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July 31st, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Should beer summit have yielded apologies?

ALT TEXT

Pres. Obama (R), Sgt. Crowley (2nd R), Prof. Gates (2nd L), and VP Biden (L) drank beers on the White House South last night. The so-called Beer Summit was held after Crowley arrested Gates at his home, sparking tensions and racial furor. (PHOTO CREDIT: SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

After beers at the White House - Sgt. James Crowley and Prof. Henry Gates say their talks were productive and that they plan to meet again.

The two men - at the center of what grew into a national conversation on race - met with President Obama and Vice President Biden at a patio table outside the White House.

Crowley says it was a frank discussion - that they agreed to move forward rather than dwell on the past. He didn't give more specifics except to say that no one apologized. Gates says he hopes the experience will "prove an occasion for education, not recrimination."

President Obama said he was thankful to both men for joining him for a "friendly, thoughtful conversation." The White House is probably glad to have this meeting done with, hoping the president can get the nation to focus on his priority of health care.

It probably wasn't the president's finest moment - a new Pew poll shows 41-percent of those surveyed disapproved of the president's handling of the Gates arrest - only 29 percent approved.

Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct - after making charges of racism against Crowley. President Obama inserted himself into the debate by saying the Cambridge police acted "stupidly" while admitting he didn't know all of the facts. Later, the president walked back his comments a bit - but stopped short of apologizing.

Here’s my question to you: Sgt. Crowley says no one apologized at the White House meeting. Were apologies in order?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Anthony from Brooklyn, New York writes:
I'm less concerned with apologies as I am with simply talking. As an African-American, I've been discriminated against, as have the majority of minorities in one way or another. Hearing someone out, or at least attempting to understand, is more of a step in the right direction than a simple "I'm sorry."

Linda from Arizona writes:
God, what a stupid mess. I'm so sick of it. Crowley should apologize for lying in his report. Gates should apologize for flying off the handle. Obama should apologize for dragging everyone through this ridiculous exercise, and not inviting Lucia Whelan, the only person to behave well in the incident. Biden should apologize for a bunch of other things. Now, can we please MOVE ON??

Mike from Gastonia, North Carolina writes:
Pres. Obama owes an apology to those of us who are sweating out the health care reform debate, anxious to rein in the profiteering insurance companies. We really could have done without the distraction.

Jack writes:
Yes. Gates should have apologized on behalf of every member of the self-perceived "elite" who has opened a conversation with a police officer by saying "Don't you know who I am?" Those situations generally end in unnecessary arrests. The officer was doing his job according to his training.

Stan from Manitoba, Canada writes:
I believe a beer summit is the international code for letting bygones be bygones. They had a good discussion about the situation and they had a beer while doing it. No apologies necessary.

Joseph writes:
Jack, You owe us apologies for covering this non-story endlessly. Why can't you just let this go? Let it go, Jack. Just let it go.

Michael from Alexandria, Virginia writes:
Jack, You and I both know men don't apologize over one beer. That takes at least a case, followed by either a fight or repeated use of the phrase "I love you, man."


Filed under: Law Enforcement • Race Relations • Washington
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Both the president and the professor definitely should have apologized to the sergeant. He was the one who had the most to loose. Cops walk into ordinary situations every day and never know if it will be their last. He had no choice but to subdue the not so learned professor with handcuffs when confronted with a “hothead” mouthing off at him instead of thanking him for investigating the apparent “break-in.”

    July 31, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  2. Frank

    Gates & President should have apologized. And I voted for Obama. No apology, no vote in 2012!

    July 31, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  3. Charles, Lansing, MI

    The President and the Pro;fessor owe the Policeman an apology. The two men the neighbor says she saw still could have been in the house. If they had been and the policeman walked away he would have been crucified by the black community. The policeman deserves a medal.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  4. David of Alexandria VA

    The whole beer summit was an inappropriate event about inappropriate remarks made by the President. Privately, President Obama should have appologized to Sgt Crowley. Privately, Professor Gates should have reflected on his incidiary and intolerent remarks. Publically, no one, including Sgt Crowley, should have said anything.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  5. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    No. The president should never have gotten involved.. Hopefully, talk of it will last less than Joe the Plumbers time in the news.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  6. Sylvain

    Men of from Mars and women are from Venus.... Men don't need to apologize to get over it. A cold beer and a handshake is good enough. If this would've been between three women, only Dr. Phil would've been able to solve it!

    July 31, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  7. Adrian Gillem

    Though no one verbally said "im sorry," the sheer fact that these two gentlemen came together showed that they realized that the debacle between them was unnecessary and that a fresh start was needed... That and also a cold beer with the President.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  8. DJ from Ft Walton Beach, FL

    No...becasue their all probably lightweights when it comes to alchol. They probably forgot why they were there after a couple sips...

    July 31, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  9. Judith

    Jack, I like almost everyone else, was not there when Professor Gates was arrested, so I don't know if apologies are in order. However, I am happy that they were able to get together for a civil conversation. Would that the entire country could do the same.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  10. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    No apologies needed. But then again, I am still under the impression that, under the circumstances, the outcome was nearly ideal.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  11. KarenB, centralFlorida

    Apologies were in order. Gates & Obama should have
    apologized. Gates should have known better than to
    react the way he did if he's such a scholar. Many of us
    knew Obama was going to be a major disappointment
    to all his wide eyed followers– just happening faster &
    more often than would have thought possible – less able to keep it hidden since the "hype and glow" of the election has passed.
    The word "stupidly" comes to mind - especially the unbelievably staged performance - "backyard beer."

    July 31, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  12. Jack Carlson

    Absolutely ! Gates should of apologized and Obama should of apologized as his presumption made the matter worse.
    Gates should of thanked Crowley for coming to his house, showed his ID and left his ego at Harvard. The Colleges are full of loonies these days.
    Jack C
    WA

    July 31, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  13. zekke LyDonna

    Gates may be guilty of 'bad behavior', but Crowley is guilty of both bad behavior and unprofessionalism. After reading his police report, I noted several instances where he could have de-escalated the situation. When Professor Gates first introduced 'race' into the equation, red flags, bells and whistles should have been seen and heard by all. If Crowley was indeed 'misunderstood', it would have been a most excellent point at which to explain himself.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  14. Lou from Fayetteville, NC

    This thing is so convoluted that MAYBE someone owes someone an apology. Were it me, I would be glad the cop was in my house just to do his job and make sure I was safe. Were it me, I would have told him that it probably looked like I was breaking into this house which happened to be mine. Were it me, I would have told him I had just returned from China and my door was stuck and I had to break in and I am glad to see someone asked him to come and check it out. I think the cop was doing his job but had the professor cleared up a couple of things fast, it probably would not have been so convoluted. The professor and the President should have been smarter than they were. The President didn't help and I voted for him but not again, since he allegedly called all cops stupid. My son was a cop.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  15. Chuck in warren, Ohio

    Jack: Gates and Obama should have apologized for letting the issue get to be national headlines.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  16. Kathy/ GA

    As long as Gates and Crowley are satisfied with what happened, it's allright with me. There are other situations that I felt were more harmful and no apologies have been made. Has anyone apologized for Bush being president for eight years? Has McCain apologized for Palin? No. but life goes on.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  17. Joe CE

    Seems it would have been a good move _ all around. Maybe it will still yield something for the public.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  18. Billy in Las Vegas

    I thought from the beginning of this whole mess that BOTH Professor Gates AND Sgt Crowley "acted stupidly". Proffesor Gates for having a "do you know who I am?" moment and getting in Crowley's face when he was just doing his job and Sgt Crowley overreacting with an "I'll show YOU. YOUR under ARREST" response.

    hopefully BOTH Profffesor Gates and Sgt Crowley can work together in the future on race relations forums. there actually may be some real good come out of this incident in the future as long as BOTH the ultra left AND ultra right keep their nose out of it.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  19. Paul Austin, Texas

    I think not because both individuals overreacted in a bad situation and handled themselfs badly. What should of came out and released is just that. That both men overreated.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  20. Vivian Fauntleroy, Largo MD

    Jack, I've never heard tell of one living soul dropping dead for uttering the two words, "I apologize." On the other hand, when folks come out shooting from the hip that there will be no apology, it's a hard-drawn line in the sand that is difficult to rub out. So, even though the gentlemen couldn't force their lips apart far enough to say the simple words, they did get together and have commited to talk again. That speaks volumns.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  21. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    I have no doubt that everyone involved realizes they could have handled things better........there is really nothing more that needs to happen here.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  22. Kerry Diehl

    Two apologies should have been in order. One from Obama to Sgt. Crowley and one from Prof. Gates to Sgt. Crowley.

