Social Question

berry_lips's avatar

How do you feel about Obama's comments about the Gates matter?

Asked by berry_lips (142points) July 31st, 2009

I voted for Obama, and I like Obama. However, I’m extremely bothered by how he involved himself in the Henry Gates’ matter and made the comment about the police acting stupid (“Cambridge police acted stupidly”). I can’t get over it. It lowered my opinion and view of Obama. Why can’t I get over it? ... And, no, I am not White.

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34 Answers

Les's avatar

THe way I see it, he didn’t bring it up. He was asked the question. He responded. Maybe he shouldn’t have said the police acted stupidly, but, they sort of did. And so did Gates. But, its over now, so let it go.

jrpowell's avatar

Well, I think the police acted stupidly so I consider his comment correct.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Something you have to take into consideration is that the media, no matter who is in office at the time, tends to ask the President their opinion on current affairs that are spreading everywhere like wildfire.

So basically, he was screwed if he answered, screwed if he didn’t. If he didn’t answer, it would have outraged the people who thought he should address a serious issue. By answering, he outraged everyone with opposing views.

Regardless, his opinion on the matter doesn’t effect the kind of President he is overall. Frankly, I’m glad he has his opinions and isn’t afraid to say what they are. I would prefer to know how any President feels about certain subjects rather than be left in the dark. Him backing down and being afraid to answer would have pissed me off more than anything.

dpworkin's avatar

When a person feels something deeply, even a president, he or she may be impolitic in discussing it. Remember that Skip Gates is his friend, that when he was a community organizer he was very concerned about racial profiling, and he had an emotional reaction when his pal was arrested at home without having committed a crime.

As soon as he realized that he had compounded the problem, he went public with an apology, spoke to the policeman and spoke admiringly of the policeman, and arranged for the two adversaries to meet in friendly circumstances

I can understand your objection to his first response, but don’t you agree that it all came out rather well?

Darwin's avatar

Actually, I think Gates and the cop both acted stupidly.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

In the end, they all decided to sit and have a beer and talk some stuff out.
I’m a big fan of that. I bet a lot could be hashed out if Obama and Ahmadinejad just sat the hell down and talked some stuff out, over a beer.

Darwin's avatar

It wouldn’t work out all that well because I suspect that Ahmadinejad doesn’t drink beer since he is a Muslim.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@Darwin Metaphorically speaking…. There doesn’t have to be beer.

asmonet's avatar

Dude, he’s a person. Let him have a fucking opinion without it messing up your life.
A giant WTF to people who can’t get over comments by someone they don’t even know about a situation they were never involved in.

kheredia's avatar

The police did act stupidly! Unfortionately our president can’t express himself in that way because people can’t handle it.

Ivan's avatar

Knowing what he knew at the time, it wasn’t unreasonable to conclude that the police acted stupidly. Now, he shouldn’t have made a public statement about it until he had all of the relevant information. The police officers and the woman who called 911 have, in my mind, been absolved of any possibility of being a racist.

jca's avatar

what he should have said was something like “I can’t comment now, I don’t have all the facts.” but he didn’t. nobody’s perfect. i have said many things in my lifetime that should have people never wanting to get over them, but thankfully they do, and life goes on.

Zendo's avatar

The police did act stupidly, especially knowing what he did at the time. He had the facts from the horse’s mouth, as it were, from the alleged perp his own self.

And how could the cops not just drop the whole matter once they knew that Gates was in fact the owner of the home he was breaking into?

Darwin's avatar

But how did Gates let them know this information? Attitude makes a huge difference.

jca's avatar

in addition, the word “stupidly” is not very diplomatic, and it would be expected that a president would be diplomatic. a better word would have been “inapproprite.”

if Obama felt that what he was was perfectly fine, he would not have come back out two hours later and said that he should not have spoken too soon (or however he worded it).

Zendo's avatar

I believe Gates’s ID would have his home address listed. And since they were at that address, it is almost impossible not to conclude he is/was at his own home.

Pure stupidity, even for a cop. And saying so was being extremely nice.

augustlan's avatar

I am disappointed that he addressed it as directly as he did. If I were in that position, I think I’d say that as Gates was a friend of mine it would be inappropriate for me to comment on the matter. However, it won’t affect my opinion of him as a president. He is only human, after all.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@Les Just because something is over doesn’t mean it can’t make a lasting impression on someone.

critter1982's avatar

Did you guys even read the police report? If in fact the police report is correct, and I don’t have any reason to believe it’s not then Gates deserved what he got. First off it wasn’t until Gates and Crowley were in the house that Gates gave Crowley his Harvard ID. This was after Gates continued to complain that it was because he was black and that Gates would talk to the officer’s mother outside and saying you don’t know who your messing with. Crowley eventually got out of the house and Gates continued to harrass him on the porch in front of the public. Crowley warned Gates 3 times that he was being disorderly and even pulled his handcuffs out. How the fuck is this acting stupidly? He should have gotten slammed to the ground with a nice knee in the back. What ever happened to respect? Aren’t we supposed to respect the police? If I continually verbally offended a police officer, I would expect one thing. A nice long night to think about it in jail. I hope some day his house does get broken into and the police don’t respond. Then maybe he’ll complain because the police were racially selective. Give me a fucking break. He deserved what he got.

