Anyone who has followed this blog, and I've been at it since December of 2003, knows that I am a HUGE supporter of Cynthia McKinney. Now you're wondering what this has to do with anything. Hold your horses there. As we all know, or should know, is about her incident with the DC police. Although I love the sister dearly, I wrote then:
Unfortunately, when she hit the officer, she found herself on the wrong side of the law. She knew it and I'm sure her lawyer reminded her of the fact...
Here's the problem: regardless to whether 3 or 4 happened, an police officer has the right to physically stop any person from entering a secured zone. It doesn't matter if they recognize the person or not. Of course it is courtesy that congresspersons are allowed to go by, but that courtesy does not negate police power (right or wrong). Citizens, do not have the option of ignoring a police request to stop, be it at the capitol building or on a highway.
I had to side with the police officer because regardless of the trouble they had given her:
1) It is there job to ID everyone entering the capitol building
2) It was wrong for her to hit the man.
So it should be clear here that I am capable of both supporting our black leaders (the ones made by us, not those foisted upon us) while at the same time pointing out where they are wrong. Unfortunately such talents are lacking in large quarters of the black community. Now lets get back to Obama.
When Obama was asked the question regarding Gates, he should have seen it for what it was: a set up. He started out correctly by pointing out his own bias towards Gates as well as the fact that he did not have all the facts. At which point he could have said the following:
1) I'm going to withhold commentary but we should know that profiling happens and should be something we should be aware of and combat.
2) I believe that both parties were at fault. I believe that the officer did not need to arrest Mr. Gates and that Mr. Gates was wrong to berate the officer who was simply doing his job. Racial profiling is a problem in America but it does not excuse rude behavior by citizens. That's all. Goodnight.
Had Obama done either of the above the headlines would have been either:
1) Obama refuses to comment on Gates situation.
2) Obama feels both parties were at fault.
Obama would have been in the clear because the facts of the situation as they are known point to the latter. When Obama took sides with his buddy, he opened himself up for accusations of favoritism and bias. And this is particularly damaging because he admitted he didn't know the facts of the case.
The next thing I'm going to give Obama props for, was for calling the officer and "expressing regret" (apologizing) to him. It is entirely possible, that Obama's statement to the national press was slanderous. Obama by saying that the police acted "stupidly" could be seen as a false statement that Obama knew to be false because he admitted he didn't know what he was talking about. It's unlikely that a suit would have gone anywhere, but still, it was a potential and I'm sure somebody in the White House mentioned it. I say that because this statement made by Obama:
“the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home.”
Is an entirely FALSE description of what happened. It is not supported by the police report. It is not supported by Gates' lawyer's statement. It is not supported by any public statement made by Gates himself of what actually transpired (as opposed to what he FEELS was the case).
So, this is my rare "big up" to Obama for having the balls to go against the current orthodoxy and doing the right thing. Now he can earn a few more props for getting the justice department on the Sean Bell case, to follow up on Wise Intelligent's situation, Paradise Grey's situation and on what happened to Amy Goodman at the RNC.