In honor of the reconciliatory beer being shared tonight at the White House, between president Barack Obama, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr, and Cambridge police Sergeant Joseph Crowley, it’s worth revisiting, however briefly, discussion of the larger issues raised by the arrest.
I appeared on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show to discuss racial profiling and race in America in the days immediately after the story broke. I was joined by Dennis Parker, director of the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program and Lorie Fridell, associate professor of criminology at the University of South Florida. I provide the tick-tock of what happened to our editor-in-chief, and a synthesis of what the president’s remarks at last week’s news conference might mean—but both of the other guests offer valuable, expert insights based on years of academic research and years of advocacy.
I got my hackles up when Mike Edes, chairman of the National Troopers Coalition joined the debate with unfortunate, mildly patronizing talk about cops wanting to protect black folks from black criminals, but otherwise we had a very civilized chat. Seeing many sides of any hotly contested political issue is key to moving forward. Hopefully tonight’s “beer summit” will retain the same dynamic.