    Obama is lucky, had it been me I would have told him to go fly a kite and refused the invitation.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  23. Phillip, Ca

    I believe Professor Gates should apologize to all involved. His poor judgement and behavior led to this spectacle and he is solely at fault. The problem is, racism is big business and those who profit must keep fanning the flames.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  24. Mark... Voorhees, New Jersey

    The only one who should have not apologized was Biden. Crowley was wrong for not apologizing for not having the forebearance as an officer to have exhibited better judgement than to have arrested Gates in his own home. Gates was wrong for not apologizing for cussing out a police officer who was arguably doing his job. Obama was wrong fo not apologizing for jumping to conclusions. On the other hand, the country never got an apology from Bush and Cheney, either.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  25. Harold , ANCHORAGE, AK

    Not necessary. This event was intended to provide an example on how we should approach misunderstandings, It is certainly an attractive alternative to the '60's: tear gas vs burn-baby-burn. We have finally made some progress in human relations. Blah-blah & beer is much better than blood-bath.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  26. Don (Ottawa)

    Apologise? Gaites over-reacted to routine questioning; Crowley, exercised his right as a police officer to arrest someone who was uncooperative in a break-in investigation, and President Obama commented on a local issue when he should have kept quiet. In my opinion the only one that deserves an apology is Ms. Lucia Whalen who was a good neighbor, did her civic duty and was criticised for it. The teaching moment, or what many people will learn from all of this, is to never report a possible crime in progress as you may be blamed for it. It's too bad it happened, but I can't see anything good that came out of this media extraviganza.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  27. Darren

    Why? It was just four guys sitting around sipping some beer and chatting ... with the media chained off 40' away.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  28. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    Yes, on the part of Mr. Gates for allowing this incident to become a national issue when a police officer was only doing his job trying to protect his home. Sorry he was not man enough to do so.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  29. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,yes there should have been apoligies from two of the players,President Obama and Professor Gates both need to apoligize to Sgt Crowley and to the police department,people need to learn that every time something goes wrong or they are not bowed down to,it is not productive to yell racist.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  30. John from Alabama

    Jack: Conversation is better than conflict, and if this is what happens President Obama has been successful. I hope awareness of langauge and posturing is discussed in the future meetings between Gates and Crowley.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  31. Gary Nealy

    It wasn't about one side yeilding to the other, it was about establishing dialogue, so that events like these are seldom encountered. I wonder if it works on marriages too?

    July 31, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  32. Albert Killackey. L.A, CA

    Maybe Sgt. Crowley should apologize for not making this a teachable moment by offering to take Pres. Obama and Prof. Gats on a badly needed Ride-along so they could learn the dangers police face when dealing with disorderly persons.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  33. Gregg of El Paso TX

    It is extremely irritating to hand out apologies that are not sincere. And in the public eye, not sincere apologies are rampant. Cudo's to this meeting that no apologies were forthcoming... they would have been just for the media had they been issued. I'm sure both offended parties left with a better feeling about the other.. even if they don't agree.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  34. Terri

    Jack,

    I'm a true Obama supporter but our President has much more pressing issues on his plate than to try to get these two idiots to apologize. I don't believe he should have ever been involved in the situation, much less an "afternoon beer party."

    Whether or not either Crowley or Gates apologized, that's between them. They're the only two who know for sure what happened and each is probably spinning the story to make themself the victim.

    Let it go already!!

    Terri
    San Luis Obispo, CA

    July 31, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  35. Dee

    Apologies may have been in order on both sides, but continuing communication is more important than placing blame. The best news is that the two men will meet again. In that poll, if 41% disapproved and 29% approved, did the other 30% not care? That would mean 59% either approved or did not care. So why was the President's comment made into such a huge issue by the media? A far higher percentage is concerned about fixing health care.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  36. Ken -- Beaverton, MI

    The first and only apology should have come from Mr. Obama. His statement showed that he sided with his friend without knowing the details open hs mouth and inserted both feet witha race-baiting statement.

    I think the oiginal participants in all this want to move foreward.You don't get do-overs, but you have the chance to make things better in the future.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  37. Frederick Keenan

    Sure aplogies should be offered but it doesn't have to be televised.. each man should be man enough to say to the other "I was wrong in the way I treated you... " let's hope they were man enough to resolve that behind closed doors..

    July 31, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  38. Jim/NC

    President Obama is the same as George Bush when it comes to admitting mistakes. The president should apologize to Sgt. Crowley, the Cambridge police department and police officers across the country for indicating that the officers acted stupidly. Crowly should apologize to Gates and Gates to Crowley. All individuals envolved, especially the president, acted unprofessionally and arogant.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  39. Kat

    No. Inviting them over for a beer is "change I can believe in".

    July 31, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  40. Irv Lilley

    Jack, The whole incident should never have reached the point it did.
    Even though racial feelings still exisit, our society has come along way towrds dealing with them. correctly. No , if anybody should apologize, it should be the media . Both sides cpmmitted mistakes. The police in cambridge should take more time to know
    who lives in their juristiction. Ever police department should be trained to know their people . Gates should have reacted differently.
    But he didn't. So whose at fault. Both.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  41. Jack Ryan

    Yes. Gates should have apologized on behalf of every member of the self perceived "elite" who has opened a conversation with a police officer by saying "Don't you know who I am?"
    Those situations generally end in unnecessary arrests. The officer was doing his job according to his training. His goal is merely to go home to his family.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  42. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida

    Jack

    The American people will likely never know the truth of what was said between Skip Gates and Sgt Crowely. We did however hear the president charge the Sargent of Cambridge police with stupidity. I believe the President should appoligize for this statement.
    We all tuned in after the brews and listened to the Sargent confidently and profesionally answer questions from the press. One could conclude that if this Policeman found his way to my door I would not feel threatend. Racial profiling or the race card cannot be played when the police were ordered to investigate. There are numerous legal manuevers available to property owners regarding trespass to protect ourselves from storm troopers. I'm suprised with the vast education of Skip Gates he chose not to follow the laws that are available. As a white man in America I realize when questiond by a black policeman yes sir and no sir is respect for the uniform and has nothing to do with the color of the man inside......

    July 31, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  43. Max Fairview, Texas

    I don't think this meeting was a Kodak moment for an apology. It was simple done by Obama in an attempt to pull what i like to call "The Cat box maneuver". When Obama got involved by making his comments on the issue and it blew up in his face he now finds he needs to cover his tracks and the stink it caused and the best way he feltto do that was to have a summit and cover the mess up. This changed nothing and no apology was going to come out of it.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  44. Gigi

    Not in America. That would be sign of weakness and we sure wouldn't want to show that. We are now in the post Pres. Bush 2 philosophy. Humility went out of fashion some years back.

    Oregon

    July 31, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  45. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    YES, and it should have come from the Professor and the President. As a Democrat I was floored when he jumped to the conclusion that it was the Police Sergeant who was the Racist. The Prof needs to take that very large chip of his shoulder.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  46. Joe in VA

    To whom by whom? Maybe the President should have apologized for ever stepping into this mess and making matters worse. I don't think Professor Gates sees anything wrong with his actions and I think officer Crowley thinks likewise. Time to leave it alone and let it go away.

    Chatham, VA

    July 31, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  47. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    President Obama should not have commented on this and should not have gotten involved, this should have been handled locally. The beer summit should never have been held and what the heck was Joe Biden doing there ?

