Posted by: Karina of the Fallen Stars | August 2, 2009

Is America Ready for Beer Diplomacy?

Not to purposely perpetuate the Gates/Cambridge incident any further, but BBC had this interesting article floating around. As someone mentioned in class, Obama sat down to have a beer with Gates and the Crowley last Thursday. Controversy spread as to whether Obama should be getting involved in a local issue or if he has the responsibility to clear up the statements he made regarding the Cambridge police. BBC made an interesting point that the incident has sparked national talks of race issues in America, a topic that has been pushed back in the dark after the excitement of Obama’s inaugaration died down.

Thursday’s Beer Summit also included a special appearance by Vice President Biden. As the four men sat down for a round of beers together at the White House, bloggers and media pundits were quick to keep the bolts and crannies of controversy turning. Some criticized Obama for defending Gates, a personal friend. Glen Beck  went so far as to call the president a “racist with a deep hatred for white people”. Others praise Obama for clearing things up and maintaining good relations on both sides. Still another group felt that this was such a “Bush” or “Clinton” thing to do.

I have mixed feelings on this subject. I do not believe that having a lighthearted chat over beer will be a step forward for race relations in America. Frankly, I am sick of race being such a prominent issue in today’s society. Who cares if the president is African American and a Supreme Court justice is Hispanic? As long as they get the job done, I am completely satisfied. By recognizing differences and pointing them out at every given opportunity, the media is drifting further and further away from the ideal model of a colorblind society. Hopefully this Beer Summit has buried the overdue hatchet where it belongs, and we the audience can now just sit and wait for the next Obama controversy to unfold.


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