-cleveland ohio.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  25. Tony Venti

    I do believe the person at fault should pay with services to the community for being an a hole.
    Meeting with the Pres cost money and we paid enough .

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  26. BIlly, Chicago

    I am from Chicago. I am a democrat. I voted for Obama. I stand by Obama. However, I think now more than ever his inexperience as a politician is shining through. In the midst of an economic crisis, failing healthcare, and two wars, I wish he never would have gotten involved. It just not his place. My answer is no, he should have let this go the minute he opened his big mouth. I would expect that comment from Joe Biden, but not Obama.... Let it go dude!

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  27. Arlene

    Obama should of never gotten involved with this issue. Never. I'm still so shocked over this. It should of played out in court. Gates and Obama owes Crowley and the Cambridge police dept. an apology. Gates started this and from the facts that I've seen, Gates acted very racially and had hate in him. I have mixed feelings on Obama meeting with his friend Gates and Crowley. Since he got involved in this drama (so scary for a president) he has to do what he feels is right since he "stupidly" misspoke without any facts on International television.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  28. ELLEN

    Absolutely not!!!! Obama is our President of the United States, he is

    definetly not a therapist. He should have never been involved in this

    situation. Just because he is a friend of Mr. Gates, he is still our

    President and should not let his personal feelings get in the way of who

    he is. Mr. Crowley was simply doing doing his job. He thought Mr. Gates

    was an intruder and did what he had to do. This issue went way to far....

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  29. Angela

    NO! NO! NO! Obama needs to worry about more important things!

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  30. Felicia (Georgia)

    Yes, President Obama should meet with Prof. Gates and Sgt. Crowley at the White House. This was an unfortunate incident where two intelligent men allowed their anger to misguide them. Both should have stood down instead nobody did. I never felt that it was racial, but those big egos made it appear racial. Gates and Crowley have a lot of contribute to our country. Their dialogue is needed to ensure that those "unalienable rights" are never trampled or forgotten. Kudos to both for agreeing to meet!!! In the words of an old church slogan: "Let us do better in the future than we have done in the past".

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  31. Julie Hare

    OK, so the president probably should have kept his off the cuff remark to himself, but it was an honest reaction. That being said, inviting the professor and the officer over for a beer is positively inspired! The only way we will dump our old pre-conceived notions is to sit down and have a conversation. It is the best path to discovering we have more commonalities than differences.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  32. Glenn Pollick

    President Obama should get back to running the country. The issue with Prof Gates has nothing to do with Obama, but after he committed his gaffe by prejudging, now he's trying to recover by playing medicator. It's not Obama's place, and it's not about him–let it go.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  33. Cecilie

    I can’t see why he should spent his precious time on that. He has more important matters to deal with, like health care reform, the economy and 2 wars abroad.
    I wish thIs story, and race in general, wouldn’t be an issue in the US. But since it is, I think I was OK that he commented on it when asked directly, since he knows the professor personally, and being the first black president in this country, it would seem odd if he shies away from talking about race. It is every president’s duty to be concerned about race problems if and where they may exist, but since white presidents seem to have taken that responsibility more lightly than they probably should have, I think it is even more important that Obama dares to talk about it.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  34. Judy

    Well, since he unfortunately got himself involved in the beginning I guess he has to see it through, however, he should focus on national problems and stay out of these other matters in the future.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  35. Larry

    A sitting President acting as moderator in a case of a black man upset he was jailed for something any of us would (and should) be jailed for?
    Obama needs to use his limited senses to cure what ails America – not for what happens in one miniscule little part of it.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  36. Darlene

    Our President is a human being and human being make mistakes, no one is perfect. It is much more economical for the gentlemen to come to the White House and for President Obama to visit them, security is already in place. President Obama wants what is best for our country and meeting with these gentlemen is what is best for our country considering how the media ALWAYS blows everything out of proportion, but if you didn't you would not have a job. The cop did act stupid by tricking (asking hime to step outside) and arresting a senior citizen who was in his own home. Why do black people always have to explain more in detail than anyone else.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  37. Cliff

    No Pres. should not meet with the policeman and make no i'm sorry speech because Pres. was right. Crowley filed a false police report. The MS media is not reporting on this. I must give CNN credit since your did show the contents of the false police report. If I were Mr. Gates I would tell them both to take a hike.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  38. Jack, San Antonio, TX

    It is a great idea that the President will have Gates and Officer Crowley over for a beer. They can both then apologize to Officer Crowley for playing the race card.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  39. Audrey Glover West Point Ga.

    The answer to your question Jack is: President Obama will meet with Prof. Gates and Officer Crowley. Case closed. The Bluedogs are blocking health care reform, good topic to discuss.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  40. whitney cookman

    This is about the President, not Crowley or Gates.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  41. Patrick

    No. The President has more important things to do. If the professor and the cop want to have a beer and talk they can go to a local bar and inform a local reporter. Notes can be taken and the rest of America can know how the meeting went. Obama already called the cop and he knows the professor personally. He doesn't need to be involved in order for them to "kiss and make up.:

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  42. AJ

    Jack,
    After reading that SGT Crowley may have falsified his police report on CNN.com - I strongly believe the President should cancel the event. By the way, where is the outrage over SGT Crowley fabricating his police report?
    AJ

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  43. JOHN TRAAS

    Gates and Obama made mistakes.NOW SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES !!!Obama ran his mouth and made a fool of himself.Gates did not obey a lawfull police order and wanted whitty to pay for it.A beer session is NOT the answer.If it were,let's do the same with the spending of money we ain't got

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  44. Albert Killackey L.A, CA

    Yes because racial relations were harmed by Obama’s poor words. Maybe Sgt. Crowley can use the meeting as a teachable moment to teach Obama (A man I voted for) to distinguish between Racial Profiling and what might be called “Racist Profiling” (White person + police uniform = racist), and that calling a white man a racist based on a fallacious Racist Profile is just as disorderly, as hateful and as racist as when a person addresses an African American using the “N” word

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  45. alex bene

    The President did a mistake and now He'll bring the policeman was called Stupid.After this drinks who will watch this 2 drivers for DUI ?