    July 31, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  48. Gary H. Boyd

    If an apology was inorder, the guy that should have offered it is Barack Obama for his stupid comment about stupid cops. He made a mountain out of a mole hill and lost a lot of respect among the general population for doing so. This guy needs to focus on his job as President of the United States and being the most powerful man on the planet. Playing referee between two guys in a local situation kinda pales by comparison

    Gary H. Boyd, Scottsdale, Arizona

    July 31, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  49. Jay in Texas

    From what I know about the incident, I think Sgt. Crowley was probably in the wrong and should have apologized but I was not there so I only know what the press has reported about it. Maybe some more private meetings between Professor Gates and Sgt. Crowley are in order.
    Brownwood, Texas

    July 31, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  50. Anthony D

    I'm less concerned with apologies as I am with simply talking. As an African American, I've been discriminated against as have the majority of minorities in one way or another. Hearing someone out, or at least attempting to understand is more of a step in the right direction than a simple "I'm Sorry."

    Anthony D
    Brooklyn NY

    July 31, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  51. Mike from Denver

    Let us be honest, apologies all around were in order: Gates for losing his cool; Crowley for letting the situation escalate and for arresting a man in his own home; and Obama for using the word "stupidly".

    July 31, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  52. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    Jack, you and I both know men don't apologize over one beer. That takes at least a case, followed by either a fight or repeated use of the phrase "I love you, man."

    July 31, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  53. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    If this actually leads to positive actions instead of just hollow words then it will have accomplished more than a hundred meaningless apologies ever did.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  54. patricia lewis

    Sgt. Crowley said they agreed to disagree, I would think as long as they disagree not even beer would yield an apology. I do think that Sgt. Crowley owes the 911 caller an apology for saying that she said it was 2 Black men and therefore she ended up being called a racist. Patricia Lewis, Rock Hill, S.C.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  55. Michelle Johnson

    The positive, genial tone of the meeting indicates that all involved had forgiven and would move forward to change an unfortunate incident into a lesson and productive action. They saw no need to apologize among themselves, so the public should not expect apologies. Crowley especially, and Gates handled aftermath of the meeting extremely well. Obama showed a lack of leadership in downplaying the meeting's importance and not initiating follow-up. Sadly, this behavior is becoming a trend for the president.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  56. Rian McMurtry

    Once the officer had verified that the person he was talking to was the owner of the house at which there was a possible break-in reported, he should have apologized for disturbing him and left it there, regardless of how irate the homeowner was.

    Davis, California

    July 31, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  57. Frank from Peterborough

    No apologies are phoney for the most part. What is needed is a change in mannerisms and types of reactions and likely by all parties concerned.

    The fact is police on occasion do profile and persecute certain groups whether ethnic or even sometimes by age and on the reverse side of the coin some people in these groups tend to over react to normal procedures with a feeling of persecution.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  58. Jennifer - Winnipeg

    Sgt. Crowley did his job. President Obama gave his opinion. Prof. Gates played the race card. If they all shook hands at the end of their meeting last night, then there is nothing more to be said or done. Period. Let it go!

    July 31, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  59. James

    There are so many stories from both sides for anybody to make any opinions or conclusions, so I really can't make a comment or an opinion. Gates experienced something that happens to alot of African Americans and many other minorities throughout this nation which proves a lot more needs to be done in order to make America a united country. From what I read and saw I feel that both sides need to apologize. Sgt. crowley needs to apologize for the arrest in general and Prof. Gates needs to apologize for the ranting and yelling. But they should apologize beacause that is the polite and the diplomatic thing to do for both of them are the victims of circumtance. However I don't think that the President of the United States should act as the pacifier in this situation. That is why we have Jesse Jackson , Al Sharpton and many other leaders of ethnic organizations to represent and dissovle situations like this. With North Korea seizing a south korean boat, testing nuclear weapons; Iran's president putting protestors on trial, also declaring to acquiring nuclear technology and the economy still doing bad, I really don't think the leader of the free world should play "high school principal and tell these boys to stop fighting and shake hands".

    July 31, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  60. LDR in Central Texas

    Obama should have apologized for saying the cop was stupid. Gates should have apologized for calling Crowley a racist. And Crowley should have apologized for not controlling his temper better. Its simple pre-K schoolground stuff, Jack. Guess nobody learned anything.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  61. Mike, in Gastonia, NC

    Jack, a couple of apologies might have been in order. Certainly Prof. Gates and Sgt. Crowley should have been able to find a way to let each other know they now wish they had not over-reacted in the incident, though each may have had understandable reasons at the time. If the over-reaction admission is preceded by the words, "I'm sorry, but," then that's an apology. On the other hand, President Obama owes an apology to those of us who are sweating out the health care reform debate, anxious to rein in the profiteering insurance companies. We really could have done without the distraction.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  62. Tim in Texas

    Jack, I've got three brothers. We've all put eachother through various forms of hell over the years and there's never been an apology spoken. Men don't apologize to other men, but we get over things anyway. That said, I'm sorry, but what I really want to know is how come we think that it's okay for the police to arrest anyone - black, white, or purple, just for being obnoxious? I'm obnoxious all the time. I don't expect to be arrested for it. This ain't Iran.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  63. LUCI - ILLINOIS

    No, it was not necessary. They sat and talked it over and the Cop and Gates are going to meet again. I think we should all forget about it. What we actually need to remember is, we are God's children, no matter what color we are, and I am white. It is best for all to get alog with each other.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  64. Richard New Hampshire

    The fact that none of us witnessed the incident,how can it be determined if apologies were in order.
    At best,seeing the other person's viewpoint may be accomplished.
    It is a social challenge that only a black President could address.
    President Obama may regret getting involved,but any previous President wouldn't of touched it with a ten foot pole.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  65. Mar Tampa, FL

    The only thing more arrogant than a university professor is a cop. Obama should not have made any comment and the media should have not gone overboard with this story. Apologies should have been made between the professor and the cop – end of story.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  66. Paul Pettipas, PEI Canada

    An insincere apology from someone just for the sake of a public relations sound bite is self-serving and offers nothing to anyone. The main point here is that everyone was brought together to express their points of view face to face in a civil, mature fashion. Its how all disputes should be settled and, if nothing else comes out of it, shows a good example of the proper way to solve disputes.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  67. Annie, Atlanta

    Yes, Crowley owes Gates an apology for arresting him in his own home, bottom line. And the President was right, the police did act stupidly, so he owes no one anything, though he did spring for beers.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  68. Karen

    I'm sick of the constant apologies we hear these days. People do whatever they want, knowing they can stick a band-aide on it with a meaningless apology. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. I hope both men involved, as well as all the rest of us, have learned something from this unfortunate situation, and that now we can just move on.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  69. Dylan Raines

    This "beer summit" was a publicity stunt for Obama to look like he handled the situation with his patented calm and cool. I think they should all apologize to each other. Obama called a cop stupid who was within the law, but may have gotten a bit carried away which is understandable. And the professor should have remained calm and not stirred up the story more by claiming race.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  70. Ken in NC

    I think the police officer and Gates were both out of line and should apologize to each other and President Obama should apologize for taking a position without knowing the facts. All three were out of line.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  71. Ron from SF

    An apology was never the point and the reason they get together was to understand each other. Crowley and the Cambridge police force are lucky they didn't get sued for false arrest. The man showed his id and was inside his own home. There was no legal basis for the arrest and that's why the charges were dropped.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  72. Ohio

    I dont think anyone needs to apologize. It seems to me like they apologized in their own "guy" way. I think everyone was a little bit at fault, but it is not a situation to draw out.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  73. Barbara Mortela

    Absolutely NOT... both men are educated and professional men and I think the meeting and the committment to moving forward with better communication and understanding is an outstanding result to President Obama's gaffe.....

    July 31, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  74. Jon (San Diego)

    Apology ?? No

    Lawsuit ?? Yes, but not the one you would think

    The officer & his department should sue the POTUS for his malicious slanderous statements and defamatory comments

    July 31, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  75. Middle East Phoenix

    Just the fact that this meeting held a place in the White House is an enough apology for all involved sides. This was a smart out of the box move from President Obama...thats why is is so popular! Way to go Mr. President.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  76. Lynn McNaughton

    President Obama is guilty of speaking his mind without being politically correct. (The use of the adverb stupidly is an example of "foot in mouth.") Aside from that, he is to be applauded for speaking about race, which is what most of us are afraid to do. He is, after all, a black man who just happens to be president of the United States.
    He should not apologize.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  77. Diane from Ohio

    Yes, I was waiting for the policeman to apologize and I was offended by his arrogant news conference. The police have too much power over ordinary citizens in this country and many of them abuse this power because there is no way to stop them. I wanted the police officer to admit that maybe he made a mistake and should not have arrested Gates. This would be a teachable moment.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  78. Jake Torres

    Gates definitely should have apologized. If Crowley had found a burglar and stopped a robbery I'm sure Gates would have been quick to thank him. Everyone including President Obama was so quick to judge what actions Officer Crowley and the other officers did, yet they are so slow to admit an apology is in order.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  79. Andrew

    As a Black man, I feel that apologies should have been given by both men. Considering that the reason for the "beer fest" was to have the different sides come together in a symbolic meeting of racial unity, would not it had made sense for the men to apologize. If we want to heal real racial tensions in this country to loosen up, Blacks and Whites must first humble themselves!

    July 31, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  80. Bryan

    I don't think apologies were in order. Perhaps the Pres. should not have said what he said about it, but I agree with him so I think – what's wrong with having a real guy as our Pres. who's not afraid to say what he really thinks. At the beer fest, meeting both as peers, perhaps Gates and Crowley should have apologized to each other (Crowley first and then Gates, just to be polite), but I doubt they plan on being friends so it doesn't matter. In their roles as citizen and public servant, I do think that Crowley speaking officially as a police officer should apologize to Gates for arresting him, which to me was an immoral abuse of power even if not illegal.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  81. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    I don't care of there were apologies or not–I care that the situation caused the two main participants to get to know each other and resolve the issues. It was a great idea and should be done more often. I think that it was a win/win situation. I wish the media would portray it more positively instead of looking for more trouble. The world already has enough of that.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  82. Srini

    I think apologies were in order.

    It was an ugly confrontation, and as Pres. Obama indicated, one in which both parties probably overreacted.

    It would have been a gentlemanly gesture, and certainly would have turned the heat down on this episode to have apologies.

    I'm disappointed by Sgt. Crowley's arrogance. I'm sure Gates probably would have apologized for his conduct.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  83. Nelson, Somerdale, NJ

    Yes, I believe the President should have apologized to Sgt. Crowley for insulting him, if not at the meeting then before. As much as I like the President, I do not know if I would have taken his phone call. Sgt. Crowley is a better man than me.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  84. Bob G in AZ

    Jack, what a week at the beginning I thought the police were in the wrong and then the 911 tape put the professor in the hot seat. As for the President we need to keep in mind that he said he would make mistakes and learn from them. He was ask the question that was not related to Health Care that evening. He would have been better to have followed his own advice and not answered it. As for appologies I think Professor Gates owes the police officer one and the President is ok with having offered the opportunity to bring the two together. We just need to get it off the front page and back onto why the Repulsicans are trying to destry the presidents agenda.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  85. jim Blevins

    Apologies just don't buy it. The world is full of people who don't regard themselves as bigots, but at the core of their soul are. What is needed is exactly what has happened - discussion. The more that people talk about the subject the more people will have their defenses bypassed and be able to see themselves as they truly are.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    July 31, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  86. Sandra Davis

    I like the visual of folks sitting and talking with one another. No apologies necessary. If each man was too proud to accept an invitation from the president of the United States then we know they might struggle with apologies. However, I believe the country might have two good human beings working together for some good this time.

    Sandra Davis

    July 31, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  87. Ann from Charleston S.C.

    I don’t believe anyone needs to apologize. Prof. Gates and Sgt. Crowley were both within their rights in the situation. I have a bit of a problem understanding why Sgt. Crowley pursued the matter after Prof. Gates showed his ID proving that he was in his own home. On the other hand, I cannot get into either man’s mind and must depend only on reports of what occurred. I think people are too quick to assign blame as soon as something goes wrong, become indignant and demand apologies. Although I think President Obama made a mistake when he entered the discussion, I think he is on the right track when he encourages the two participants to listen to each other. We need a lot more listening in this country.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  88. Angela Washington

    Unless Cowerly explains why he arrested Gates after ID was proven, he does not deserve an apology. It seems each news station is leaving this bit of information out. Although, Gates should be big enough to let this go, since the only thing that was hurt was his pride.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  89. R Long

    No apologies from either side, it goes to show they are are stuck in their views. This has made no difference in the way either one will react or treat someone else in the future. The race card should be destroyed, some way, some how. This shows that we should move on as a black man can be anything in America, even a Harvard professor and President of the United States.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  90. Cheryl

    Yes, but it should be the Cambridge police apolagizing to the Professor. Bill Mayer said it best on the Situation Room earlier this week. An American's right to freedom in their own home is one of the feww freedoms we have left. I agreed with the President when he answered the question, and I agree with Bill Mayer. Americans need to wake up to what's going on their own country.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  91. Shalondra Prather

    If anyone was owed an apology, it was definitel Professor Gates. He should not have been arrested in his own home. Peoe are saying that this case received unnecessary attention from the media and President Obama, but I say it should have been all over the news. Maybe now those police officers who decide to arrest minorities unlawfully think twice.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  92. cindy los angeles, ca

    I think that, unfortunately, Pres. Obama should never have made his comments to begin with. I could, however, understand where he was coming from. Both professor and the sergeant overreacted. I like that Pres. Obama brought everybody together, Sometimes, it is best to just open a dialog and bring people together. I'd like to see this lead to better race relations all around. I'd also like it if the President chooses his words more carefully in the future. He was a President who ran a campaign without inserting race into it. He should do the same as a President.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  93. Vivien

    Yes Jack and the apology should have come from Crowley . You can't just walk in to someones home and arrest them because they mouth off at you. Crowley was looking for a reason to arrest him so he found one. Enough of testosterone cops who feel they are so high and mighty they can't say the words I am sorry sir have a good day .

    July 31, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  94. John Cook

    No apologies necessary. Photo Op or not, these two men have found common ground thanks(!?!?) to the president. I believe they have met in an attempt to overcome the innate prejudice that we all are hard-wired for. You know, Evolution and all that!

    John Cook
    Science Teacher
    Tampa

    July 31, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  95. tim allston

    No, apologies (mere words) not needed. Actions speak louder than mere words: a perfect storm – an overreacted black professor (expert on black culture) and an overreacted white policeman (expert instructor on dangers of racial profiling for police), brought together by an overreacted half-white/half-black president (first-hand experiencer in racial profiling) – to begin a dialogue at the top of the free world!

    The next conversations are on us . . . otherwise, all's merely words.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  96. Colleen

    The words "I'm sorry" are sometimes used when you realize you have done or said something to someone to make them feel a certain way that goes against how they would normally feel .. The situation with the Prof. and the police officer proved to be one of intense emotion – each one began to 'feel' a certain way .. I would venture to guess they each are 'sorry' it went down the way it did, but the dialogue that has followed I believe is good and should be helpful to many.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  97. Darrell In Boston

    Apologies were not in order. I think that all of the men knew what they did and were aware of it. The President and both of the men involved need to just shake hands and walk away from this situation.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  98. Maria New York

    Jack,
    Prejudice was born over white people sitting around a table, having a beer and deciding blacks would make good slaves. How will we ever stop the prejudice if we don’t stop and communicate albeit be a beer, TV, ball games or whatever. So long as communications occur prejudice might just result in all races having a beer and enjoying one another’s company man to man, woman to woman. Who knows one might just start treating people as people.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  99. Eric, Flemington, NJ

    The only one who should have apologized was the President. There was no need to elevate this local incident to the national level. It created a feeding fenzy among the media, and, served as a major distraction from the major issues of the day. Perhaps the President will create another "czar" position to deal with such racially charged issues. Maybe Al Sharpton is available.......

    July 31, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  100. Mike

    Between Obama, Crowley and Gates, not one is without some degree of misconduct in this matter. There should have been apologies around the table, including Biden who is sure to say something wrong in the future.
    ps Why wasn't Whalen there?

