[Courtesy of THE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTOSTREAM]
BOSTON GLOBE: They did not link arms, and there were no public apologies. But a subdued meeting over beers on the White House patio last evening appeared to achieve President Obama’s goal of encouraging a deeper dialogue on race between Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley. The White House, which carefully choreographed the event, kept reporters out and would not disclose what was said after the unlikely trio, joined by Vice President Joe Biden, sipped their cold ones. But after the images of a peaceful dialogue were beamed live on television, Crowley said he and Gates had agreed to meet again and will continue discussing their differences.
“Two gentlemen agreed to disagree,’’ Crowley told reporters at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington after he left the White House. “This was a positive step in moving forward,’’ he said, not only for Cambridge, but the nation. The meeting – convened by Obama – was an important icebreaker between two men whose confrontation two weeks ago blew up into a national debate on race, police power, and liberal elites. Accompanied by members of their families, Crowley and Gates began their visit with a tour of the White House; their separate groups met midway through the tour and joined as one large group for the remainder. “And that was the start,’’ said Crowley. “It was very cordial.’’
In a statement last night ontheroot.com, Gates applauded Obama for arranging the meeting and described his initial encounter with Crowley as “an accident of time and place…“It is incumbent upon Sergeant Crowley and me to utilize the great opportunity that fate has given us to foster greater sympathy among the American public for the daily perils of policing on the one hand, and for the genuine fears of racial profiling on the other hand,’’ he said. MORE
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