Event in progress…we go LIVE to Washington, D.C.
…reporting live on this historic occasion. A crisis of epic proportions may have been averted…by an invitation from the White House to simply sit down …and have a beer. This creatively innovative and charmingly elegant President has thrown the old book out and is writing his own. It’s the audacity of hope and change we can believe in. It’s a new deal and a new dawning of how business gets done today – over beers. It has been hinted by White House sources that if today’s summit goes well, possibly other summits may be in the offing. My source in the Administration said a possible Vodka Fest with Vladimir Putin, a Hookah Pipe Sit-Down with Ahmadinejad, and even a Sake/Mao-tai/RiceCake pow wow with Kim Jong-Il are being floated as of this broadcast with the State Department, Keith Olbermann and Oprah Winfrey.
And now, the President’s helicopter has landed. The President’s contingent of roughly three thousand security personnel are assuming their perimeters, extension perimeters and contingency perimeters.
Sgt. Crowley and Professor Gates await the President beside the picnic table arranged for this seminal benchmark in race relations in America.
The beer is on ice – a large keg bearing the Presidential Seal.
And finally, President Obama emerges from the helicopter… now he salutes the Marine guard… and, following his entourage of executive security, walks through the park and approaches the bench. The President’s gate appears regal…yet relaxed.
Now Professor Gates walks forward to greet him. The President takes his hand… bows down to him, as is the President’s custom…and now… they…they seem to be doing an extensive ‘brother’ handshake and shoulder bump. Now a hip bump…both sides…and the booty wiggle and strut…fist bumps and finger snaps…crotch grab, that’s a new one…and finally they seem to be done.
And now the President turns to Sgt. Gates and offers a formal handshake. Could that be construed as a ‘white-man’s handshake’? You make the call. And now…the President is saying something to Sgt. Crowley…he’s apparently impressed Crowley showed up with his own beer. Let’s see if we can get a boom mic in to hear…
Sgt. Crowley – “…and I don’t know, sir…my mom always told me ‘never show up to a party empty-handed,’ so…
The President laughs and claps him on the back.
President Obama – “Classic! Could you be any whiter?”
Sgt. Crowley – “Ha ha..well…blame it on my mom.”
Prof. Gates – “Yo Mama.”
Sgt. Crowley – “Yes, that’s right.”
Prof. Gates – “Budweiser. Fool didn’t even bring Stella Artois. You show up with Bud. You just assume ’cause I’m a Black man in America that I drink Bud? That’s racist!”
Sgt. Crowley appears to look on with some confusion.
Prof. Gates – “I suppose you ‘spected me to bring a forty? Of what, Colt-45? You think I gonna drink a malt liquor? That’s racist!”
Sgt. Crowley is popping open a Bud and.. just shaking his head.
President Obama – “Gentlemen – can we all take a picture together? Shaking hands?”
The three men are now posing together… Crowley and Gates, beaming for the camera in a handclasp… the President standing behind them… a hand on each shoulder. Truly, a Sadat/Begin/Carter Middle East Peace Accord moment. The cameras are flashing a fusillade of strobes. Oh…the history in the making…a thrill up all our legs! And this reporter is quite certain …a Nobel Peace Prize waiting in the wings of his legacy.
President Obama – “Sgt. Crowley, I still can’t get over you bringing a six-pack!”
Prof. Gates – “Now wait a second, here, Mr. President. I coulda brought beer. I didn’t bring nothing cuz I assumed, being an invitation of the White House, that beer would be provided.”
President Obama – “As indeed we have. Gentlemen!”
On a cue from the President, now the Executive Staff rush in and pour beers for the Professor and the President, while apparently Sgt. Crowley is staying with his Bud.
It seems the Professor is hesitating…
Prof. Gates – “Is that Stella? I only drink Stella.”
President Obama – “Of course it’s Stella. I’m the President of the United States of America.”
Sgt. Crowley – “Thanks, I’ve got a Bud.”
The President is taking a seat at the picnic table alongside the Professor, opposite Sgt. Crowley. The President just sipped his beer. He smacked his lips and beamed his famous smile, in clear executive pleasure. Oh my… he has never looked more commanding!
President Obama – “Nothing like a nice beer on a hot summer day.”
Sgt. Crowley – “I agree, Mr. President.”
Prof. Gates – “True dat.”
And now…oh yes. I was worried, but there they are. The Executive Assistants are being careful to remain just out of camera frame as they set up the Presidential Teleprompters on either side of the President.
Sgt. Crowley is looking a bit…dubious… obviously overwhelmed by the grandeur of the moment…but he says nothing.
And now…ladies and gentlemen…the President of the United States of America —
President Obama – (reading, turning to the left…then the right) “So, I’m glad we could come together here in this beautiful park on this momentous occasion to mark the turning point in global race relations. The symbolism of this one important act will resound throughout history. And I think we have some pretzels.”
The security force is producing several bowls of pretzels now…
Prof. Gates – “Are those Roll-Gold? I only eat Roll-Gold.”
Sgt. Crowley – “Thank you, Mr. President.”
President Obama – “Now. I am hoping that on this historic occasion, we can at last and for all time, mend the broken fence of interracial relations. We have the opportunity here to establish a global accord on this day…over beers…to cement a new understanding between races of tolerance and understanding and brotherhood. And can we top off those beers for you guys?”
