The GatesGate Summit: Can It Help?

Okay. Call me naive, mysteriously optimistic, whatever, but I do think some good can come out of the Obama-Crowley-Gates  Beer Summit at the White House tomorrow, despite the political cartoonist who depicted Crowley and Gates shouting “Great Taste! Less Filling!” at each other.

Yes, I know that commentators like the  estimable Juan Williams have said “you can’t base a teachable moment on a lie,” and I know that some fear Crowley’s presence will somehow amount to an admission that “racial profiling” was in fact involved here, when it seems crystal-clear from the evidence that it was not. And some sources say that Gates does not drink beer, so perhaps a nice Puligny-Montrechet can be procured for the professor while Obama and Crowley hit the Mooseheads. UPDATE: White House serves only domestic brews.

But despite all these flaws, maybe some good will come if the participants  just talk together like human beings, not symbols or walking lists of grievances. And perhaps Obama can exercise his skill as a reconciler and builder of bridges between races, which is what made it possible for him to be elected in the first place.

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