Something's Happening Here...
...but you don't know what it is,
do you, Mr. Jones?
Last night, the president of the United States said nothing surprising when he observed that members of the Cambridge police "acted stupidly" in arresting a man in his own home after he had identified himself as the owner. Even the whitest and rightest of morans could figure out that's a stupid, outrageous, disgraceful way for cops to behave. Talk about government overreach!
No, the real shocker was the audible gasp from the mostly white press corps as Obama said it. They don't seem to understand, truly understand, that the United States elected a black man to be its president. I know this may be hard for them to grasp but there were a lot of reasons for that, not the least of which being that America is no longer, by any stretch of the imagination - and no matter how desperately Republicans want it to be true - Leave It To Beaver. (In fact, it never was. Go here. And pick up Vol. 2 while you're at it. You'll thank me.)
America is shocked at Professor Gates' arrest, but, as Soledad O'Brien reported on CNN where she was broadcasting live from Times Square, they cheered and applauded the president's remarks deploring his arrest. That's the real America of the 21st century applauding Obama, and you'd have to be even dumber than the Washington press corps to conclude that they were - what did Republicans used to call people who decried racist cops? Oh yes - "soft on crime." That's the real America that is slowly, and with great difficulty, regaining a political voice that has been systematically ridiculed and marginalized over the past 40 or so years from the national discourse.
Get used to it, folks. The times are indeed... well, you know, don't you?