Beer Summit

I think this is a great idea…

Obama will meet with Cambridge, Massachusetts, police Sgt. James Crowley and Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. at the White House this evening, each one chugging his favorite beer, in a public attempt to move past the emotional event.

Obama convened the “beer summit” after calling both men last week in an attempt to defuse the political fallout from his comment at a news conference that police had “acted stupidly” in arresting Gates at his home after responding to a call from a passer-by about a possible break-in.

He invited both men over for beer, to be served at a picnic table near his Oval Office if thunderstorms forecast for today hold off.

We have this bizarre way of thinking about race, and racism. ‘I’m not a racist!’ we say, or ‘She’s a racist!’

It’s like you either wear the scarlet ‘R’ or are certified pure. But people just don’t fit into such neat categories, especially when each social situation requires judgment calls. Sometimes we call it wrong, sometimes we are misunderstood. Sometimes in anger we pick up the brass knuckles of racism and swing, and a moment later realize how much pain we’ve caused.

We all need to talk to one another more, and listen to one another more. I hope the beer summit goes well.

And I’m not seeking to place blame, but the Cambridge police need to talk about de-escalation. There’s a lot of anger among some members of the force, demonstrated by an email one officer sent to the Boston Globe. If I got into a shouting match with a patient and then sent a rude email the door wouldn’t hit me on the way out. If you work with the public, you have a responsibility. If you carry a gun, all the more so. And no, officer, you are not allowed to whip out the pepper-spray whenever someone gets on your nerves.

This just in–a commenter on Daily Kos is upset because a politician is criticizing President Obama’s choice of beer. Why Bud Light and not Sam Adams?
Well, just to prove I’m not brainwashed by the liberal blogoborg–I wondered the same thing. I would have suggested Magic Hat, or better yet, Trinity IPA. Many improving conversations have been helped along by Trinity brews. The only Miller Time that rings my bells is the drink Josh Miller makes right here in the center of the universe, Providence, RI.


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