    July 31, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  101. Alan from Ohio

    President Obama enjoys serving as "teacher" on many topics; since becoming president; Many such topics; he might not be qualified to serve as such; This is one; He saw this as a "learning moment"; question; we know what the two principles got out of it; what did the president learn from it: especially as it might relate to his own actions or attitudes.
    Thank you

    July 31, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  102. Bill

    This man did not show his id that contained his address, Gates that is. He showed his university id. He continued his tirade even after he stepped out of his house. That's disorderly conduct. He should have to appologize.
    Obama definately put his foot in it with a statement that could only have been uttered stupidly and should therefor appolgize.
    Crowley was doing his job and was able to contain a person that may have ended up a danger to himself or others. No appolgy needed.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  103. Michael from Pasadena, California

    Jack,
    I think the media should apologize for making such a big deal out of this nonsense when we have real issues on the table, like healthcare reform.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  104. Mandi

    No apologies necessary. They both let their testosterone get in the way of good judgement. And neither one tried to look at the situation through the other persons eyes. Race relations in this country will never improve until we can all try to walk a mile in each others shoes.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  105. Richard Sternagel

    No apologies need to have been made. It is important to move forward to achieve an Understanding of each other in this racially divisive issue. Fear dominates this issue and these fears need to be put to rest.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  106. V. Barry Poole Sr

    The Pres. needs to apologize to the Cambridge Police Dept. Sgt. James Crawley and the citizens of this country. Pres. Obama is a lawyer by profession, he should know better not to make a comment with out all the facts.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  107. Dale from Chandler

    No apologies required.
    Both men can learn from this experience. Gates, a well educated scholar and expert in Black History, but one who personally has largely been isolated from racial profiling, can learn to tell the difference between real racial profiling and ordinary police work involving incidents with minorities, and thereby avoid over reacting himself.
    Crowley can learn to make allowances for citizens who might get upset, learn to make that half hearted apology when he comes to realize the call was no big deal, "Sorry for having inconvenienced you today. I can see you're upset but thank you for helping me get to the bottom of this report. Is there anything I can help you with?" rather than taking out his handcuffs threatening arrest.
    And most importantly we can learn that despite 400 years of history, 100 years of emancipation without equal rights, and now extreme poverty within inner cities leading to a culture of poverty, that we have much much more to do before society really does give equal rights to all of its citizens.
    Wise Latina women can appreciate this. Wise Hispanic, Black, Yellow and Red voters will demand that we pay attention to such problems. But Politicians who ignor this problem will themselves becoming history.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  108. Frank

    A man was arrested for disorderly conduct in his own home.
    The man responds with less than flattering remarks for be questioned about being in his own home, and finally a third party reacts calling it acting stupidly for arresting an acquaintance of his for disorderly conduct in his own home. I think they were all correct. Now let's move on.

    Talk about making something out of nothing...gez....

    July 31, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  109. Angie

    Yes, this is a teachable moment – it's a shame the President and Professor Gates did not take advantage of the situation to teach the next generation that when a person makes a mistake and hurts another person, he/she needs to apologize. It's a sign of strength, not weakness, to admit that you spoke too soon without knowing the facts.
    An apology was in order.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  110. James

    I had something similar happen to me. My baby hit the emergency button alarm and summoned the police. The police arrived incredibly quickly and were ready for anything. When I approached them, they wanted to know if I was the owner, wanted to see ID and confirm everyone was OK. They were professional and efficient. I thanked them for their concern and complimented them on their response.

    Any of these men (Crowley, Gates and Obama) had an opportunity to diffuse this situation with civility and dignity. We all should think of that next time we want to jump to a conclusion without the facts and pin blame on someone.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  111. Stan Leacock

    The Cambridge police acted stupidly, the president should not have responed to news question until he had all the facts and Dr. Gates had a right to be outraged. The media has fanned the fire to make sure this is racial issue, and will not let go....and, nobody owes anybody an apology, but I will give this young president who is trying his best to do the right thing for all Americans, many, many kudos.

    stan leacock
    atlanta, ga

    July 31, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  112. Darrin

    No apologies. I don't agree that the initial encounter was race based but I do think Gates should not have been arrested. This is America. Since when do we arrest people for being upset about a perception, right or wrong, of being racially profiled.

    NO ARREST SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  113. Robbie

    First I have to say, that the President has way too many other pressing issues to deal with this matter. Not to mention, having beer at the White House about it. This frankly, was none of the President's concern. I do feel that both the President and the Professor should have apologized the Sgt. I am not a police officer and at times may not agree with a lot of the things that police do, but I can never relate to what it is like to be in a position to make a snap decision about a possible ongoing situation. I think had the Sgt. not responded as he did, the police department would have been scorned just as bad as they were when they did respond. I also blame the media for taking this situation and making it "Headline" news.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  114. Alice in PA

    The whole situation was not the business of the President to comment even though he and Gates were friends. Gates should need to control his temper like any person. No need for a Beer Smmit and why not invite the woman who called 911 to a "treat"

    July 31, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  115. Phil, Denver

    If the President of the United States invites me over to the White House for a beer – that is all the response I would need. The President may not have given a formal apology but he sure has been stepping all over himself to make it up to Officer Crowley, as he should since the President really stepped into it last week.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  116. Shane

    The President should have apologized for making brash comments before even knowing the circumstances of the incident. His statements a few days later where he tried to clarify what he said also frustrate me, there is nothing more aggravating than watching a politician give a unapologetic apology. A real man can always admit when they were wrong and apologize.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  117. Christopher in Queens, N.Y.

    So, let me get this straight. According to the replies I’ve read to your question, it's President Obama and Professor Gates who owe an apology? I must say that after reading that, I'm convinced that your viewers have already started drinking the Kool-aid Sgt. Crowley was talking about having in the next meeting with the Professor. Sgt. Crowley is the one who arrested Professor Gates who proved that he was in his own home. Sgt. Crowley is the one who admitted on page two of the Police Report that he had reason to believe that Professor Gates lived at the home. Sgt. Crowley is the one who could have walked away from a man who was in his right to be angry for being handcuffed and embarrassed in front of his own home. Therefore, there shouldn't be any question or shadow of a doubt that it is Sgt. Crowley AND the Cambridge Police Department who owes an apology. Whoever thinks otherwise needs a reality check and a potent dose of humility.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  118. walt Utah

    Jack,

    When the President was overseas, he apologized for everything from Childhood Obesety to male patterned baldness and many other issues he was never involved in. The one thing he did do "stupidly getting involved in a local issue when he did not have all the facts" and now he's not man enough to apologize for denegrating a law officer and an entire police dept. The president should apologize to everyone, especially to the American people for wasting so much time on a non issue.

    Walt
    Salt Lake City Ut

    July 31, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  119. Bill

    I was very happy with The President until that comment about the "Police acted stupidly" It seems to me if the officer was black The President would not have said that also I don’t think the Professor would have acted the way he did if it had been a black officer.
    Down here in Miami we have home invasions all the time. How was the officer supposed to know what was going on if the owner of the house would not cooperate with him? There may have been someone threatening the Professor in the house?
    Two apologies are due one from The President and one from the Professor.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  120. Jane Cox

    Why does anyone have to apologize? It would not lead to a resolution of a problem where each participant could probably have done something to diffuse the situation. If blame must be placed, everyone should understand how they contributed to the unwanted outcome, and what each could have done to avoid it.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  121. Jane Pollack

    An apology forced too early is no apology. The fact that the two parties are willing to meet again shows that an apology may be forthcoming, and pray God it will be sincere and not done in the glare of publicity. Why do the members of the public always demand everything be done on their schedule? Maybe - and I realize the non-narcissistic nature of my comment - maybe it shouldn't be about us.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  122. Chris Messner

    The only apologizing should be from Obama since he "stupidly" used the bully pulpit . I would insist that he should do the same out in the open for all to hear ......Also , funny we have not heard a word or comment from the second man that was with Gates that night .

    July 31, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  123. Debbie

    Ha! Growing up in a family of all boys, this scenario rings so true! Without being too "sexist", I hate to say it...but men just have a MUCH bigger problem apologizing than women....the "apology" gene appears to be recessive in the "Y" chromosome!

