7/30/09

the farmer and the cowman should be friends

So, Thursday night, President Obama intends to sit down with Dr. Gates and Sgt. Crowley for a cold beer and a friendly discussion about race in America today. And I think it's a goddam great idea.

I'm not saying we're beyond the age of needing to litigate to make sure racial prejudice does not impact peoples' lives. I'm not calling this "post-race America", for the good lord's sake. But I do think that many of us are in a place where our individual, socially implanted, culturally reinforced racial prejudices can best be winnowed out and destroyed by looking each other in the face and talking shit through. And if there's beer involved, so much the better!

Now, maybe this will fail. Maybe it'll wind up a Springer-style screaming brawl, with broken glass and trigger-happy secret service men. But I doubt it, as shallowly entertaining as that might turn out to be. Will it solve the rancor and divisiveness this incident's created in those of us not actually involved? No, probably not. But for the two men at the heart of the issue, maybe this will be a moment worth thinking about later. Maybe some education, some healing will happen while they sip their Red Stripe and Blue Moon (and is there any more perfect symbolism than that?) - let's ignore the Pres's deplorable choice of Bud Light for the moment. Maybe the next time Crowley's called upon to interact with a black person in the call of his duty, he'll understand some of the anger and distrust aimed his way and have some patience. Maybe Gates will feel like he got to speak his piece and was heard, something that doesn't happen often enough in this world.

After all, I have yet to see much drama that couldn't be deflated and deflected if the people involved would just sit down and talk. Drink up, guys. Hope it goes well. Here's to you.

19 comments:

B.E. Earl said...

"I'd like to say a word fer the cowboy.
The road he rides is difficult and stony.
He rides for days on end with just a pony fer a friend.
I sure am feeling sorry fer the pony!"

(Did that from memory. Head hangs in shame)

downtown guy said...

I have to admit, I am a sucker for cheesy musicals, but I sort of hate Oklahoma. Also, South Pacific.

Petit fleur said...

Wow.. Leadership by example. And beer is involved! How much do I love that man?

Great post, here here!

Petit fleur said...

Damn. I didn't know I actually knew anyone else who likes musicals. I'm always the geek among my friends who likes them. I feel so connected! :-p

downtown guy said...

PF: uh, duh, our whole family likes musicals (Glen possibly excepted).

Lady Lemon said...

No way? You guys like musicals! Could it be possible I was separated at birth from my true family??

May said...

Are you kidding!? We fucking love musicals!

DTG- this is so great and I'm glad you brought our attention to it. I've always thought that there needs to be more sitting down and just talking things out in politics. It's hard to speak in stats and hateful catch phrases when a human face (rather than a camera) is across from you. I also love that Obama can't do anything, even having a beer and a chat, without it being a "summit".

Petit fleur said...

Ah DUH!!! Did you say "Ah DUH"?? I would feel like and idjiot, except that I've never heard anyone talk about this side of the fam, EVER. I knew ya'll liked music, yea, but MUSICALS? Totally different animal.

Kewl!

Sarcastic Bastard said...

DTG,
I was happy to hear about this drinking summit, too. I am so angry about what Obama said even being an issue. Sometimes this country is just retarded, and my ass wants to give up.

Have a great weekend! If you see your mom, give her a hug for me.

Love you,

SB

downtown guy said...

SB: agreed and will do.

Mwa said...

Sigh... I just love Obama. Obama and beer is the perfect combination. Don't need the other two blokes.

Windy Days said...

Dude, when is your Momma coming home? I need a fix.

downtown guy said...

I think they just got here!

Ms. Moon said...

I was in the Atlanta airport and the people next to us were talking about this event and they were NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT! Dude! The president shouldn't be drinking beer on the White House lawn, they said. And shit like that. And I was like, Dude, YOU'RE drinking beer right now. Shut up!
I loved it, that he did that. I love our president.

downtown guy said...

I have to admit, I do too.

B.E. Earl said...

I am a big sucker for cheesy musicals too, but especially Oklahoma.

I go by "Curley" in real life, and the hero of Oklahoma shares the same moniker. Without the "e", of course.

All-time favorite cheesy musical? Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It doesn't get any cheesier. ;)

Petit fleur said...

OMG Curley!! My dad turned me on to Seven Brides! It IS SO very cheesy, but a hoot and so much fun too.

I don't hear many folks talk about that one much. Thanks for bringing it up.
pf

downtown guy said...

I like that one, but when I stop to think about it, it creeps me out.

B.E. Earl said...

Oh, you don't have to even think about it for it to be creepy.

The song glorifying the Rape of the Sabine Women (Oh, the women were sobbin', sobbin', sobbin'...fit to be tied) is just wrong on so many levels. And yet the film cracks me up.

And Julie Newmar plays a character named Dorkus, so there is that. ;)