Gates and Crowley Beer Summit II

Beer-Summit-Gates-Crowley-ObamaProfessor Henry Louis Gates and Sergeant James Crowley apparently enjoyed their beer summit with the president so much that they’ve decided to have another roundMinus the president.

In a setting a tad less formal, with no president or national press on hand, the Harvard professor and the Cambridge cop at the heart of last summer’s White House “beer summit” met for a second round – this time, at a local pub.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sgt. James Crowley met for drinks Wednesday at River Gods, a popular River Street bar outside Central Square, not far from where their lives first intersected.

Exactly what they discussed is their business.

The news being slow, the press and the blogs are all over it. Jules CrittendenJason ZengerleAnahad O’Connor and the Gawker gang all weigh in, with different degrees of insight and snark.  Crittenden’s is the best at the former.

Gates, when he was expounding on a CNN stage in the middle of Times Square last summer, said he not only wanted an apology, he wanted Crowley to submit to a lecture about the history of racism in this country. Gates has made a decent Ivy League career out of that subject, and even done some useful documentary work about the realities of people’s lives across generations. But imagine what kind of figure he could be in this nation’s tortured history of race relations if he actually played a role, a real person engaged in real events, in getting us past it. If he has learned the lesson of his own experience, maybe he’s the one who can lead us … 45 years after the Civil Rights movement and 145 years after the Civil War … out of this endless cycle of race-baiting, racial assumptions, racial preferences and racial discrimination, in both directions. Maybe the pair of them together … Irish cop and black Harvard prof … can serve as example for all of us of how it is done, how people can be met on their own merits. Judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

I don’t have much to add except to note that the two reportedly frequent the bar, separately.  Which makes their original encounter all the more bizarre.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Since both of these men deal with the public, The prof. with students and quite possibly the same with the cop. As most police forces require additional education above that of a PHD (public highschool diploma). Is it to much to assume these are both affable men who upon meeting outside their first confrontation found something in each of their character, likable?