By Carole on Jul 25, 2009
He can travel throughout the world apologizing with ease for every American action since Washington crossed the Delaware, but when he calls a dedicated police officer stupid for doing his job, President Obama suddenly forgets how to say "I'm sorry." As he hemmed and hawed through a surprise appearance at the daily White House briefing, he said his words had been "ill chosen" and he could have "calibrated those words differently" but didn't back down from their meaning.
Both Mr. Obama and Henry Louis Gates Jr, the man who was arrested in this case, have been desperately trying to turn this into an issue of race. It is not. It is an issue of disrespect for law enforcement and an attempt to play the race card to excuse wrong behavior. Mr. Gates shouted that he was being mistreated because he was a "black man in America". In fact, he was treated the way officers are trained to treat disorderly people. Mr. Obama claimed that "The fact that this has garnered so much attention, I think, is testimony to the fact that these are issues that are still very sensitive here in America," (source) Is there any doubt these two men meant the same thing?
There is no issue here beyond the fact that a citizen disrespected a police officer who was merely doing his job and the president of the United States disrespected that same officer on national television. In his statement today, Mr. Obama proudly announced that he had telephoned Sgt. Crowley who he declared was a "good man". But he did not say that he had apologized for his ill informed and disrespectful public comments on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile in Massachusetts, a multiracial group of police officers stood with Sgt. Crowley and asked the president to apologize for the comments which they called insulting. And in Washington, Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R-Michigan) said he would introduce a House resolution calling on the president to apologize to Crowley. (source
Political stunts? Maybe. But that doesn't diminish the fact that what they are asking Mr. Obama to do is the right thing.
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