Stupid is as stupid does

forrest gump“I don’t have all the facts.” That’s how President Barack Obama started answering a question at a news conference last night — a question tinged with racial overtones and far-reaching implications depending on the tenor and content of the answer. It also was a question asked at a press conference called to promote the president’s healthcare reform initiative.

Sorry, Mr. President, but if you were trying to address racial tensions or sell your health care overhaul, you blew it.

The question was in regard to the arrest of a Harvard professor at his home, after neighbors reported to police that a break-in may be in progress. When police arrived, Professor Henry Gates, according to reports, immediately became belligerent, claiming the police were racist. He apparently refused to cooperate and is quoted as saying the officer, “couldn’t understand a black man standing up for his rights, right in his face.”

Sorry, Professor Gates, but if you were trying to make a statement for educated black men in America, you blew it.

The officer, Sgt. James Crowley, is refusing to apologize, writing in his police report that Gates was “exhibiting loud and tumultuous manner in a public place.” I don’t envy you in any way, sergeant, because you and your colleagues face an incredibly daunting and dangerous task every day you put on the uniform. I know, because I have friends and family who wear police badges. But I also know that if the strongest charge you could come up with  for Gates was disorderly conduct then you didn’t have much going for your side of the issue.

Sorry, Sgt. Crowley, but if you were hoping to stand up for police officers and their rights to do their job and not be yelled at by people, you blew it.

Forrest Gump told us his mother always said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Well…

…Mr. Gates should not have acted stupidly by yelling at police;

…Sgt. Crowley should not have acted stupidly by elevating a tense situation instead of diffusing it; and

…President Obama should not have acted stupidly by commenting on something without having all the facts and, in the process, competing with himself for the headlines this morning.

Mrs GumpForrest’s mom sure was smart.

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50 comments on “Stupid is as stupid does

  1. It’s just a shame though that our president reacts that way, before having all the info. Reminds me of George and Iraq…look how that played out.

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    • I’m not sure why you have a problem with the president having an opinion on the matter. You have an opinion on the matter. You should have a problem with the reporter that asked him the question in the first place. I hardly believe that the same question would have even been asked of Bush. I wonder why????

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      • Coming from someone who is a dem and an Obama supporter, I honestly don’t think Bush would have been commented on such a racially fueled and currently-disputable issue. Obama needs to remember that he is leading ALL of the people in the U.S., and he should keep such emotionally-driven opinions to himself and instead comment on the real political issues that are at hand with healthcare, etc. I was surprised to read the President’s comments this morning, and quite embarrassed by them. And no, I don’t agree that the problem should be with the reporter. It’s expected that reporters will try to stir the pot. It’s in the President’s job description to know when to say something and when to politely keep his comments to himself.

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    • What you fail to understand is that Obama spoke on racial profiling that has occurred in this country for years. And though it’s not a problem for whites, minorities feel that it’s an issue that he needed to address. We suffer from that just as much as we suffer from lack of health care. It is a health issue because it does effect our mental health, as well as our physical health when the arrest is accompanied by beatings. If it were an issue with Whites, I’m sure they (Whites) would have been all over that officer, especially if the officer was Black, and Gates was White.

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  2. I’d say he set race relations back by a century or two by his “dispropotionate” comment. Instead of telling kids to get off the streets and get in school and get an education, he’s validating the sentiment of “you owe me something because we were slaves” mentality. Well, guess what? Women were burned at the stake for being witches and weren’t allowed to vote but you sure don’t hear us still whining about THAT!
    The day the gang related violence stops, and the drive by shootings stop, and the car jackings stop, and the rappers stop spouting violence and disrespect in their music is the day that this country will start to heal. I don’t care who you are or what color you are–respect has to be earned, not demanded.

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    • You are wrong in so many ways on this comment. It actually shows that you are not even current on the issues that you have tried to address. First off, the President has addressed the issuses that are facing the African-American community (Look it up). You are also implying that gangs, car jacking, and disrespectful music is a problem that should be addressed by the President. Did you ask the same of any of the past President, as if he doesn’t have enough on his place at the moment. And lastly, nowhere was there any mention of slavery in his remarks. It’s funny how you blamed him for setting back race relations while you just spewed so many stereotypes in this one post. I just wonder how you would feel if the police accused you of breaking into your own home. Then when you asked for his badge number and name, he refused to give them to you. I’m just wondering???