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  46. Richard

    Jack,

    This is a prime example of how things are "taken out of context." If the president can de-esculate the matter with a cold beer, so be it. Let's get him working on issues that are relavent to the economy, healthcare, etc. By the way, who's paying for the trip to Washington? FORD lending the jet?

    Richard
    North Carolina

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  47. Jon-Tait, WV

    President Obama should disregard the scrutiny of the media and pundits, and concentrate on his priority, healthcare reform. Having a meeting at the White House will perpetuate media interest in this irrelevant junk, instead of making it obvious to viewers that the status quo of healthcare is unacceptable. No, no meeting!

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  48. Karin Rueckert

    Yes I think they should meet. I think Professor Gates owes Officer Crowley an apology. Mr. Gates added to the situation by his pulling the race card. He should be thankful that his neighbors care enough watch his house. If he had cooperated this wouldn't have happened. Shame on you Mr. Gates for pulling the race card.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  49. Janann

    Maybe Crowley will learn how to accurately fill out a report. He lied about Ms. Whalen stating to him that there were two black men with back packs trying to get into Gates’ house as he was going up the stairs to Gates’ house. Expert on profiling my eye. He wrote that lie in his report either he is profiling or he is lying. But yeah lets have a beer over it.

    Janann

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  50. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    If everyone in the trio wants to meet and resolve the issue it’s ok with me.
    What this country needs is more mutual respect for each other. Bigotry on any level is unproductive, I have never met a stranger and my life has been rich and full of pleasant surprises

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  51. Josh Nix, Los Angeles

    GOD NO! Is that the "teachable moment" we were supposed to get out of this?

    Abuse your power by arresting a man for doing nothing more than hurting your feelings after you demonstrate your inability to be man enough to admit you're wrong and simply back off.

    Then if that's not enough a 9-1-1 tape is released proving the officer LIED in his police report as the woman DID NOT say anything about "two black males with backpacks?"

    Commit a crime of false arrest. Commit the crime of filing a false police report. And get rewarded with a beer at the White House? Pathetic.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  52. Larry

    Having a 'beer with the guys' will not reduce my belief that this is truly a racial president. It is such a shame that there has been such an improvement on racism, but the most improvement was from the whites and not from the blacks. It is the contuation of racism by those such as Jackson and Sharpton that keep the blacks at a lower level to keep control over the blacks.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  53. Zygax

    Even if we assume that Crowley is a good man and a good police officer (and I believe he is) reading the police report indicates that arresting Gates WAS stupid. If the police show up to MY home and I show them ID that it belongs to me, if they arrest me for asking for their badge number you better believe that I will be upset.

    Since when do we award stupidity in this country? Oh wait...there was Palin and W and ....

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  54. Jim Henderson - West Palm Beach

    The president has no business in this issue. And, too, when we as a country are trying to keep addiction down, the president offers alcohol in the mix????

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  55. mark

    No, he shouldn't waste his time on this nonsense. In my opinion Gates is the one who is being a racist. The officer shows up (just doing his job) and Gates automatically assumes that he is there because he is a racist and is racially profiling just because the officer is white?????? Here's a question, what if the officer had happened to have been black?

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  56. Craig Eversole, St.

    Should the President meet with Gates and the officer? Absolutely not. Mr. Obama needs to quickly recognize the fact that his hunger for "air time" should be relegated somewhere below addressing the myriad problems facing this nation. Our economic problems are sufficient to demand his total attention; and his barrage of empty-suited verbiage and prepared comments have worn thin. In short, I believe it is time for substance, not style. There is a growing wave of people in this country, including members of his own party, who are desperately demanding a change in the directions he has chosen.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  57. Tommy

    Yes, I think Obama should meet with both Crowley and Gates. I don't think he should have to apologize, because if you really look at what happened both Crowley and Gates acted stupidly. His statement was correct he just left out Gates; cause if Crowley was so right than why were the charges dropped? Both Crowley and Gates played a part in what happened. This was about power and not race.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  58. Scott Stodden

    Jack I think it is a great idea for President Obama to sit down and set the record straight with Mr Gates and Mr Crowley. This is not an issue about racism but about a situation being blown out of porportion. Mr Crowley was doing his job as an officer, President Obama should choose his words wiser when not knowing the facts about what happened. This is a great step for black and white when no matter what happened we can still sit down over a beer and work it out.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,IL)

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  59. Mike from La Mirada, Ca

    I don't think that Obama should apologize for saying cops acted stupidly in Gates' arrest because he did qualify his statement by saying if the police were able to establish that Professor Gates was in fact the resident of the home in question they shouldn't have arrested him. I agree; Also The president did acknowledged that not having been there, he couldn't say whether the arrest was racially motivated.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  60. Kim Pereira

    Sure. Talking through problems never hurts and throughout the campaign Mr. Obama said that he would never shut the door on dialogue, so I'm not surprised. But I am surprised that so many people support Crowley, including the Cambridge police–if Crowley wasn't wrong how is it that Gates wasn't charged? He was arrested, so they should have processed the claim and then we would have discovered that there was no grounds for the arrest–raising your voice or even abusing a police officer in MA does NOT rise to the level of disorderly conduct–period! So Crowley was absolutely wrong!

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  61. David

    This is a teachable moment - about how we need to stop, once and for all, playing the race card. If it turns out from witness statements and audio recordings that one of these men lied in their account of the events, that person should be fired - or prosecuted.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  62. Tula in South Carolina

    Yes, I think it is a good idea for the President to meet with Officer Crowley and Professor Gates. Maybe then, we can finally lay this issue to rest. Why does everything in this country has to be blamed on race? The cops responded to a call that two guys were breaking into a house. Nothing was apparently said about race in the 911 call.

    I am surprised to hear that an educated college professor is so incredibly stupid and has such a bad attitude that he has to interpret this incident as racial profiling. If I were a student at that school, I would NEVER take any of his classes.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  63. white plains Mark

    no. doesn't the president have better things to do than get involved in a local police matter? Where does it end – will he invite divorcing couples to the White House to see if they can work things out?

