Yesterday, on Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams came up with a fine formulation, in the context of the Henry Louis Gates imbroglio: “But in this situation, the president spoke without the facts. And so you can’t have a teachable moment if it’s based on a lie.” Amid all the blather about “teachable moments,” I don’t recall anyone else making this simple but profound observation: “You can’t have a teachable moment if it’s based on a lie.” Another way of putting it might be to say that it’s not a “moment” that’s teachable, it’s the truth that’s teachable. So a moment in which everyone colludes to obscure the truth (which seems characteristic of most “teachable moments” in contemporary America) is not a moment of teaching; it’s a moment of deception, of misdirection, of obfuscation. Call it an obfuscatable moment.
picked up form www.HotAir.com – from the Weekly Standard
I am not sure common sense is teachable anyways.
I heard someone on http://weei.com call in and say that Gates was within his free speech rights to yell and swear at the cops . The caller said that the cops would have to feel like they thought he was a physical threat to arrest him for disorderly conduct. Was Crowley disingenous when he arrested him? Did he feel physically threatened? Maybe not so much, though an old man with a cane ranting about racism is as likely as anyone to act impulsively.
Even if there was only a slight risk that Gates was going to get physical, I think it made sense to arrest him with the option of later dropping the charges – no real harm done other than some hurt pride. The alternative was to let Gates escalate and risk him actually assaulting a police officer in which case they wouldn’t be able to drop the charges so easily.
Crowley has taken a lot of heat for making the safer decision and risking being called stupid and racist in hindsight. It took courage. That’s the lesson I take from this.