Thursday, July 23, 2009

the president is black (II)

LA Times today: The measured and cautious Obama that Americans have come to know might have demurred when, at the end of his prime-time press conference, he was asked about the arrest last week of Henry Louis Gates Jr., a prominent African American-studies scholar and friend of the president's.

But Obama was surprisingly emotive and unequivocal when answering the question and concluding that the Cambridge, Mass., police had "acted stupidly" in arresting Gates, who is black, after he tried to pry open a stuck door to gain entry to his own home.

Obama said he did not know what role if any race played in the matter. But he also seemed to welcome the opportunity to teach a larger racial lesson. Obama used the question to recall his sponsorship as an Illinois state legislator of legislation to crack down on racial profiling, noting that "there is a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped" disproportionately by police. (Read more.)

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