Regarding Obama’s comment: He obviously didn’t have the whole story, as he came out the next day and said he should have used a better choice of words. What pisses me off is that he never apologized. Does it remind you of somebody else? George Bush? He still has yet to apologize for the whole WMD in Iraq thing. This is obviously on a much smaller scale but the pathetic arrogant and smug character flaw is the same.

Flo_Nightengale's avatar

I am horrified this got as far as it did. People do not stop talking about it. I have an issue with the president and his so called resolution. Are we aware there was a black officer and a hispanic officer present? I find it an insult they were not invited as well. This whole senario makes it a race issue which I do not believe it was. Sgt. Crowley was trained in cultural sensitivity. The black officer is being called an “Uncle Tom” for doing his job. This has turned into a white/black issue. The mentality of Prof Gates is one of victimization. His friend is living in the White House, the US cannot be that racist.

Zendo's avatar

@critter1982 Obama’s comment and Bush’s WMD outright lie are two completely unrelated character flaws. Like apples and oranges they are completely incomparable. Bush will never apologize. The US is so absolutely racist that it may never completely clear from our society.

After Croley got outside, he should have simply left the area rather than listen to Gates rightous indignation over police harassment perpetrated against him on the very steps of his home…his castle.

If the police ever came over to bust me at my house in a similar situation you can bet your bottom dollar they would leave just as soon as they learned I was at my own home.

critter1982's avatar

@zendo: different but very similar. GB had incorrect information. Obama just didn’t have all the information. Both very much so self righteous.

Zendo's avatar

Obama had all the information. and Obama’s statement was correct. The officers actions were stupid. The entire fiasco was police activity at its Keystone Kop-est stupid.

Keystone Kops

GB didn’t have incorrect information. He knew he was lying and lied anyway, sending all those troops to die or worse…needlessly.

phoenyx's avatar

I think it was a misstep on his part. He gave an hour-long speech on health care reform and then made the “stupid” comment to one of the questions at the end. It was completely off message.

Guess what the press reported on afterwards.

critter1982's avatar

@zendo: all the information wasn’t even out at that point. Including the fact that crowley teaches a class on racial profiling. Second gates acted like an asshole and deserved more than he got. I thought Obama was better than this. Pretending to play the victim only worsens the racism issue. Obama is our leader, he needs to fucking act like one and not commit himself to things he doesn’t know to be true. Fucking hypocrit.

rooeytoo's avatar

I don’t want my president reacting rashly. He leapt before he looked and as a professional, he is not allowed to do that. If Gates had turned out to be a burglar breaking into some black or white person’s fancy house, the cop would have been a hero.

Presidents of the USA or any country do not have the luxury of getting caught up in this sort of situation even if it is his friend. If he had not been friends with Gates this would never have reached Obama’s ears and even if it had, he probably would have had no comments to make. Reeks of a sort of old boys network type thing.

Zendo's avatar

But Gates turned out to be a homeowner breaking into his own home.

Obama had all the facts. the cops acted like fucking idiots…again, and are now trying to play the race card…the reverse race cars…LOL…It is ludicrous, as were the cops in this instance…again.

critter1982's avatar

@Zendo: Because telling a police officer you’ll talk to his mother outside isn’t ludicrous. Give me a break.

rickmartin's avatar

The country is still racist and the police have the same old blunders as usual. There are so many instances of blacks perpetrating crimes that it overflows into normal action. I blame Crowley and Gates, but if they came into a white household there would most likely be different results. In short he should have asked for ID and left. End of story. Obama did nothing wrong.

Flo_Nightengale's avatar

You have to listen to the police tapes that have been released. The caller never mentioned black. The dispatcher asked for a description, black, hispanic, or white. That was the only time race was mentioned.

The Prof is no role model for the younger generation. It points out that the color of one’s skin will make you a victim and use it to your advantage.

Do you think this was an attempt to make up look in one direction while something amiss was going on in the other direction?

pikipupiba's avatar


He arrested Gates for disorderly conduct, which Gates deserved 100%.

w2pow2's avatar

How did the police act stupid?

woodcutter's avatar

obama is a black guy. He couldn’t help himself.

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