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  64. Kevin L. / Omaha, NE

    Jack, it all in the presentation. Our leader mediating a long standing "national" debate, shows leadership about that issue. instead of argueing, lets TALK about this like everyone else "should". Whether a conclusion or no, President Obama presented a good "gesture". Leading by example. Now lets see if we follow his lead.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  65. Patrick Bryan

    What nonsense. I love and respect President Obama, however this seems an indulgence of men spoiling for a fight and now being spoiled by Daddy. Honestly... it is hardly worthy of a fireside chat or even a beer. What can they hope to prove? That we have racism? Hardly news. That we have profiling, again where is the story? If the truth were out I am sure there was prejudice and attitude from both parties involved.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  66. John McLain

    This is a colossal waste of time and resources. Both of these jerks need to lighten up. The cop and Gates both overreacted. The fact that this foolish dustup has become a national conversation, thanks to over-reporting it by media, is rather sick, especially when we have bigger fish to fry - such as a universal health program, not to mention an occupation army in Iraq and more troops dying for nothing in Afghanistan.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  67. Kofi

    I think the meeting should be cancelled. The question we should be asking is, who lied? Who embellished the police report? Officer Crowley states in the police that a lady infront of Gates home informed him that there were two black men in the building. That good citizen categorically denies ever communicating with Crowley on the scene. Also, on 911 tape,we hear Crowley say "keep the cars coming" even when he knew the resident was a harvard professor. I don't think President Obama should entertain a liar.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  68. Ann Oriadha

    Yes, I think the President is giving both men an opportunity to learn from each other. Hopefully this will be a teachable moment for all of us (myself included). I have a hard time understanding why the professor was arrested after establishing his identity as the owner of the home. The arrest appears to be an over reaction to a situation (misunderstanding) that could have been handled more calmly. Since the officer has all of this training and experience, it seems that he should have been able to deal with a non-threatning situation (his life was not in danger, there was no immediate threat or self-defense issue). It makes me wonder how the officer would handle a more serious situation.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  69. Timothy Harding

    President Obama should not have injected himself into the debate by admittedly responding without knowing what had happened. His remarks were insulting and demonstrated clearly the real reason that race relations are such a problem in this country today. I voted for him because he was the best candidate, but his comments in this case make it much more difficult for me to convince others. Had he not spoken as "stupidly" as he did, he would have been unassailable in 2012, now I am unsure that I will still hold him in the same esteem that I once did. He has definitely lost a measure of my respect, he may have lost my vote as well.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  70. Scott Burt

    No, he should not host the two together. He needs to apologize to Sgt. Crowley AND his family for making him feel like a worthless peon. Then give Mr. Gates a stern warning to act differently when approached by the law.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  71. ben

    If Gates wants to meet with O--, then let him. However, I think that the only way the officer shoud meet with them is if Obama makes a public apology–to the officer and to the people of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I think we have heard enough from the members and future members of this administration on ""It was a bad choice of words"". How about–I screwed up for a change?

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  72. Bill

    The president plays the race card now? He should stay out of this Federal case. This issue will most likely be heard in the courts and his involvement will certainly influence a jury. Do you want prejudice? Keep talking Mr. President. Maybe he should consult with Judge Sonia before making any more comments on or off the record.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  73. Jim

    Absolutely NOT! The president of the greatest nation has no business mediating a dispute between two of it's citizens. There are formal channels for use in settling such disputes, all of which are more private than parading everyone out in prime time. Is there any length to which this guy won't go to put himself in prime time lime light? The Consitution clearly lists out the duties/expectations of the Office of the President, referee-ing such disputes isn't one of them the last time I looked. Aren't there more important national issues for him to solve than the testosterone infused situation here?

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  74. Carl

    It is not should Obama meet with them, it is should the officer meet with a man who considers him stupid. Obama not only insulted this officer but every member of the law enforcement community. Obama was very quick to condemn, now he needs to be quicker to apologize.
    He needs to stay out of local conflicts.

    The officer will follow the directives of his commanders and demonstrate that he is the better person.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  75. Matthew Conley

    I'm not all together sure what will be accomplished. Neither side is going to back down; and it doesn't seem Officer Crowley should. Colin Powel did a great job shedding light on the situation yesterday when he stated Gates was tired and overreacted to the whole incident. The real lesson here is simple, respect for police officers regardless of race is imperative when trying to explain the situation. Race is more of a spectacle than simply saying this was a case of overreaction from a tired older man.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  76. Ralph Nelson

    No, dead horses finish last. And this topic is a dead horse. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  77. Kenny Good

    Yes, indeed. And the president would be wise to apologize for his stupid "stupidity" comment being fully aware that he did not have all the facts when he said it. For the record, I am a strong supporter of President Obama. I suggest that the President choose either Bell's Brewery's Two Hearted Ale, from MIchigan, or Sam Adams, an American patriot, Summer ale. Both are better choices than his guests have made.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  78. steve Bullion

    Sure, let those three get really drunk for all I care. One thing we learned from the Gates and Officer Crowley ordeal was....If you want to get arrested, just act like a jerk and the officer will arrest you. That is the pure and simple of it.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  79. cindy johnson

    No, He should be working on finding way to help people get jobs.
    This is not why I voted for him. He is spending way to much time and our tax dollars on things that he does not need to be involved in.
    I feel that he is changing so much.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  80. Duncan

    Since this incident is centered around the easily-aggravated issue of American race relations, it cannot be an outright bad idea for Obama to host a discussion between the the Crowley and Gates. Any attempt at the de-escalation of racial tension should be welcomed. However, it would be a mistake to treat this as a solution to this conflict – while talks between parties are helpful, those involved in the talk and those observing it must be willing to flex on their opinions, or the result will be nil.

    Victoria, Canada

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  81. Patrick

    Come on! This whole situation is absurd. If I were Crowley I would respectfully decline the invite.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  82. amanda

    Jack,
    I am actually disappointed in President Obama. I was and still am Obama's biggest fan, but what he is doing is solely because of politics. He doesn't want to lose support of white people over this controversy. Hosting both parties at the WH sounds like an apology for what he said. I still don't think the officer did the right thing. I don't think any white man would have been happy if some police officer comes to his house, demands proof of residency for this house, and after getting a proof still turns around and arrests the homeowner!!! I don't care how people put it, but no one would have found it reasonable for this police officer to do that. President Obama is very intellengent and knows that what the officer did was very racist, but he (Obama) is trying to make peace with both races. President Obama – I am Very disappointed in you, but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do to become president again.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  83. Glennis Walley, Moss Point, Ms.

