I am wondering out loud, whether indeed there is any wisdom in President Obama even bothering to meet with Gates (the black Harvard Professor and Obama’s personal friend) and the cop who arrested him, at the planned 6:00 pm meet over a couple of beers for nice little reconciliation.

Frankly, it is a nice attempt but reminds me somewhat of the chiding head teacher who tries to get two spoiled brat kids to agree to stop bullying each other. Now I know none of these men personally. I have my own views on how the situation could have been handled. How about both men handle it maturely with even-temperedness. The wounds are and were too deep for that to happen even before Gates was arrested.

The press (if they are to be believed) said Gates was rude, obnoxious and full of putrid contempt for the police while on his own property. Ironically, the police officer had taught courses in how NOT to profile by race or anything else. Obama said the Cambridge Police acted “stupidly” and had to apologise and then use the situation as a “teachable moment“.

Personally, I know only too well what it like to be stopped by the officers, in my case driving while black and driving a Porsche. However, I just do not see how this will help anyone else but the three involved. Once I asked for the badge number, listened to his complaint and indeed if he was right, agreed to stop speeding, then off I went. No skin off my back because I did not feel perhaps the pain of what Americans have felt for years.

Personally, I am unsure as to how I feel about Obama getting involved given my interest in wholistic outcomes. Were this someone he did not know, would he be involved? I do not know but what I do know is this: a post racial America is not happening because three men with the secret service hovering over them, will chat, apologise to each other and have a Kodak moment shaking hands.

I support Obama but the situation is much deeper than that and while it is a good intention it could also set a precedent for the many more incidents that lay in wait along the way. Now he cannot invite us all up there, let’s be real.

A post-racial America will take decades to achieve with or without a black President.

I do hope that for the individuals involved there is more self and soul searching that goes above and beyond colour and includes arrogance, intellectual snobbery, race and a slew of other “isms“.

My view: If the police are called because in earnest there is a belief that a crime is in progress and I am on my own property, I will explain such, prove that I am me and ask them to leave – politely. I suspect they both argued like too fools trying to prove a point and the cop used his muscle and arrested Gates. Tea anyone? Crumpets, scones?

The teachable moment is everyday when we look into the eyes of another human being and realise that we are all the same. That takes intelligence, love, fairness, truth and a willingness to make an attempt to know more about the beautiful diversity of our people. It is 45 years only since Martin Luther King, Obama is just the tip of the iceberg. The dream will be realized when we all act the part of not measuring a man by the colour of his skin – black or white!


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