If the Gates controversy is a “teachable moment,” what’s the lesson?

Today President Obama will get together with police Sgt. James Crowley and Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. for a beer. Crowley is the officer who arrested Gates, a noted African-American scholar, inside his own home. Obama has said he hopes the affair can become a “teachable moment.” What lesson do you think needs to be learned?

The episode with Gates reveals we have a long way to go before we can overcome being a racialized nation. -Jann C. Weaver

It is not about blaming at this point. It is about talking about ever-present institutionalized racism and white privilege in the United States. -Jane Lee, St. Paul, MN

Know your neighbors! Be safe, but don’t call police without checking to find it may be your neighbor! Let the neighbors know you are home and locked out! -Sally, Eden Prairie, MN

Lessons learned: 1. Black people’s behavior will be perceived and presented in the worst possible light, 2. Angry white reactions will force black perspective to be silent so white people don’t have to learn any lessons. -Marj, Burnsville, MN

The lesson should be that once the officer ID’d the man as the owner of the house they should have respected his constitutional rights and apologized and left his property. It doesn’t matter how verbally belligerent he became. He should not have been arrested. -anonymous text message

The lesson to be learned is one of Tolerance. Tolerance for the differences we have and an understanding that all people have more similarities than differences. -anonymous text message

The lesson may end up being that even large conflict can be addressed by everyone sitting down at the table without the benefit of legal intervention. -anonymous text message

That the police have a superiority complex that insults many people, and they need to address that. -anonymous text message

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