A Beer Bromance at the White House?

Can Obama's beer fest do anything to improve the relationship between black people and the cops who arrest them? Or does it waste valuable presidential time?

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There are a number of things that should get the attention of these talking heads representing a supposed black intelligentsia full of people who specialize in black victimization, even when there is none. One would expect from this body of apparent milquetoasts that we would see them equally agitated and full of public concern over the death of 44-year-old Jesselle Page, who died earlier this month from a bullet she received while trying to protect her nephew during a gun battle between local Brooklyn knuckleheads at a playground.

This is a national problem about which we do not hear a peep from these academics. We also have heard nothing from them about Rashad Johnson who was shot three times on Halloween night 2007 by fellow Morehouse student Joshua Brandon Norris. Imagine what we would have heard plenty if Norris was a white student at Georgia Tech with whom the prosecution made a plea bargain deal in which all he had to do was graduate this last summer! Oops, the district attorney admitted the terrible error on the part of his office, the judge who had traveled with Bill Cosby telling young black people tolean up their acts presided over this clear injustice and the pesident of Morehouse went along by choosing not to expel Norris. Kind of shabby but not the sort that might help get someone on tenure track for bringing national attention to the supposed woes placed upon the backs of black men, from the sidewalk to the academy.

There are plenty of heartbreaking woes, but we need to separate the larger ones from those so much smaller than anything indicative of ongoing racial troubles. It would do all of us some good to know which things we should shout ourselves hoarse about and those about which we should keep our mouths out of the hot air action.

Living in South Africa as I do, my opinion on the Gates Affair is influenced by the historical legacy of Nelson Mandela who saved his nation from a potential bloodbath by his embrace and promotion of reconciliation. He made concessions to the white apartheid regime that didn't please everyone and that has lingering ramifications that have yet to be addressed. But he opened a path that led to black majority rule, if not yet a better life for all those who had been oppressed by the white minority regime. And Mandela set a standard that has been duplicated with varying degrees of success all over the world.

For all the negatives surrounding the Gates Affair, one major positive is that it has set in motion a national conversation, if not debate, that is long overdue—not least because of the disproportionate impact of racial profiling on blacks and Hispanics.