Friday, July 31, 2009

The Audacity of Hops.

Even the president of the United States is not allowed to say that a policeman behaved badly without the press dragging him back into line and forcing him to, "look forward and not backwards". Not that this president is averse to looking, "forward and not backwards." He's ignoring the war crimes committed by his predecessor, so turning his back on the bad behaviour of James Crowley of the Cambridge police is really small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.

After the event Crowley described the discussion as "cordial and positive". He made it clear there were on-going disagreements and no hint of an apology from either side, but that they had "agreed it's important to look forward rather than backward".

He recognised that Gates had the credentials to enlighten him, and "he has a willingness to listen to me about the difficult job that police officers do".

The police do have a difficult job to do, but the events at Gates's house could hardly be amongst the most difficult moments of Crowley's career, even if they end up being the most notorious.

He arrested an elderly black man because he didn't like his tone. He didn't like the way this elderly man was speaking to him.

The fact that Gates committed no crime has been made clear by the fact that all charges against him have been dropped. He simply should never have been arrested in the first place.

But we are all forced to witness this charade because the one thing we are never allowed to say, under any circumstances, is that the police behaved badly. Obama crossed this line and said that Crowley behaved "stupidly", so now we have to "look forward and not backward" and witness this photo opportunity.
Obama said :"I have always believed that what brings us together is stronger than what pulls us apart. I am confident that has happened here tonight, and I am hopeful that all of us are able to draw this positive lesson from this episode."
We have not to look at what actually happened:
Crowley was called to Gates's home in Cambridge last week following a report of an attempted break-in. Gates was charged with disorderly conduct after he protested that his treatment of the hands of the police was racially motivated. The charges were later dropped.
We have to look at some way of moving on without acknowledging that Crowley shouldn't have done what he did. He abused his power. But no-one is allowed to say that because he is a member of the police force and they "have a difficult job to do"; therefore they are above criticism.

So Gates and Obama and Biden and Crowley will all have a beer and no-one will apologise and no-one will admit that they were wrong.

Because the police are never wrong. And Obama, whilst not taking back his statement that Crowley behaved stupidly, is not repeating it.

So, we are all, "looking forward and not backwards". It sounds great and so - so - positive. But, exactly as it applies to the war crimes of George W Bush, "looking forward and not backwards" seems to me to be a great way to avoid anyone ever taking any responsibility for anything which they should not have done.

If the lessons of Obama's presidency are that we should ignore the past, learn nothing, and simply move on, then I fear I am going to be greatly disappointed.


And now I stumble across the real reason why Obama has to go through this charade:

Barack Obama significantly damaged his standing with voters – especially white voters – when he intervened in the controversy surrounding the brief arrest of a black Harvard history professor earlier this month by calling the police action in the case "stupid", according to new polling figures released yesterday.

A survey released by the Pew Research Centre found that 41 per cent of all voters disapproved of Mr Obama's handling of the affair, compared with just 29 per cent who approved.

White Americans want to believe that the election of Obama means that the US has become "post racial". Obama's crime was to tell them that they are not.


I include this simply because it made me laugh.


Here, Crowley describes his "ordeal". I would have thought that the "ordeal" happened to the person who was arrested. Since when did the person committing the arrest become the victim of the piece? This is becoming more surreal with every second that passes...

Click title for full article.

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