    July 31, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  124. Mobie

    The President definitely owed no one an apology. If one was warranted, it ought to have come from Prof. Gates for shouting fire where there was none, and Sgt. Crowley for listening to the script playing in his head, and hearing what he wanted to hear and overreaching, by making the unwarranted arrest.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  125. Camberly Lillich

    The officer will apologize by never arresting an African American in their home for no reason again. Disorderly conduct? Really. I'm a white woman and if an officer entered my home without my permission, I would be very upset. I may not have lost my cool but my lawyer would be informed.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  126. Chuck

    Both the President and and gates should have apologized to Officer Crowley. The sheer arrogance of both is truly unfathomable. Guys like Gates gives professors a bad name.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  127. Jes

    This meeting should never have happened, but Obama should have gone on national television and publically apologized for his disgraceful statement about the police. Gates showed that he obviously is not as mature as his education might indicate.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  128. Brian

    I don't know if Gates or Crowley owe each other an apology, President Obama certainly owed one to the police. As he stated upfront, he was not there, he is a friend of Gates...he should have stopped at that. Instead he went on with the name calling, that was plainly wrong and he should just admit he was wrong in calling the police stupid or acted stupidly.

    Frankly Gates and Crowley should apologize to each other and move on. This, as usual, was blown way out of proportion. Had Gates not been a friend of the President this "news" would never had made the back page of a newspaper let alone page 1.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  129. maria, california

    Apologies should be made to the woman that called in the report. She has had a hell of a time for doing something neighborly. I think after this anyone would think twice before calling in to the cops or more so trying to describe someone. Everyone cries the racial profiling card nowadays. There will be a lot less 911 calls as a result of this.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  130. Jerry Kolnick

    To those who think that President Obama and Prof. Gates should apologize to Sgt. Crowley.

    When you come home from a 18 hour flight only to find that you are locked out of your house and you have to break in, and someone sees you and calls 911. The cops show up. And after you have shown them identification and give them a piece of your mind they arrest you. Then let me know if you should apologize.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  131. Marlene Stevens

    It is refreshing to have a president who can admit he made a mistake, and a real change to have one who would invite the injured parties for a beer and conversation, which after all, is the best way to defuse any situation.

    I think if the three of them are comfortable with the way things turned out, the rest of us should leave it alone. I find it laughable that you ask for our opinions on the situation, but when the president was ask for an opinion and gave one, well, you know the rest.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  132. Tim W.

    Obama and Gates should have apologized to Officer Crowley for their ridiculous and stupid behavior. Obama has just wasted Millions of taxpayer dollars over this fiasco and shows and endless litany of Obama spending Millions and Trillions of money that we don't have. I voted for Obama and I'm very disappointed in him so far.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  133. Travis

    None needed. Apologies are only necessary when someone has to be right and someone else has to be wrong. In this case, everyone has agreed to disagree. For some reason, many in the US no longer view that as a reasonable outcome.

    I hope there are follow up discussions as the parties have promised. Something good could still come out of this.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  134. Shane from Texas

    The President should have apologized for making brash comments before even knowing the circumstances of the incident. His statements a few days later where he tried to clarify what he said also frustrated me, there is nothing more aggravating than watching a politician give an unapologetic apology. A real man can always admit when they were wrong and apologize.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  135. Cynthia Ricketson

    To put a positive spin on the thing, nobody seems to have demanded an apology.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  136. Jeff in Minnesota

    What do they have to apologize to each other for? As near as I can tell, Sargent Crowley did his job and Professor Gates did not like the way the officer did his job. However, none of us were there and everyone who was there will have their own take on what was said and how they interpreted it. It's the age old problem of everyone has their own perceptions of reality based on their life experiences. Could the outcome been handled better, probably. I think the biggest learning moment is for President Obama who has learned the hard way to not rush to judgment.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  137. Jo

    Wow! Jack, I think it would have been nice for everyone to apologize. No one in this story should have felt above that. Perhaps it's just a male thing not to have? I don't know. I can't believe someone would (Frank) make his vote for president dependent on something this small.
    Listen... the police can be very aggressive and overuse or abuse their power. Prof. Gates was probably upset about not being able to get into the house to begin with and felt put out by the officers showing. I know I would if I had been him. Obama simply made the mistake of answering a journalist's question. Some people on here make it sound like he couldn't wait to comment on it. On the contrary, it seemed like he was quite uncomfortable and the minute the journalist posed the question, there really wasn't any way he could have answered it without getting criticism from someone. Sheesh. What a mess we make of things, honestly.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  138. Terry Johnson

    Jack, the Cambridge Police Department dropped all the charges. Why drop the charges against Gates if indeed he had done something wrong. Perhaps the question is why did Sergeant Crowley charge professor Gates if he had not broken any laws. In all likelihood, this is a situation where two professionals with inflated egos let a manageable situation get out of control. It's all good. No apology needed.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  139. Shaun

    Yes, there should have been apologies! Apologies to us, the american people, for all of this nonsense that these children have created. What I really want to know is why Obama didn't back up the police officer first before the prof. That's like an employer not supporting his employees.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  140. Todd

    Frank, c'mon you're choosing a president based on this one trivial issue? Obama should appoligize, but if he doesn't it won't cost him my vote.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  141. Alex, New Jersey

    Officer Crowley should really take another look at the situation as it was that night. If he did, he would probably apologize for, at the very least, losing perspective. After all, the moment Professor Gates answered the door, Crowley should have known he was almost certainly the legal resident. Would a thief, who just broke into a house, answer the door when a policeman rang the bell? If so, it would be an incredibly stupid thief. So once Gates answered the door, Crowley could still have asked for identification, but he should have said it in such a way indicating that he knew it was uncessary, and just a formality that had to be followed, for completeness.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  142. Jeff

    Honestly Jack, if the men involved were satisfied then I see no reason why we should be upset. We should just move beyond what was basically a series of mistakes. The parties involved all seem ready, why shouldn't we be?

    July 31, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  143. Stu

    Obama should apologize for involving himself in this matter, for saying the police acted stupidly, and for immediately playing the race card.

    Professor Gates should apologize for his ridiculous outburst. It may have been his home, but it was unnecessary. A calm demeanor, and a simple show of ID, maybe even a word of thanks to the police for responding to his home, and all of this nonsense would have been avoided.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  144. Harry Connors

    The President and the professor both owe the cop an apology. The professor engaged in racial profiling of the cop. The president shot his mouth off. The cop did his job.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  145. Jette Chattanooga, TN

    Apologies are in order by all three men. Dr. Gates for his rant, Sgt. Crowley for the fraudulent (sp) police report and the Prez for sharing his observation without having all the facts. Then again, we all take sides without having all the facts. On the other had if any of these gentleman had apologized, the media would have a field day of running before and after footage, of how one would not apologize, only to apologize in the end. I hope the President understands that he doesn't have to answer every reporters question. I was horrified when he (Obama) responded. I knew immediately that this would turn into the "uproar" it has become.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  146. Ron Boyle

    Jack, technically, the only one who was outside of the law in this case was officer Crowley. His arrest had no basis in law. He,... one who teaches other officers and is a sergeant no less, had to have known better. He did. The arrest was simply to teach Mr Gates a lesson.... don't yell at the police. Therefore, he should have been forced to apologise. That was the teaching moment,...that police in such situations are not above the constitution.
    That said, Mr Gates should have apologised to everyone who has truly been racially profiled because his actions do not help that cause. He acted like a spoiled child and showed unmerited disrespect to a fellow American. That’s enough reason to apologise.
    The President,...he looked weak on this one. It is embarrassing. He should have stuck to his guns on this one and been a leader rather than a conciliator. He needs to explain himself not apologise.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  147. Ludger Krane

    Apologies would just have been another way of dividing the camps again: one is wrong and one is right. The fact that they were sitting together at one table was enough to demonstrate they they are equals. Well done President Obama.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  148. Mike in Texas

    Gates and Obama should apologize. Obama should never have been involved in the first place.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  149. Angie J

    While an apology from Crowley would be in order- there is no point in either person apologizing publicly. Pundits on both sides would see it as a sell out. This is a systemic problem.
    Jack I still don't hear anyone talking about Crowley's written report where he LIED about receivig a call about "two black suspects with backpacks". Why is THIS being swept under the rug?? That's why Crowley should apologize.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  150. Mark

    Yes, from Mr. Obama to the police officer for his "stupid" remark and from Mr. Gates for starting all this crap in the first place by being uncooperative with the police. The cops were doing him a FAVOR and doing their JOBS by checking on HIS home to PROTECT it from criminals....what part of that does the professor not get?

    July 31, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  151. Steve in Anchorage

    No. No apologies were called for. This is one of those paradoxical conflicts in which both sides were "right." There is no need for an apology from either "side."

