James Crowley


America and race in the Obama age

In what should have been a press conference on the status of his healthcare reform package, Barack Obama strayed from his usual habit of staying on message and waded in on the controversy surrounding renowned Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and his arrest by the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police outside his own home last week. No one was surprised that the question came up in the hour-long media conference and the president evidently had a point of view. Obama’s statement that the police acted “stupidly” in handcuffing the professor, a 57 year old man with a cane, has done much more than anything else to give the story legs.