Obama: Poor choice of words | Arkansas Blog

Friday, July 24, 2009

Obama: Poor choice of words

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 5:51 PM

Belatedly, President Obama says he could have "calibrated" his words better and not said police acted "stupidly" in arresting Henry Louis Gates, the black Harvard professor and writer.

I think his calibration today is about right. He doesn't back off the belief that the police went too far in handcuffing Gates and taking him to the police station for reacting angrily to officers in his home. But he said Gates overreacted, too.

I still think this could have been defused short of arrest. I think Gates has good reason as a black man to be suspicious of police motives. I think cops have good reason to retain suspicion in a house where two men were seen trying to force open a door, regardless of the color of the man inside. I think they should receive cooperation from people encountered on calls, but I also think cops think their badge gives them more summary power than the Constitution grants.

Obama said this could be a "teaching moment." I think I used a similar phrase when this story first broke. The lessons so far aren't too encouraging.



Comments (27)

Showing 1-27 of 27

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-27 of 27

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Wesley Clark: Trump doesn't understand role of commander in chief

    Wesley Clark, the retired NATO commander from Little Rock, writes critically today in the Washington Post about Donald Trump as commander in chief.
    • Nov 19, 2018
  • Oaklawn announces major expansion with hotel, events center

    Oaklawn Park, the race track and casino in Hot Springs, announced plans for a $100 million investment at the track, including a hotel and events center, following voter approval of expanded casino gambling at the track.
    • Nov 19, 2018
  • Democrat-Gazette editorial writers flunk on teacher law

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial page's animus toward the Little Rock School District and its teachers' union has never been more apparent than in recent swipes tied to Education Commissioner Johnny Key's plan to waive the teacher fair dismissal law, particularly targeting 22 schools graded D and F on the state's test score-dependent grading system. It's tunnel vision, at best. Fake news is more like it.
    • Nov 19, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…


  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation