NPR logo A Beer To Wash It All Down?


A Beer To Wash It All Down?

Sgt. James Crowley

Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley Robert Spencer/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Robert Spencer/Getty Images
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Frank Franklin II/AP hide caption

toggle caption Frank Franklin II/AP

So how's this for a happy hour?:

The nation's preeminent scholar on race and a decorated white police officer. Not so bad, right? But what if the cop recently arrested the black scholar, and the scholar, in turn, accused the cop of racial profiling?

Now, those two may need more than a good beer to get along.

And, the two men will be hosted by the first black leader of the free world, President Obama — the same President who, when asked to share thoughts about his professor-friend's brush with the law characterized the cop's behavior as stupid (before a national primetime audience of millions ... minor detail, of course).

And so tomorrow evening, at around 6-ish, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Cambridge police officer Sgt. James Crowley and President Barack Obama will sit down for probably the most awkward — but hopefully reconciliatory — happy hour-cleansing-inspirational event to ever take place in the White House. And maybe to ever take place anywhere.

Obama's a pro at these types of things, right? Really, how hard could it be?

For instance, an easy ice breaker: why not sports?

Gates, Crowley, how about those Red Sox? (Oh, but they lost to Oakland, Mr. President).


Seen any good TV lately?

(The President prays Professor Gates won't mention CNN's "Black In America 2" ... Or, maybe that's a good place to start.)

At any rate, I can't help but wonder what will — and what can — come of tomorrow's brotherly chat. Gates and Obama have walked back their earlier strong statements about the arrest. Crowley has said on occasion he has no intention of apologizing.

So that leaves ...

1.) Drink brewskis and sing karaoke to MJ's classic "We Are the World?"

2.) Drink beer floats. (Ice cream makes everything better.)

3.) Take First Lady Michelle Obama's advice and give fist bumps all around.

Seriously, what do you think will come of it?

What I'd give to be in the next room!

I do hope they at least work buffalo wings onto the menu.

It'd be a shame for them to leave hungry.



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