    July 31, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  152. Janet M. Lloyd

    From CT
    An apology should have been offered by the officer to Prof. Gates.
    When will racial profiling stop? I am sure he would not have arrested a white man for being in his own home. Let's be honest and admit the problem.
    2nd comment

    July 31, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  153. lester

    The President owes the American people an apology for his spin doctoring of a situation where the President was clearly wrong and Profssor Gates was clearly wrong.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  154. Roberto from Chicago IL

    I just think if this happened last year when Bush was still president and Henry Kissenger got arrested instead of this black Havard professor I think this cop would have busted down to a beat cop assigned to patroling a toxic waste dump.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  155. MJ from Lincoln, NE

    I don't believe that apologies were in order beyond what were already given. President Obama admitted that he spoke without thinking. I think that this "summit" can be more important in the long run for race relations than anything else that the President has done.

    There is a deep problem in our country today. When an action is performed, we tend to put a name on it, or a reason behind it. This is the problem that resulted in this issue. The police officer responded. The homeowner put the name "racism" on the actions of the officer and looked at the officer through "racism glasses" so to speak. Had he been looking from the outside, watching events unfold, he probably would have sided with the officer.

    This meeting can show a leader, and a trainer of other officers what a person goes through, and together these learning leaders can teach each other ways to help ensure that similar incidents don't happen in the future.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  156. Barbara

    No apology necessary. Two people misunderstood the reactions of the other. Happens every day. I'm glad they have had the opportunity to discuss the matter when tempers have cooled. Always a good thing.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  157. David from Arlington, WA

    Both men were unwittingly at the tip of the spear of their respective ideologies: One based on the belief in the historic subjugation of their people and the inequities of the law; the other based on that system that legally subjugated the former and their conflicting belief that justice is blind. With these moral complexities why not have a beer. What could it hurt.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  158. Chris in Ks

    Gates got cuffed and hauled to the station only to have charges dropped. Apology? I don't think so.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  159. Paul (NY)

    Jack:

    This should have been a non-issue which got totally blown out of proportion. Gates should have been glad someone was watching out for his property, Crowley should have been a bit cooler, Obama should not have spoken without the full facts. As Steve Stills once sang, "Nobody's right when everybody's wrong". Given that, if I was scoring, Round One goes to Crowley. (Interesting Joe Biden drank Buckler's – Non A – Maybe they were afraid he'd say something out of line if he drank!). BTW-I voted for Obama/Biden.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  160. Ross

    No apologies needed. It's a man thing. As a man I can say that you behaved stupidly. You can call me an idiot. And we can go have a beer and get over it.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  161. Betty from Texas

    Gates and Crowley should have apologized to each other. Both over-reacted. I know that I would become very angry if a policeman arrested me in my own home after I had provided proof of my identity. Once Prof. Gates' identify was verified, Sgt. Crowley would be justified in chewing him out, but putting handcuffs on him and arresting him was way over the top.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  162. Dan Green

    Jack, I have been giving a lot of thought to the beers at the White House. It looks to me like the whole thing started from President Obama commenting on an issue he knew nothing about. And when he realized what he'd done, he tried to turn it into a "teachable moment" rather than apologizing. If that's going to be the case, maybe during this administration, rather than playing "Hail To The Chief", they should be playing "Roll Out The Barrel".

    July 31, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  163. Nathan Hamme

    Nobody needed to apologize. That being said, Gates shouldn't have blown up at an officer doing his job responding to a call; Crowley shouldn't have arrested a man with a cane who was by all accounts legally in the right; and Obama should have ended his statement with "I don't know all the facts".

    The one thing I will say about this situation is that I really appreciate the way Obama tried to defuse it. Calling both parties, deciding to invite them to the highest security acreage in the world, and sitting down and having a beer seems to me the best way to talk out differences–instead of further instigation, legal action and name calling. Some people on this comment board should take note.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  164. Greg u.s

    jack what good are teacable moments when the so called teachers cannot admit when they are wrong.of course the president should apologize and mr gates should have to ride with the policeman for one month and get out of the car and go up to the houses on domestic issues and see how dangerous that officers job is and the precautions he must take to go home to his family

    July 31, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  165. Terry Johnson

    Some people think sergeant Crowley was just doing his job and that professor Gates should have been more cooperative with the officer. I agree; the professor could have been more cooperative. It appears to me that both sergeant Crowley and professor Gates irritated each other. Both men appear to be working our their differences and so I say no apology is needed.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  166. Kayam Ogeer

    A cold beer in the White House garden with the most powerful man on the planet is much more than an apology. It is a advertisement that the President made a mistake and is willing to let the world know that. There is no need to rob President Obama's nose in it. Sgt Crowely suggested a beer in the White House and got what he wanted.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  167. PAT California

    It was meant to be a sharing of points of view, not an He's sorry; He's sorry; He's sorry show. I never was one for showing feelings publicly. I know people who kiss every time they see a person, even those whose guts they hate! Saying you're sorry can be an empty gesture, especially if it's in answer to the public demand. EVERYONE acted stupidly, in my opinion. Shaking hands over a glass of beer and discussing a situation where each has his own viewpoint is a good way to bring this to a close.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  168. Gene

    If everyone left on good terms, then no apologies were needed. Everyone in this fiasco had a valid point. Gates shouldn't have gone off the deep end with his behavior, and Crowley could have defused the situation by acting more calm and professional.

    But in the end, they settle it like men... have a beer and talk it out. If international negotiations were done in an atmosphere like this, instead of a stuffy board room, I'll bet a lot more would be accomplished, and people would leave in better spirits.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  169. Robert from Atlanta

    The person who shines through this situation the best is Colin Powell. Were he the President today, he would have had enough leadership experience to keep his press conference comments in check. He stands up to Limbaugh and always appears as a voice for reason, intelligence, and competence.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  170. Della South Carolina

    No apology is needed by the president or Professor Gates. Legally the Sargent made a false arrest. Rightly and legally the Professor can sue the Sargent and win. So it was a stupid arrest.

    And yes the president should of weighted in because he was asked a question and he answered it. It just was not the answer a lot of people wanted to hear. Not only that, he is a great civil rights lawyer remember, and he do know the law.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  171. vincent frey

    Sgt. Crowley should have apologized for not promptly leaving the premises after determining that Gates was the owner and resident of the house. After that Crowley was trespassing.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  172. Moki

    When conflicting parties get together, talk and finally understand where each other is coming from, then no apology is necessary since real communication has occurred.

    Everyone is "right" from their own perspective. Once you truly understand someone else's perspective, you appreciate that they are "right" also.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  173. Terry Johnson

    Even if professor Gates was rude, the police officer is supposed to be a protector of the citizenry. As long as the sergeant saw that professor Gates was where he was supposed to be, he should have left at that point ignoring Gates irritating raves. In a democracy we enjoy freedom to say what we want to say and especially in our own homes. Both men appear to be working things out and so no apology is needed.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  174. Anne

    Had Obama not opened his mouth in the first place,there'd be no NEED for anything.Yes,both he and Gates should have apologized for throwing their weight around and insulting the Cambridge PD.
    But,I have noticed that this president seems incapable of ever admitting wrongdoing UNLESS it was committed by a previous administration.
    This "meeting" was nothing but a photo-op for Obama.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  175. Beth

    Gateswas guilty of being a loud-mouthed jerk. While nothing to be proud of, that should not be cause for arrest. If it was, a lot of us on these forums would wind up spending time in jail.

    I agree with Travis above that apologies aren't always necessary – but if they are due, then all three men are due to make one.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  176. R from New York

    The mere act of everyone getting together was an apology in itself. Let it go already, it's old news.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  177. Terry Johnson

    Jack, I think that while both the Cambridge police officer and the professor, "acted stupidly" in the situation, the POTUS also spoke "stupidly" regarding the incident. Whatever reason(s) the POTUS interjected his view, it has intensified, perhaps, a much needed national debate on racism and race relations in our Nation. So, I say no apology is needed. But, let's continue the debate.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  178. John Harter

    Crowley should apologize for arresting a man, who never made any threats, for yelling at a police officer while on the porch of his own home.

    Gates should apologize for letting his own personal bias affect the way he viewed Crowley's actions. He had little to no reason to think that Crowley's actions were based on race.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  179. Alan - Los Angeles

    This is quite the Romeo and Juliet type of story. Both sides believe themselves to have been slighted in some way, and both are perceived to have transgressed in some way. It is really revealing to see the opinions expressed across the nation. However, in the end we have to figure out how to live together.

    I'm glad that Sgt. Crowley and Prof. Gates seem to be willing to learn from this experience in such a public way, I think it will help us all to examine our beliefs and bias.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  180. fred

    Jack- Just how much money was spent so nothing could happen. I am sure the Whitehouse flew these guys down to washington and probably put them up for the night on the taxpayers nickel. For the same cost another one or two clunkers could have been turned in to new cars and jobs. How about apologies for wasting my money.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  181. Kathleen Adams from Oregon

    I am so proud of My President! Move on and make it better. Revenge, as Gandi said, leaves us all blind.
    Now on to health care.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  182. Angie J

    Show me a man who's never made a mistake and I'll show you a man who's never done anything worthwhile. The fact that Crowley can't admit he's ever made a mistake while policing says a lot of about him.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  183. Val

    Jack, a disorderly conduct charge does not apply in the state of Massachusetts. Being an officer of the law, Officer Crowley should have known that. That is why the prosecutor dropped the charge. Being an expert on constitutional law, I am sure that President Obama was aware of this when he commented that the Cambridge police acted stupidly. Officer Crowley did act stupid when he charged Dr. Gates with a charge that does not apply in Massachusetts.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  184. Amy

    This is getting blown out of proportion. I don't feel bad for the cop because I do feel like he acted out of some bias towards African Americans. I'm not saying that he is racist but it is very disappointing thta he is playing the victim. He doesn't deserve an apology. I think it's time to drop the issue as it is not the most important thing.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  185. Andrew in Maryland

    Officer Crowley is owed an apology from both the professor and the President.

    July 31, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  186. Raquel

    The president certainly should have apologized for shooting his mouth off and for not paying attention to the important things facing him right now (economy, health care, Guantanamo, etc.). He played the race card and unnecessarily. Shame on him; it shows immaturity on his part, and behavior undignified of the president. He owes the police officer an apology, AND he owes the American public one for distorting the whole incident. I'm not impressed by the beer bottle summit. What a goofy waste of time–merely a publicity stunt. I expected more maturity from President Obama.

    July 31, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  187. Robby

    Clearly the president should not apologize! Perhaps Gates should. The cop definetly should. If I ever get arrested from my own home I would be saying much worse than the cop acted stupidly. I'm glad Obama still speaks his mind. Cops need to be policed too.

    July 31, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  188. steve pagnozzi

    As much as I admire President Obama, he should have kept mum on the issue and not make a comment on the Police Handling UNLESS– he knew for sure what was happening. He certainly should apologize to the police under the circumstances. But I do have to tell you, Obama is still the man. Everyone makes mistakes.

    July 31, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  189. Joe Novak

    Yes, apologies were in order. Both the President and Professor Gates both needed to apologize to the police officer AND they needed to do so publicly. The officer was just checking out a possible break-in and while Professor Gates was understandably upset, he should have calmed down. He is apparently one of those people that make things racial when they are not.

    This obviously wasn't a racially motivated situation and should have become obvious to Professor Gates rather quickly.

    I am, quite frankly, upset that the local authorities didn't decide to press the charge with which Professor Gates was arrested.

    The President comes off as being racially biased in his original statement about the situation and comes off as being pig-headed about not apologizing for his own obviously stupid statement.

    July 31, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  190. Mark

    No apologies are needed. Mr Gates should take an anger management class (maybe Harvard has one) and Mr. Crowley can go back to being a policeman and doing his job.
    Morgan Hill, CA

    July 31, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  191. David Kelly

    Fact: Yelling at a cop on your property might make you a hotheaded arrogant jerk, but not a criminal; Gates did not break the law according to the statute, thus the PD's hasty dismissal of the charges.

    Fact: Officer Crowley falsified his arrest report. By falsely claiming the 911 caller specified "two black males," it was Crowley who made this about race; what was his motive in lying in the arrest report? Why is no one demanding he and the department come clean on this? He has much more to answer for than Gates.

    Fact: It doesn't matter that one of the officers on the scene was African-American; any cop will tell that the only color that matters on the force is blue.

    Fact: Obama should know better. He didn't know Crowley had lied on his arrest report when he waded into this; if that information had been public knowledge, the uproar would (one hopes) have been non-existent. He should have gotten the facts. They point to an abuse of police power.

    Fact: The beer was a nice gesture. More pressing issues bode. Gates needs anger-management, Crowley needs to learn the rules, Obama needs to leave the loose talk to Joltin' Joe B.

    July 31, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  192. Shawn from Chicago

    I was not there, but here are my perceptions. Gates and Crowley both could have handled the situation differently. Gates overreacted and became quarrelsome. Crowley could have done more to defuse the situation or simply end the encounter. This does not make them bad persons. They simply fell short of their potential. President Obama made a personal comment during a public appearance. That was a mistake, especially since his wording was rash. Each of the three gentlemen could/should acknowledge that perhaps handling the situation differently may have had a better result. Apologies, while of no harm, are not a necessity.

    July 31, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  193. Christopher

    Jack,
    No one needs to apologize, both men in this situation felt they were right and stood by their beliefs, all of us on the outside want to judge and say this person or that person need to say “I’m sorry” even after the men have reached an agreement as stated in Crowley press conference, and why folk want the President to apologize is beyond me, He’s the President and he had an opinion that he voices and I’m glad he did, for now it has open the door to conversation that most don’t want to talk about or continue to sweep under the rug, Racial profile is happening. Not saying this was a case of racial profiling but because this happened we are finally talking about something that has bother people of color for centuries

    July 31, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  194. Goode

    None should have apoligizied. They should have settle this like men BEFORE the situation got out of control and Gates went to jail. You know Jack Im really scared about the future. If two HIGHLY educated men, Gates and Crowley cant get resolve a simple misunderstanding which led to a ridiculous charge(disorderly conduct) then how are we going to fix WAY bigger problems such as our health care system

    July 31, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  195. Bruce

    I do feel that an apology is in order.

    It was Gates that automatically through out the "race card". If you were confronting someone for something for a legitimate reason and they called you a liar, would you not immediately go on the defensive and be offended by that. This would cause me to react and treat that person differently than if they were to calmly explain their actions and discuss it like civilized human beings.

    Yes, Officer Crowley may have been guilty of losing his cool, but if someone came up to me and asked if I was doing something because I am a racist or because they were black, I wouldn't back down because they were using this as a get out of jail free card. If Gates were a white man I don't think the situation would have escalated. It was only because he accused the officer of taking action because he was black.

    When are people going to get past these things. As a highly educated man, Gates should have acted more appropriately.

    July 31, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  196. Nate

    With all due respect, Mr. President, get your priorities in order and start leading this nation out of the bottom of the tank. We didn't elect you so you could waste our time and yours sipping beer in the White House garden.

    July 31, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  197. sherry

    Instead of thinking who appologize to who, why not thinking how to solve the problem. What Obama did, try to say, When you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you..Kapish

    July 31, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  198. Cliff Vegas

    If anybody should issue an apology, it ought to be the officer on the scene. He violated ethical conduct – worse, he allowed the situation to control his reaction. But I'm all for moving on... right now, we all could use a beer.

    July 31, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  199. L. Wilkinson

    They should have just given each other man hugs & enjoyed the free beer.

    Seriously, Sgt. Crowley did his job & Professor Gates should have been thankful that the police were looking out for his best interest instead of mouthing off. I don't care what race you are, being beligerent with the police will get you no where except in trouble.

    I also think it was totally inappropriate that Obama got involved at all. Let the police do their job. This was not a federal issue.

    July 31, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  200. Joe Batton

    Yes, Mr Obama should apologize for involving himself in a local matter about which he admittedly did not know the facts.

    July 31, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  201. Dale, CALIF

    No apologies necessary. Both men overreacted and Obama shouldn't have gotten involved, but all's well that ends well. Now I'll go have a beer myself.

    July 31, 2009 at 5:54 pm |