    I think that he should host the officer and the professor. I don't necessarily think that he should have gotten involved in the first place but since he did, he should follow it through. The ideal thing would have been for him to say that he did not have all the facts and then decline comment.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  84. Don Small

    No, the president should not meet with these men. He should not have commented without knowing more about the situation. One of these men is a liar, and now the president will be tied to him because he saw political points to be won. He gambled, and it looks like he is going to lose. President Obama has again proved that he cannot speak off prompter and maintain his press persona of being an informed leader. Even former President Bush knew when he could address a subject and when to leave it alone.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  85. Fred

    I think it is an excellent idea for President Obama to have a casual meeting with Officer Crowley and Dr. Gates. I think mistakes were made by Crowley, Gates and Obama so it is excellent that they are discussing the issues, and racial profiling is a huge issue. I am a former resident of Princeton, New Jersey. I lived 3 blocks from the University. I worked on Wall Street. When I lived in Princeton. I was pulled over by the police more than 30 times. I never received a ticket so I can't even prove that I was pulled over and questioned, searched, followed home, etc. My only crime was that I was a successful African American male living in a affluent, predominantly white college town. So I can understand why Dr. Gates was belligerent with the policeman. Also, since the policeman was white, I can understand why he does not know what it feels like to be constantly harrassed because of your race. We definitely need to contiunue discussing and fixing this issue.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  86. jSharon

    No, the President should not meet with the professor and the officer. What the President should do is apologize the the Cambridge police first, the officer second, and then to the American people for getting involved in the first place.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  87. Dirk in Gakona Alaska

    Jack.

    All three people played a part in this boo boo, I see nothing wrong with them meeting and discussing their part in the event. As far as the Obama loss of focus on the national health care plan is up to the party of "NO" whom are ignoring the fact that this plan is needed and 75% of the nation wants this most people are scared spitless that they will be next not having health care.

    DR in Gakona, AK

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  88. tim

    I think President Obama was wrong to take interest in this case. I think the media was also wrong for taking interest in it. African Americans and any other ethnicity get arrested every day you dont see media coverage or the president commenting on every one of them they arrest.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  89. Nana adwoa twekese

    President Obama should meet officer Crowley especially just to save the disgrace he has cause himself and the health care bill-he is a nice person but his comment went overboard.As a president you need all the facts to make a judgement,comments like this from a black president does not help the racial conversation going on now.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  90. S. Rine

    What does this person in the White House think he's doing? Since when does the head of our country play mediator between races? Would Obama be doing this or for that matter would it have even gotten into the news if the policeman had been black and the professor had been white? NO

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  91. Kate in SW Fla

    Well, yes, of course he should. It is what reaonable adults would do. Things got all out of hand, and there is no better way to communicate than in person. I hope it IS a teachable moment – maybe able to teach people to STOP politicizing events that can cause damage to the very fabric of our society. If we expect the Sunni and Shiite to make peace, Isreal and Palestine, Russia and Georgia, North and South Korea, do you think it would be the responsible thing to do for the Presdient to let this situation fester? Since Officer Crowley teaches classes regarding racial profiling, he must be somewhat sympathetic to the consequences in a society where that happens. I do not believe that he himself engaged in any kind of racial bias, but he knows that it exists. I applaud him for taking the high road, and I best President Obama and Professor Gates will also,

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  92. Lawrence Cade

    Jack, I can see no reason why the president shouldn't meet with the cop and the professsor at the WH. All three guys could have handled the situation better if only they had not let their egos replace common sense. They all over reacted. Maybe he should let them take turns reading my new book "Would You Like The Experience", I send him. If he had read it he would not have made the statement about the policeman acting stupid, and would not have derailed his health care agenda.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  93. VJ Perkins

    By all means! After all, the "meeting" part isn't nearly as important as the "have a beer" part. Maybe they will all get so snockered that they end up slurring, "I love you, man" to each other.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  94. Carol

    I understand they are meeting on Thursday. Hopefully Pres. Obama will apologize to Sgt. Crowley for maligning his character now that the facts are out. Prof. Gates should also apologize for his behavior and explain to young people how to interact with police .... whatever the reason for their questions.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  95. Larry

    The teachable moment should be for Obama. Even in these latest comments, he still provides a racist response. What a shame that BO is not a leader . . . but instead a typical politican.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  96. Elo Janis

    I think this politically savvy move is only adding insult to injury for Crowley. By pushing this meeting as "just having a beer" (why not a 25 yo Scotch?) he seems to be merely pandering to the Police Officer for his own gain. He put his foot in his mouth and is now using a few beers as a lubricant to withdraw said foot. Instead of focusing on this beer, both Obama AND Gates need to man up and offer a sincere apology to a man who was only doing his job by protecting a millionaire Professor's home from instrusion. If I were Crowley, I would have hung up the phone when Obama called as it is obviously not a sincere extension of the proverbial olive branch.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  97. Christian Lee

    President Obama absolutely should NOT host this meeting. The situation has been blown greatly out of proportion and continued discussion of the incident and once again bringing it into public light only furthers the issue (or should I say non-issue). President Obama needs to focus on more important matters to our country as a whole.....the economy, health care, etc.

    Thank You.....

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  98. WeHo Mikey

    No, no, a thousand times *NO*!

    If the President insists on going forward with this foolishness, then I hope his Secret Service detail has the good sense to relieve Sgt. Crowley of his handcuffs beforehand!

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  99. Larry Palm Beach

    Yes, Jack we've got to move beyond this. Ironically a white police officer will come to the political rescue of President Obama who was and should be leading the country to a frank discussion and new tranquility among the races. HIs comments last week were in a word "stupid", but we forget Obama is biologically no more black than white and he'll bounce back.
    Sgt Crowley will probably emerge from their gathering saying he supports Obama and no apology is needed, but Obama detractors will continue with apology and birth certificate resolutions on the house floor even if Obama apologizes to the sargeant on Thursday.
    Their fist pounding is dripping with insincerity.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  100. Jaideep

    I think Obama feels bad for what he said about the Officer and feels this would be a good way to make it up.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  101. Moses

    President Obama needs to meet with Proffessor Gates and Officer Crowley to not only relieve some of the tension that's been created but help find a way to better solve problems as Americans instead of shying away from them, especially when it comes to race issues.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  102. Frank from Peterborough

    It's been my experience being able to talk problems out rationally and responsibly is one of the greatest gifts the evolutionary process has given to mankind so if you possess this ability why not use it for everyone's benefit.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  103. Bob Brooks

    Its a risky meeting. President Obama is a lawyer and knows that the only law broken was "False Arrest". There is no law in Massachusetts against yelling at someone, even a police officer, when you are in your own home. Police officers are supposedly trained to accept verbal insults without responding. Officer Crowley allowed his pride to overpower his training.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  104. maracuda, phoenix, AZ

    Yes, I think it's wise of President to meet these guys and put an end to the whole debate. And I completely agree with the president that it could be a teachable moment for the nation.

    And I hope from all of these discussion, racial profiling would be decrease in this nation of shameful dark history of racism.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  105. Mark M

    Jack,

    Yes Obama needs to meet with both men since he seemed ok with opening his mouth and blaming the white cop from the start. I am an Obama voter, however this event really made me doubt he can be fair minded.

    Funny thing in all week Mr Gates is saying he deserves a sorry from James Crowley, When I feel James Crowley should be getting the Sorry from Mr Gates and from Obama directly for his violation of his rights.
    Isn't it law in America Innocent until proven guilty? I just hope James Crowley does not bow and say sorry to anyone, he was doing his job and got a bunch of flake for protecting this mans home.

    Mark Manz
    SF Calif

    July 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  106. Michael

    Well, with the recent developments of learning that Crowley mis-represented facts on the police report, i.e. that he spoke with the woman caller and that she told him there were two balck men, neither which is true; I would think the president would want to reconsider.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  107. TimInMissouri

    Obama had no business even getting involved in this in the first place. He only has shown his own racial bias by opening his mouth on this "race card" incident before knowing all the facts.Now Obama wants to put some spin on his mistake by appearing to be the "peacemaker" on a situation that he helped esculate. Secondly I hope Obama does't drink any of the beer at this silly meeting. Hes' already "drunk" with power.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  108. Audrey Moebius

    Absolutely not. I feel that Officer Crowley should not meet with the president. President Obama showed his true feelings and he insulted every White Police Office in this county. He almost sounded like the Reverend Wright, except he did not add any epletives. He jumped to defend a "Black Friend" and that was wrong when he did not know all the facts....Should have kept his mouth shut.... Especially, he has not apologized as of yet to the public and all the Police Officers in this USA...Thank you (I just relocated from L.I.,N.Y. to Mooresville, N.C.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  109. Catherine

    Why is the president getting involoved? The only reason this is a BIG deal is because the news made it one. The President has no business wasting time or money on these men or this NON-issue.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  110. Carmelle

    Jack, it is the right thing to do. However, instead of focusing on the beer situation, why not start a national conversation about how Blacks, Whites and Hispanics can start understanding each other better.

    Leave them alone already, you just wished you were invited too! lol

    July 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  111. Nick Cicchino

    What a joke. A educated black man gets questioned by a white cop and its racism. But if it was the other way around, a black cop and a white "victim" what would you call it?

    However, for an educated black man Professor Gates showed his "true colors". He NEVER would have acted that way with a black cop.....NEVER.

    Nick C.
    Blairstown, N.J.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  112. Mike

    No, the POTUS should have kept his nose out of the whole affair.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  113. Michael D

    Of cause not, when this arrogant guy who think that he is above others broke the law, he should be treated based on the law. I was so disappointed by Obama on this. (I've been a long time supporter of him). This somewhat reminded me of OJ.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  114. Ann Leach

    President Obama defused an explosive situation with his invitation to Professor Gates and Officer Crowley. I'm only sorry that Professor Gates didn't think of offering the officer a beer himself. After all, Crowley was in the process of protecting the professor's home against a possible burglary. I can only imagine the professor's reaction if he had arrived home from China to find his home looted and the police nowhere to be found.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  115. Kimberly

    President Obama clearly stated facts on this issue. The sad thing is "truth" hurts.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  116. Sam M

    Jack,
    The President is leading by example. Unlike former President Bush, President Obama believes in peaceful negotiations to solve problems. Obama is not afraid to correct mistakes and educate the public how to correct misunderstandings (we all should have a beer over past racial problems).

    Good job Mr. President.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  117. Connie in Tennessee

    Of course he should. We need to put this in the past where it belongs. At least we have a President now who is willing to talk instead of just threaten.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  118. SG_CALI

    This is all politics! President is trying to undo the damage he has done by replying impulsively the other day.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  119. Rob Jackson

    This will not change the way Obama feels. A hood wink to gates and screw the facts. 20 years with the reverand Wright go figure

    July 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  120. Mark Wittlinger Bellevue WA

    Jack – That could be seen as a really dumb question at this stage.
    Of course they should meet for many reasons.
    First and hopefully to finally put this thing to rest and stop spending any more of everyone's time on it.
    It is an important issue but enough is enough!
    Also when the President extends an invitation not many of us are dumb enough to refuse – I know I wouldn't.
    Hopefully after the meeting all involved can say it is time to move beyond all the postering surrounding it.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  121. Adam, Seattle WA

    The president needs this issue to go away, quickly. It's a distraction and doesn't benefit his agenda one iota. If getting them together for a pow-wow is what it takes to make the media move on, then yes, he should.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  122. Kurt

    I am generally thrilled with President Obama for a multitude of reasons. However, I'm not sure he should have 1) weighed in on this issue before having all the information, and 2) offer himself up as mediator.

    It is very clear that President Obama is fully prepared to take on all problems/issues no matter how big or small. Part of me loves the fact that he is willing to assist in resolving a local issue that has broader implications. Another part of me thinks he needs to prioritize where he spends his time. Health care reform is going no where quickly.

    I'm still a fan.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  123. The Bum

    Definitely not, Obama should apologize and get back to work. With the exception of Obama speaking before he knew the facts, this isn't even newsworthy.

    The Bum

    July 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  124. C Roberts, Sunland, CA

    Yes Jack he should. Because he obviously doesn't have anything better to do! The economy will fix itself and the talk shows and networks have plenty of guests lined up for the week. I hope the next time I feel like I have been racially profiled I can get to have a beer at the White House! Are you kidding me. The President of the United States is taking time out ( in the middle of the worst mess we have been in for quite a while ) to have a Bud with these two because he was dumb enough to comment on this in the first place. I think when his teleprompter broke last time they might have given him Biden's by mistake! Well this should give him a nice picture to hang on his wall to remind him of great he is. Now if he can just sit down with Kim Jong Il and Ahmadinejad and have a beer with them, well who knows?

    July 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  125. Mark

    No!! He should have kept his comments to himself. With everything going on in this country, he has time to sit down and have a beer with these guys? I guess everytime there's a racial incident that makes the news, the President can be the peacemaker. What a joke, and my tax dollars are paying for this! Get to work Obama, I didn't vote for you to drink beer and settle quarrles like this.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  126. Dan

    No, this is a ridiculous waste of time. The President has much more important things to deal with. This is a way of the President trying to take the pressure off himself and Professor Gates because both of these black men played the race card, jumped to conclusions and made themselves look totally foolish in the process. Sgt. Crowley should have stood his ground and declined the invite. But here again, he is showing his character and doing the right thing.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  127. John C

    The meeting should take place and President Obama and Professor Gates should apologize to Sgt. Crowley. The officer was doing his job. The only racism I saw was on the president and Professor side.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  128. Gary W. Grabau

    The president has more pressing problems than a black man screaming racism when the police were answering a breakin call.

    They were met by a racist professor who screamed racism because police asked for his ID. Most people would welcome the police concern, when a neighbor reported a possible breakin. Not so with Mr. Obamas friend. Racism is a two way street and as I review what I know, which is more than the prez knew, the racism eminated from the black man. Enough said; Mr. President don't interfere in what you are not clear on. I wish I thought that before I voted for you.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  129. M. Kavanaugh

    I think the president "acted stupidly". He should have told the reporter that he doesn't know anything about it and is leaving it up to the Cambridge Police to handle the matter. He's supposed to be supporting our law enforcements. He is not setting a good example as a president. The officer has nothing to apologize to anyone for. The man was only doing his job. The "professor" (who should know better) is the one who acted stupidly. He's the one who needs to apologize to the officer. I don't want him teaching my children.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  130. Sandi, Chicago

    Absolutely! Perhaps, once this meeting is over, Americans can hear more about the HealthCare bill that is being debated yet the facts are not being brought to our attention.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  131. Johnnie T Martin

    No.. He should not be seem with Sgt. Crowley , he is a bigot. There is no reason on earth that anyone should be able to walk into someones house and arrest them for no reason.
    Pres. Obama should never went back on his words he was right the first time. He is "Tomming " out and kissing up to this racist white man. When he ask me for for a beer . I 'd told him where to go.
    Prof. Gates, should not be seem with the man unless it is in a court room suing him.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  132. James Diffley

    President Obama should host this session since he publicly criticized the police . However, he should use this session to educate Gates concerning manners when confronted by police. To me, Gates seems to be the racist in this situation not Crowley. Obama may also have leaned to the racist side with his early, uninformed comments. Let's see if they can resolve this to the benefit of the US and the world.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  133. Howard

    No, Officer Crowley doesn't seem to desire the meeting and Dr. Gates is only too happy to remain in the spotlight.

    The President should clearly acknowledge he made a mistake...and move on without further comment. That is all this worth.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  134. Nunya

    Probably... but if he hadn't made an inappropriate comment in the first place, he wouldn't be needing to schedule a meeting...

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  135. gc3333

    Jack, this is just a publicity stunt. Obama has yet to apologize to the police. His rush to judgment last week has him as the one acting most stupidly of all. Now he's trying to sweep everything under the rug using beer as a catalyst. It doesn't change the facts of his huge press conference faux pas and the racial divisiveness it fomented. When is Obama going to actually apologize? Crowley, as it turns out, did nothing wrong... He was just trying to do his job. And when is the uppity and antagonistic professor going to apologize to everyone for bringing race into something that clearly had no racial context? He should be thanking Crowley for responding promptly to the 911 call and for trying to protect his property.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  136. cliff bond

    It's taken 6 months, but the Race Card has officially been played by Obama. It was all so un-necessary for our President? to get involved without knowing the details. It makes me wonder,if this had been a White or Latino who was arrested by Black Policemen, would Obama have gotten involved. Plainly, the answer is no The diminutive Professor played the victim of Racial Profiling to perfection. He was fully aware that his connection with the President?, would be used full force. He got his wish, and the President, was left with egg on his face. Playing the Race Card backfired on the Prof. & showed how immature & thoughtless our President Obama?, truly is...Come on over for a few beers? How weak...I'll take the Irish cops morals and convictions any day...

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  137. Reshard

    No he shouldn't. And if he did, it shouldn't be done for the publicity but because he feels he really stepped over his boundaries on calling Crowley's actions "stupid". When will politicians (including the President) realize that making a mistake is human and that's why we are able to apologize. Just apologize and move on. Enough publicity stunts, it's almost like everytime we turn our TV on, he is there trying to convince us about something. Just do your job, more work, less time on TV. Electoral campaign is over, stop seeking people's validation all the time and make some tough decisions just by believing in yourself and what you know (that's if YOU CAN believe in yourself and what you know).

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  138. Jayson, NYC, NY

    Doesn't the President of the United States have better things to do than get involved with this story that shouldn't even be newsworthy?

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  139. honest John in Vermont

    Sure Jack, why not and they should all have a few beers too. Afterall, if Obama hadn't inflamed everything

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  140. Henry Manning

    I do not feel like the president is acting like he should .He should have refused to make any comment .He has shown that he is prejudice and and is ignoring the comment made to the officer that the so called professor would go outside with the officers mama.The only prejudice I feel was shone was by Obama and the hatrid filled professor.The officer should tell the president where to stick his beer until he gets back on tv and apologizes. The actions of the president was stupidly and has set race relations backwards at least 20 years.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  141. Doug

    I think the President should meet them both...It will give him another reason to be on TV.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  142. Paul Kersey

    President Obama and Professor Gates should have simply admitted their errors and apologized.

    Also, I wonder how the story would have turned out if the police weren't as vigilant with their record keeping. I wonder about this because the truth has been revealed via the police and witnesses...not Professor Gates.

