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Here's the letter from police officer Leon K. Lashley that James Crowley presented to President Barack Obama at the Beer Summit:

Dear Jim,

Would you be so kind as to mention the following to Mr. Gates and President Obama during your meeting with them:

One of the major problems stemming from the events of July 16 is that I, now known as 'the black Sergeant', have had my image plastered all over the Internet, television and newspapers. Subsequently, I have also become known, at least to some, as an 'Uncle Tom.'

I'm forced to ponder the notion that as a result of speaking the truth and coming to the defense of a friend and collegue, who just happens to be white, that I have somehow betrayed my heritage.

Please convey my concerns to the President that Mr. Gates' actions may have caused grave and potentially irreparable harm to the struggle for racial harmony in this country and perhaps throughout the world.

In closing, I would simply like to ask that Mr. Gates deeply reflect on the events that have unfolded since July 16 and ask himself the following questions:

'What can I do to help heal the rift caused by some of my actions?; What responsibility do I bear for what occurred on July 16, 2009? Is there anything I can do to mitigate the damage done to the reputations of two respected Police Officers?'

Thank you in advance,

Your friend,

Leon K. Lashley

This really didn't work out so well for Obama, now did it?

I imagine that David Axelrod's postmortem to his client went something like this:

1. Never again let slip the truth about how you feel about race.

2. When you violate Rule 1, make a really long and completely incomprehensible speech, like the one you gave after the press finally noticed Rev. Wright. Aim for inducing Total Zen Trance State in the media.

3. Whatever you do, don't put yourself in position where some stubborn bastard like Crowley gets to make a really short speech on national television about you.

4. Your "I Have Understood You" magic only works on people when you start off with it. When you instead start off by insulting some unknown individual, and then try to fob him off with IHUY, then — if he keeps his cool and doesn't apologize to you — you are, in effect, admitting you were wrong.

5. "I Have Understood You" only works on people who don't understand you. Crowley is a cop in Cambridge. He's met dozens of guys just like you around Harvard Yard, and he's not that impressed. Don't mess with guys like that.

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