Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh, please

In last night’s press conference, President Obama weighed in on the arrest of Henry Louis Gates:

Now, I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there's a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That's just a fact.

An article (via Bent Corner) from television station WVCB in Boston has the following quote:

Spencer Kimball, an Emerson College professor and president of Kimball Political Consulting, said that he was surprised that Obama "elaborated upon" the Gates case.

"To bring it out as a racist issue is, in my opinion, very irresponsible. Race is a very decisive issue in our society, and to say that someone is racist or using racial profiling without all the facts in hand really only inflames those who want to make this a race issue," Kimball said.

If Kimball was surprised Obama would claim someone was racist without a firm factual basis he must have been in a coma during the recent election.

(On a happier note, rereading what I wrote during the campaign, I am delighted that neither Obama nor - as far as I’ve heard - his supporters are using the race card to attack those who oppose Obama’s policies. I don’t have much good to say about the President but I give him full marks for that.)

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