    Thus, it appears to me that Professor Gates was content to fan the flames of racism unnecessarily and President Obama hopped on the bandwagon without checking his facts first.

    A President who doesn't check his facts presiding over a Congress that doesn't read the bills it signs? Wonderful.

    A professor of an esteemed university who fancies himself above the law and attempt to manipulate peple based on race and lies? Great.

    And today I read:

    "VP Biden Announces $1 Billion In U.S. Police Aid"

    What a coincidence!?

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  143. Colin McIntyre

    The President and Mr. Gates chose the wrong cop to try and make an example to the rest of the nation. He appears to be "race neutral" and actually has taught others in the Cambridge police force to reduce racial profiling. The President should preserve his political capital to tackle healthcare.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  144. Christopher in Orange County, CA

    Absolutely. It's too bad that President Obama made a statement in public, especially a statement in which he said the officer "acted stupidly." Since he put himself in the picture, President Obama has the right, perhaps the obligation, to smooth things over. On one hand, I feel this has been a tempest in a tea pot especially given the economy, nuclear weapons (Iran, North Korea), health care reform, etc. However, it is clear that race relations in the U.S. is a very serious issue and that much more respectful communication is needed.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  145. Don Arellano

    A local issue escalated to a national prominence because the President elevated it so. And if every local issue is addressed on a national level, where will this country headed to?

    Orange Park FL

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  146. "T"

    As the President he should be ALWAYS careful of he says regardless.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  147. David Orf

    I do not believe much can be accomplished in this meeting–the "cats already out of the bag" relative to Obama's not so Freudian thoughts and the prejudice displayed by his actions. His actions in this situation were supremely un-presidential and taken note by many, many of his supporters. This is story is more about the inner workings of our President than the conflict between Gates and officer Crowley.

    David Orf
    Boerne, Texas

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  148. Seebofubar

    Obama should get his pal to grovel on his knees and apologize to the officer and to the American public. No one weather black, white or green should act the way he did to an officer who's only goal was to protect the property..Gates's property.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  149. Barry M Coleman

    No, i do not think the President should have a meeting with the two the gentlemen, he's playing right into the hands of the police not properly doing there job. Sgt Crowley did not have a reason to arrest Prof. Gates and he made one up.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  150. Bonnie

    Should Obama poor-me, poor-me a drink of whatever? I don't know.

    I do know that before this incident I was not prejudiced against any blacks (I am white) – I looked at some of Obama's fobiles very similarly to Bush's. I did not even think of blacks as blacks – they were just people.

    After this incident, I will be extremely leery of any blacks – I might walk down the street and step on a crack and be accused of profiling.

    Obama only makes himself more transparent by trying to make himself look good, in my opinion.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  151. Howell from Glendale Heights,Ill

    If all was fair, MSNBC’s Pat Buchanan would have gotting fired for his continuous bais remarks, the last couple of weeks.I know he’s no Barack Obama,nevertheless he has become one of this Nations leading News figures and someone that I personally had respect for. So the question must be asked, did the President remarks on the Bill Gates debacle get the same type of negative coverage, when Pat’s sobering comments took us back to the 50’s and 60’s when lynching was a sport. Of course, the birhters and tea baggers, being mostly from the sticks, they to become police officers, and they to are the one’s that are saying, they want their Country Back. Segregation and Separation seem to still be the cry by many White Southerner and those in the Senate?

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  152. -Nioshii-

    Well, it will almost certainly be the 1st time Sgt Crowley has socialized with black families. I'm not saying the guy has hatred in his heart, but he sure does have stereotypes and power issues in his head. Clearly, there was no description of "2 black men" in the 911 call, so how did that wind up in Crowley's police report?
    Seems to me that someone should relate Judge Sotomayor's wise remarks about needing to recognize your biases and influences from your background in order to not be influenced by them, to Sgt Crowley who has evidently not done that (no matter how many diversity classes he taught), -N-

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  153. Gary Virkus

    Yes!!!! He over reacted with his condemnation of the officer, without full information. Gates took the "holier than thou" position, due to his position and race. The poor officer was just doing his job. This is backed up by the statements from the 911 caller. My question, as an aging white male, is,is our President, the leader of all Americans or just African Americans, and the disadvantaged. As a Republican, supporter of the president, I was very disappointed and scared. What have we put in the White House? A racist??????

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  154. brad

    The President should apologize for his remarks. express support for his friend, Then Butt out. No good cancome out of this meeting. The President has already hardened the two parties to their stories. Neither will apologize, and the President will end up looking foolish.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  155. Jason

    No way! This is a silly use of time for POTUS. Hot conflicts, Muslim extremists, NKOR, CHina, Russia, the economy, healthcare, NASA, the next threat. Really? Get involved in a local law enforcement matter that was settled by good police work and proper procedure?

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  156. Tom Amon

    Stop wasting everyone's time with this, especially the president's time. There are bigger things to worry about. There is no longer any news, proof is when all news media broadcast the same "news" where it then becomes propaganda. Especially when you have to buy "news" from the AP. That's not free press.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  157. Janet M. Lloyd

    Dear Jack,
    Yes I think the meeting should take place. This issue is extremely important to many people and I do not understand the rush to get it out of the news.
    My husband is black and I am white and we've been together for 30 years. My husband is a retired police officer as well as a Marine veteran of Viet Nam with 2 purple hearts. Issues such as the one in Cambridge have happened to my husband over the years. He has managed to handle each situation without being arrested, but I get very upset with what I see as racial profiling. I, on the other hand, have never had any of these problems. Finally I am seeing a case on the news that I can relate to. But, it is being "dismissed" by many news shows. This woujld never happen to me if I broke into my own home. But I do have compassion for my husband and other people of color who face this issue every day. I feel this recent incident is a chance to air the issue of racial profiling and hopefully make some changes. Good people are suffering.,

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  158. Iris

    Absolutely not. Enough time and energy has been wasted on this nonse...it's laughable already. Can we please start focusing on some issues that are truly relevent to this country?

