In the early days of the Skip Gates Incident, there was talk that his run-in with the police would somehow radicalize Dr. Gates: that he would join the Rev. Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world and become a race crusader of some sort. But nothing even close to that happened and I sense some people are dissapointed. Alot of people read his statement following the Beer Summit as too conciliatory and not the kind of firebrand rhetoric you expect to hear from someone suiting up for revolution. I told you right out the gate that perspective was likely to change Skip’s timbre. And it did.
Now, I just wonder for all the outrage and man-hours spent reporting, what even happened? There was a “teachable moment,” but I don’t know that we learned anything. Maybe we re-learned and remixed the lesson we got during the OJ Simpson trial: that blacks and whites think the legal system functions differently, and that race (Oj’s overwhelming guilt notwithstanding) is likely to make you guilty of something, no matter what. People are still trying to figure out where to go from here. Did the incident inspire you to build any bridges, or did it just comfirm what you already knew?