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      • Thank you I couldn’t have said it better. In reality we are God’s people so mud slinging just needs to stop PERIOD! President Obama should be commended on the “great things” that he does everyday to make this a better country and, as for his personal opinions well he is entitled maybe not the right forum but he is still entitled. He is working diligently on better relationships all over the world anybody paying attention? The man is AWESOME,people need to stop hating!

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      • Guess it’s nice to know now that Oblabla is no longer the President for all of the United States. He himself has let all know he is racist along with Gates…

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    • Marge,
      What kind of half ass comment is that you are making. We could go on and on about white vs black crime. Is a white crime (child molestation and rape, killing of innocent babies) any better than a black crime? No I think not, so before you go degrading and lumping all black America together, you need to think first.

      Henry

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    • It’s not right to harass a person in their home, regardless of their ethnicity. I don’t see how the rap music argument comes into this argument. Professor Gates is a middle aged educated man, not some 16 year old gang memember in Compton. Police should not be used as a means to harass people.

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  3. Since when is one’s own home a public space? Disorderly conduct in one’s own home? You friends of liberty are cool with that? Seriously?

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    • It is not about being in a “public space.” It IS about common sense. If the police are called to a break-in and they show up to the address and see people inside the house, the next logical step is to ask for proof that they live there. Why was this simple request such a big deal to Gates? Instead of simply saying “thank you” for their fast reply to a possible burglary, he yelled at the police officer for doing his job! That’s stupid!

      Are you (Bill) suggesting that instead of this, that if one breaks into someone’s home, they can remain and do whatever they like and just refuse to show identification? The police should just tell the home owner “Sorry, he doesn’t have to id himself so we don’t know if he lives here or not. We let him take/destroy what he wanted.” That’s also stupid!

      Great blog. I’m so sick of everyone turning a clear case of bad judgment into racial martyrdom.

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      • I think you’re mistaken. Gates didn’t get upset until after he gave the officer 2 proofs of identification: his driver’s license and his Harvard Id, both which were picture Ids. The Officer asked him to step outside, again, after seeing the Id cards…
        Now I’m not condoning Gates’ behavior (or the President’s, especially if he didn’t have all the info), but with his background and status in certain fields, he just should have known better..period, but look at it this way:
        how would you react if:
        1-you come home from a long trip,
        2-you can’t get into your own house,
        3-the police show up,
        4-you show them 2 proofs of identification that you own the home that you’re tying to enter
        ..and that still isn’t enough..
        Now could he have taken another approach, sure, But which one is trained to diffuse situations like this? Notice I said nothing about race…

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      • Obviously those who think the officer was right, and Gates, and even obama was wrong are seriously deficient in their mental capacity – the charges were dropped.

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  4. I would agree with the general tone of the article. Typical Obama, trying to straddle both side of the issues, first by caveating that he doesn’t know all the facts, then by passing judgement on the police. Also, not everyone would have been angry that the police came to check on a reported break-in. I suspect it is also not unusual that burglers might want to pretend they own they house they are caught in.

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  5. I was in shock when I heard our President start his answer “I don’t know the facts? But???” Oh please spare me Mr. President!!!! In America you have the right to like whom ever and for what ever reasons. Stop playing victims and crying woa is me over this issue!! If the country is still so full of hatred towards blacks and latino’s, then how in the heck did you get into office Mr. President??????? Because when it is all said and done, the day we die and meet our maker, what will we say then?? Seriously?? If you are a christian man as you claim, you know that it is a sin to pass judgement on anyone!! Not your job, Mr. President. Leave that one up to God.

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    • Let’s hope your neighbor never calls the police on you; and God forbid he’s black, and he arrest your silly ass.

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  6. I do not believe that the professor should have been hauled off to jail for lip service.

    No police officer likes to be talked back to from anyone especially a black man in America. Or else you are at the mercy of the power of the badge and the mind set of the officer.

    The professor and the officer were both partially wrong in dealing with the situation. The professor should have cooperated better with the officer and the officer should have left once the professor produced his identification instead of looking for an excuse to arrest the man because of lip service.

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    • My caucasian friend was hauled off to jail on the same disorderly conduct charge as Mr. Gates for “lip service” to an officer and disregarding their orders. He had to serve community service and was on probation.

      Obviously the situation couldn’t have been used to push race-related agendas and stir up controversy in the U.S., because it was just a person of average standing in the U.S. disrespecting authority and acting like a idiot. My point is that I don’t think it’s uncommon for people to be thrown overnight in jail for this sort of behavior, so I don’t see the officer’s actions as being anything extraordinary.

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  7. And just like that, the President of the United States has said it’s cool to play the race card. This one rank right up there with GW “Fool me once” Seriously, doesn’t the President have a whole staff of people to prevent him from saying stupid stuff?

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    • What was stupid about his reply??? Can you tell me the original player of the race card??? Who made race an issue??? Maybe the fact at this question was even asked of the President was a classic example of playing the race card. Do you believe that this question would have been asked of a Pres. Bush or any other past President for that matter. That’s playing the race card!!!

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    • Jason:

      Why don’t we all try and clean up our own backyards before we start with the name calling.

      I assume you are the brighest star in the Universe and will be running for President of the United States in 2012. Yea right…

      Henry

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    • Never stopped “Bush” from making stupid comments..give the President a break, he is after all “HUMAN” first!

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      • AND SO HAVE YOU… BLAH BLAH YOURSELF …WHATEVER HE’S STILL THE PRESIDENT. HE STILL DESERVES RESPECT LIKE IT OR NOT….REALLY DOESN’T MATTER AND NEITHER DOES YOUR IGNORANCE!! MOVE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY IF IT IS THAT BAD!

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  8. Mr Obama’s remarks show that he is black first, black second, black third, and President of the United States fourth. What a shame. He is entitled to a personal opinion but in this case, and given his position, he should have kept it to himself. How about Bill Cosby for President? That man shows wisdom, common sense, and leadership.

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    • Human First, and Bill Cosby or anyone would be better than “YOU” are anyone like you running but I do know my vote will be for my President Obama a second term…GRACIOUSLY!! Get a life better yet GET A BOOK and educate yourself. Ignorance is very sad!

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  9. You can take the boy out the backwoods, but you can’t take the backwoods out of the boy!! Somethings will never change is really a true statment….

    Henry

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  10. I am a Woman and trust me I am just as angry that the Police would take this man from “his home”. Obviously the policeman had some issues there. Once it was verified as the Professor’s home, it was a mute point but since it was a Black Professor, treatment was apparently different. I don’t know anyone regardless of RACE that wouldn’t be somewhat beligerent upon the same scenario. By the way this Harvard Professor has “earned” RESPECT, it’s not about what someone thinks is “owed” him!

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  11. I’m going to withhold judgement because I wasn’t there at the arrest and I haven’t talked to the police or the professor. I won’t rely on FOX news reports for my information 🙂

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  12. (HM)What makes the comment from the Presiden “RIGHT ON”? Lets use another situation,like Miss California. She lost her postion when she voiced her own opinion and belief, should we then get rid of the President?. When you have an high ranking offical commenting on something so racial bias and one sided, we as a nation will never go forward. Comment from the President, friend or not, should not have been made. He should have said nothing and let the reporter know he was not there to talk about that issue, much more important things in this country to deal with. I myself see everyone the same, we bleed the same, we breath the same air, we all die in the end. GET A GRIP!!! Stop looking at the color of the skin. We as a nation need to look deeper into ourselves.
    So SICK and TIRED of these RACIS REPORTINGS.

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    • Color would not be looked at if it weren’t still such an issue. The truth is the Truth. I agree with you however, that the President’s response should have been; I’m not addressing that issue at this time.

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  13. Showing your faculty ID!…instead of a driver license, light bill, water bill ect. Showing a driver license and/or household bills…the officer would have resolved the issue within five minutes or less. Blacks always want to yell racial profiling. This situation is not racial profiling…just good police work.

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    • You should really get a “REALITY” check. They (the police), had the right to check as they were called in but,as my Mother always said to me, it’s not what you do or say but how you do or say anything that makes the difference. People since we were NOT THERE, leave it alone already!

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  14. So America, are we saying that “ALL” police officers treat everyone the same. I think not, because some police officers use better “judgement” to evaluate a situation than others before arresting someone for simple lip service or back talk. Clearly this seems to be the case here. The officer decided that his badge out-weight the law.

    What law is there on the books that tells an officer to take someone in custody for lip service.

    Case in point: When the officer coaxed the Professor outside that is when when the officer decided to “Charge” him with disorderly conduct (lip service).
    “That’s what you call the power of the badge.”

    He could not arrest the professor in his house because there was no crime committed.

    hm

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  15. Everything is not as Black and White as it appears to be. To arrest or not arrest, that is the question.

    Or, could it be I will arrest who I want to arrest and I will free who I want to free say’s my badge.

    Henry

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  16. Who are we to tell the president what question he should answer and which question he should not. I gurantee you if he would have side-step the question then there would have been a big hoopla on the blogs about him not addressing the question.

    And, who better to answer the question than the president. I betcha Bush would have not answered it, then we all could have gone back to pleasantville.

    henry

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  17. Bush and other presidents have always played the race card. You just couldn’t tell because it was done in private as always and not in the public.

    henry

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  18. Stupid is a mean word! Obama sure is showing his true colors. He is president. If you don’t have all the facts (like your friend acting like a jerk) then you should keep your mouth shut. Are you so sure they were friends before now or have they just gotten to know each other fast and in a hurry so he can put his 2 cents worth in this situation. No whites don’t put up with profiling persay but we sure are putting up with alot of blacks hollering racism regardless if it is or not. And at the drop of a hat the charges were dropped. I hope Sgt Crowley never bows down and apologizes. No need for him to kiss ass. Don’t back down Crowley stand your ground.

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  19. You know, it’s very interesting when a situation involving the police and blacks and/or other ethnic groups – whites have a warped perception about what is right and what is wrong. Let’s look at the law instead: it is very clear about what an officer should do in a situation like this. First of all, Prof Gates was in his own home NOT a public place. In order for a disorderly conduct charge to stick it has to be in a public place. FYI: it is not a crime to get mad, hurl insults, curse or yell at a cop. In this case, there was no physical attack on the officer. Every talk show I have listened to, with chiefs of police and other law enforcement officials of all colors clearly state that the officer is correct in investigating the complaint, but once it was determined that Prof Gates could prove who he was (the lawful owner and occupant of the house)CASE CLOSED. The police sergeant is the first line supervisor of officers in the street and he should have known better! His training and experience should have kicked in to DEFUSE A SITUATION AND NOT ADD FUEL TO THE FIRE! I should know this – I have relatives who have been in law enforcement at the local and federal level. White law enforcement officers have been behaving like this for a very long time, which is the reason why we have laws on the books against racial profiling. By the way, when was the last time you saw a white cop pullover a white male. White males in the U.S. are never suspected of anything, they are always given the benefit of a doubt in everything I mean after all “hey, they look like me they can’t be bad guys” mentality. Whites are completely oblivious to the criminal activity of other whites – a doctor’s family is wiped out in Cheshire, CT and it takes the police 40 minutes to arrive! High priority call, you think? I wonder if the outcome would have been different if the person calling in the complaint said “two black men were seen holding a family at gunpoint”. You can bet your ass, every police officer and SWAT team would have been there in a New York Minute and the state would not be agonizing over whether to kill the bastards or not. This is the kind of stuff that pisses blacks and other minorities off – double standards, lack of intelligent thinking and plain old nasty Jim Crow racism! As far as I’m concerned Pres Obama’s response was on the money and for those that don’t like it – T.S. (and you know what that means!). He is not in anyway “unamerican or disloyal” to the country. People who unamerican or disloyal to a country don’t run for office and work to make corrections. You so called patriots need to get a grip! I wish some of the mental midgets on the board realized that before unleashing racist and idiotic comments. The reporter who raised the question was right to raise it with the president – from a journalistic perspective, the item was considered newsworthy. The Pres, being the first African American to hold the job was under an obligation to answer the question. It’s OK for other people to disagree with his response, but why not disagree with white U.S. Presidents Clinton, and Bush II who also were asked about racial profiling and both said it was wrong. Where was the outrage then? Please stop the selective outrage when a black person says something and check your own actions, beliefs and thoughts first. Some of the intelligent people on the board will understand what I am saying and some of you, it will go right over your head. The president clarified his remarks, spoke to the officer and Prof Gates so let’s move on. We’ve got other issues like the economy, health care, unemployment, foreclosures, etc to worry about, OK?

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