    Iris
    Sharon, MA

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  159. Clive

    Do not forget the Cause Celibre, which is! There could be no justification for charging a man for disorderly conduct in his home without a complainant and if you did, and it became an issue, that behaviour was stupid. if it turned out to be a police officer it was still stupid.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  160. Nancy Dolan, NV

    No. Further reports came out – in the form of the 911 call and the police report – after President Obama made the suggestion. Those two show that Officer Crowley lied in his written report. Therefore, I do not believe he is worthy of meeting the President. In addition, President Obama has nothing to apologize for – his initial assessment of the situation is correct...the situation was indeed handled stupidly!

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  161. Mike, Duluth, Minnesota

    Nah. We should let this unfortunate misunderstanding fade into the obscurity it deserves. Let Professor Gates and Sgt Crowley get on with their personal lives. There will be a real incident of egregious racial prejudice to pound the drums about, soon enough. Our national officials never had any business with this. They never have had, and never should have, any control over local municipal policies, and should quit trying to make something out of this incident, that it just ain't.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  162. bj

    No. SGT. Crowley lied in the police report in contradiction to what was released in the audio tapes and the statements given by the woman who called 911. My 4 year old son lied to me about eating candy before dinner – maybe we should go to the White House and share a glass of apple juice with the President. Don't reward dishonesty.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  163. DELTA 15

    I can't believe what is going on.
    The professor’s first words out of his mouth were racists.
    The professor needs to be reprimanded for his racist attitude.
    Since when do we not respect the law that did what he was supposed do?
    He took all his guff, and was very professional.
    He better not apologize for ANYTHING!!
    The professor just wanted to show his hate towards the white.
    Next time professor; thank the policeman for coming to protect your home.
    Stop being a racist jerk.
    And "NO" the president should not be wasting his time with a beer.
    The way he is going (President) he may be looking for a beer on the outside, soon if he doesn't get some guts.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  164. br

    Yes,if Sgt.can admit that his ego got in the way of good judgement.
    Teaching a class on racial profiling does not mean you don't have certain views about race.I Believe if Pro.Gates was a white professor with the same statis the Sgt. would have thought twice before arresting him.He probably would have had problems explaining to his superiors why after identification was shown ,he didn't walk away.
    Also,I believe it has been established that the Sgt. falsified some information on the police report.I think police deserve a lot of respect for the most part ,however this guy is the one who should apoligize.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  165. Jeff

    I'm from the Boston area and have seen, heard, and read just about everything out there about this "incident". It's clear to me that the only one who escalated this was Prof Gates. What his true motives were are unclear to some, but now that he is much more well known, I'm sure his documentary will directly benefit from his episode.

    The issue was always an elitist issue, not a race issue. Gates chose to inject race because he had no other out. Gates acted like an ass and was properly detained for it, just like I would've been had I acted in the same manner. But, because of his class (elitist), he now not only gets the charges dropped, but gets national attention and a meeting with our President. I ask you, America, how many of you have been given the same treatment?

    This meeting merely mocks the average American. It throws in our face that not only do we not have access to the President, but I'm guessing less than 1% of us would have the opportunity to "smooth out" anything that may have happened between us and an officer of the law. How many of you have had the chance to sit down with an officer that even wrote you a ticket?

    The answer is probably none, but then again, you're a nobody, and this meeting should remind you of that. Your government has forgotten that they work for you.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  166. Dick Rodriguez

    Huntsville, AL.
    Q: Should President Obama meet at the White House with Professor Gates and Officer Crowley?
    A: Yes, absolutely and, given time, at the Cambridge Police Dept, and at Harvard.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  167. Fran

    Jack,

    The President should definitely meet with the two men.

    *IF* he can get these two to 'man up' and admit, on camera, they each had a part in this kindling that led to a 5 alarm, global race brouhaha,
    then Obama truly is a Miracle Man.

    If this does get accomplished, his Healthcare Reform should 'fly' through Congress.

    What are the odds?

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  168. Dmitriy Tadenev

    No, Mr. Obama should apologize.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  169. Jason

    Yes. Beer solves everything.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  170. Mike

    He should. He crossed the line with his comment. He is entitled to his opinion, as are we all. But he should have understood the impact of careless commentary on a situation he was not fully informed on, before he undermined the people who should actually have dealt with the issue.
    His immediate support for his friend Mr. Gates, is commendable, for a friend. But as the President, more careful thought should have been given to his words, and his choice to become involved at all.
    I don't claim to understand who is right or wrong, but I believe the President caused this incident to grow, by becoming involved, and he should make a genuine effort to put it to rest.
    In the future he should make a more "PC" response, and keep his opinions to himself, too many people want to pin him on one side or the other of an argument that cannot be won. He has more important things to do right now.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  171. Michael

    Why has the media dropped the part of the story about the woman caller even talking to crowley as he claimed. Her lawyer said she never spoke with him nor did she ever say "two balck men" which is in the police report. If she never spoke with crowley and he wrote that she did; if she never said "two back men" and crowley wrote that she told him that, are these not lies? I ask again, where is the media?

    July 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  172. Andrew Meyer

    Seems to me the Crowley is there to save face, Gates to sell books and Obama is there to look like a mediator and not a trouble maker. Bit of advice Mr President..."No comment" is still within your legal rights...see 5th Amendment

    July 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  173. Sarah

    Obama helped create this media firestorm and is now trying to patch up his mis-step without actually admitting to his error. Even if it is just his intention is to arbitrate the situation and come to a resolution, he has already involved himself too much in the process. Obama should apologize to both men for becoming involved and move on. Obama's comments directed the racial stoplight on the situation more than was necessary. Shame on Obama!

    July 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  174. tamalemaker

    I'm from Birmingham and I am tired of hearing about black people not being prejudiced. They are. Most of the blacks in this area are still waiting on someone to fix it for them. They have not taken advantage of the opportunities available for them. Even though Gates is a good example of someone progressing, he is still waiting for someone to fix it for him. Poor little man.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  175. scott

    Hampton VA: Stop trying to march Crowley by us as a hero. he abused his power, made a false arrest and everyone supports him
    except the district attorney, his charges didn't stick.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  176. Mary

    Let me clarify the 'good ol' boys' - Gates and Obama are after all friends.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  177. Scott from Cleveland, Ohio

    Finding common ground through dialog is always the right strategy whether it involves dialog between Officer Crowley and Professor Gates, or dialog with Iran, Syria or North Korea.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |