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What Do You Think? President Obama on Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009
  • comments (11)

Near the conclusion of last night’s press conference on health care reform, President Obama fielded a reporter’s question about the arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByUfUa_2ffc&hl=en&fs=1&]

What do you think? Was Gates’ arrest fair or unfair? Was he the victim of racial profiling? Was President Obama right to call out the Cambridge police department? Give us your comments below, or take our snap poll.

[poll id="1"]


  • just git

    doesn’t matter, he shouldn’t have commented on it. this was a disgrace to the office and the beginning of the end for this “president.”

  • Art A

    I agree with Just git that he should not have commented on it. He should have known better, and remember that it is the office that is speaking with his voice whenever he speaks while he occupies it. It is not however the beginning of the end of his presidency. Nobody walks into that office fully prepared to handle all the complexities that come with the job. Many people who disliked George W Bush intensly at least gave him a chance to grow into the office. So let’s not throw him uner the bus yet.

  • Holly K

    It was appropriate for the president to comment. Much as certain factions in our country ignore Gates, a lot of people internationally see him as one of our leading scholars. To have remained silent would have established that Obama was like every other president we’ve had when it comes to matters of likely discrimination against America’s black celebrities. It would have signaled more of the same and a lot of people would have discounted him very quickly.

  • Bar C

    He was put on the spot. The reporter should not have asked that question, totally off topic. Having been asked, it was appropriate for him to reply and not avoid the question.

    However, having just read “BLINK,” I can understand but not condone the reactions of the police. Professor Gates was totally correct in his response.

  • david

    I wish the reporter didn’t raise that question. I alos wish the President just said he did not have all the facts. But I think His sceond comment shows his wisdom. also I hope let’s give him more support He’s put great causes which need our concerted efforts.

  • BARRY C

    The president might have been put on the spot, but doesn’t that come with the job?

  • anna

    both sides had errors in judgement however the bottom line remains the same. the gentleman was on his own property trying to enter his home.

  • anthony jones

    Having been the victim of the same unwarranted police behavior I was glad to finally have a head of state understand from my perspective. It is the nice response to remain non commital and politically correct to say that this is a local matter. But it is an unwarranted and unwanted reality in the lives of too many people in our society. Mr. Gates just happens to teach at Harvard and lucky enough to know the President of the United States. But hopefully this will highlight what happens to too many of us that don’t teach at Harvard. Incidentally, this doesn’t just happen to Blacks. I personally witnessed the police stop a white man and ask him what he was doing in a non-white neighborhood. He responded I live here, took out his keys and opened the door to his apartment in front of the police. I don’t particularly care for Obama but he was right this one time.

  • Gilbert

    Since Mr. Gates is a friend an approach of no comment would have been appropriate. He should have been cool and waited for the facts from both sides.

  • Stephanie

    I knew from the evening we found out that he was the new President of the United States that he was going to change the way his voters viewed him. I think that him getting involved was not appropriate and I don’t think he did himself any good by giving his speech on television about what he thought of the Gates arrest. Race has nothing to do with this. Just because Gates was who he was, people automatically called the officers racist, when the irony of it all, two officers who were at the scene at the time were African American, and yes agreed with the arresting officer. So how would you call this racism?

  • Brian

    There were two racists in this event. Gates and Obama…