Beer Summit: Obama Brings Gates and Sgt Crowley to White House
American President Barack Obama will be having a beer with Havard scholar Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley, the main characters of the recent racial profiling dispute. The 'beer diplomacy' will take place outside of the Oval Office at a picnic table. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that Obama would like to have an informal conversation with Gates and Crowley about the racially charged case.
“I would not construe this as formal discussions. This is about having a beer and de-escalate,” Gibbs told reporters.
“I think the president wants to continue to take the temperature down a bit, look more for constructive things that can come out,” he said.
The incident took place on July 16. Sergeant James Crowley was called to look into a possible break-in case at Gates' home. Gates, a distinguished African American scholar at Harvard, forgot his keys and forced open the door of his own home but was falsely arrested by Crowley. After his arrest, Obama had publicly expressed sympathy towards Dr. Gates.
For the beer night, Obama has chosen Budweiser, Crowley will have a Blue Moon, and Gates have not confirmed his choice but is said to prefer Red Stripe and Beck's. Their choices of beer have been closely watched by the media.
Obama said the episode will be a "teachable moment", and he has certainly made an interesting move by calling for a beer gathering. Perhaps it's even more surprising in that it came from Obama and not Geroge W. Bush.
So what's you take? What are the implications? What do you think will happen?
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Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel