With one off-the-cuff presidential remark, the story of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates became a national debate on race.
When asked about the Harvard Professor who was arrested after refusing to show ID after breaking into his own home, the President began his reply with, “I don’t have all the facts.” That’s where it should have ended; since each situation is different, it’s unwise to apply issues (such as racial profiling) to an incident to an incident to which it doesn’t apply. Instead, Obama fanned flames that had been set by Al Sharpton and other racial arsonists who claim the arrest was a cut-and-dried case of police harassment of a minority citizen.
Sgt. James Crowley, the police officer who arrested Gates, has said he’ll never apologize, and that he isn’t a racist. As Dan Flynn points out, the fact that he attempted to give mouth-to-mouth to dying Celtics star Reggie Lewis would seem to back this up. That’s probably one of the facts that the President wishes he had before he brought race into a situation where it doesn’t seem to apply.