Sgt. Crowley is declining still sticking with his first Budweiser as Prof. Gates accepts a refill. I’m not sure at this point if it’s a political point the police officer is making here, a strategic ‘line-in-the-sand,’ or if…he simply prefers Bud to Stella.
And now…as the camera dollies in tight on the President as A and B camera get isolated B-roll shots of Professor Gates’ and Sgt. Crowley’s reactions to the President…
President Obama – (reading from teleprompter) “As you know, this recent controversy in Cambridge got many people up in arms, thinking that possibly the police in general, the Cambridge police department specifically, and you, Sgt. Crowley, even more specifically were at fault for the incident by racial profiling.”
Prof. Gates – “Racism, straight up. I been disenfranchised.”
President Obama – “And I’m willing to concede, now having examined the facts of the incident more closely, that there may have been an over-reaction on both parties involved.”
Sgt. Crowley – “Mr. President, first of all, thank you for this gracious invitation to meet with you and Professor Gates. I appreciate the Holiday Inn accommodations as well as the bus ticket to get here. But I must say that I don’t myself understand how this all got so out of hand. I received the call, acted in accordance with department policy, and that’s all. I simply did my job.”
Prof. Gates – “Does your job include tearing a man out of his own home and victimizing yet another African-American who just wants to exercise his rights to be a free Black man in America? The honorable Martin Luther King marched for that, he died for that. Does Selma, Alabama ring a bell? Four hundred years of oppression! Racial profiling amongst the police is epidemic! Kunte Kinte knows what I’m talking about. And may I have a refill? And, Mr. President, have you got some spicy mustard for the pretzels?”
Sgt. Crowley – “Professor, respectfully – race had absolutely nothing to do with your arrest. The woman who reported the incident, who made the 911 call, is now being called a racist, and that is not fair. She was doing her civic duty to the community in what she perceived to be a break-in to your house.”
Prof. Gates – “Breaking in to my own house! A black man in America, of course, I’m a criminal! You racial profiling! All you whites do that! Yo mama do that! Attica! Attica!!”
President Obama – “Now, Professor Gates, I’m sure that that’s not true. I don’t believe that Sgt. Crowley’s mother was even in the vicinity at the time.”
Sgt. Crowley – “No, Mr. President, she surely was not.”
Prof. Gates – “Y’all like to do that on the po-po. You see Black, you think ‘criminal.’ As an expert on Black history, Black inter-community relations, Black struggle psychology, and organizing Black blackness, I am offended and insulted the way the police and you, Sgt. Crowley, and yo mama, have victimized me and my brothers and sisters for four hundred years.”
Sgt. Crowley – “What?? I’ve…only lived here for…”
Prof. Gates – “And I’ll tell you one more thing. This whole thing is indicative of what the Black man face on a daily basis, victimized and held down by the white extablishment.
President Obama – “But Professor…I’m the establishment now. I’m President of the United States of America. Me. A Black Man. With a rich cultural heritage.”
Prof. Gates – “Well, you half-way there. Say man, can I get some Gray Poupon? I like that Gray Poupon, that French stuff. You got some of that?”
President Obama – “Can we get some Gray Poupon for the Professor? Now, back to our summit here. As you know…racial tensions in this country have run high, primarily due to my predecessor, George W. Bush. He not only handed me an economy in shambles, he handed me a powder keg of racial tensions. But with my election, I brought you the hope and change we need.”
Prof. Gates – “Speaking of change, I need to change my room at the Four Seasons. Too close to the elevator, can’t hear my movies. Can you handle that, Mr. President?”
President Obama – “Can we get somebody on that? Can we get the Professor a new room?”
Prof. Gates – “Oh, and I got a frequent flyer number here, too. I want credit for those miles.”
President Obama – “Yes, sir, we will make sure you get credit for the flights.”
Prof. Gates – “Do they give double credit for first class? I heard they give double credit for first class.”
President Obama – “I can assure you, Professor. We will look into that and get back to you.”
Sgt. Crowley – “Sir, again, I want to thank you for inviting me to meet with you and the Professor. And I must say this – the police have a very difficult job. And sure, there are occasionally some bad apples in the mix, but this is not the norm. Our department at Cambridge has only the highest of professional and ethical standards. We’re not asking for an apology. We just need to have these accusations of racism stop. We are not racists. The woman who reported the incident is not a racist. I am not a racist.”
Prof. Gates – “Yo mama.”
Sgt. Crowley – “And my mother is not a racist.”
Prof. Gates – “Yo mama, yo daddy, yo bald-headed granny.”
President Obama – “Gentlemen…and I think I speak now for the sentiments of the American people. Can we..can w-we…can we just get along?”
Now the President reaches into his pocket…and pulls out…coins of some sort…
President Obama – “Okay, now… Who wants to play ‘Quarters’?
Oh wait a minute…it seems Sgt. Crowley is standing…is he going to leave?
Sgt. Crowley – “I have to get back to Cambridge, sir. I have to catch my bus. Thanks once again, and you can keep the Bud.”
Sgt. Crowley is shaking the President’s hand …and now he turns to shake the Professors hand…oh! The Professor… just waved off the sergeant… oh Diss! The sergeant simply shrugs and walks away to his awaiting taxi. It seemed rather…I don’t know…’above-it-all’… Not exactly the posture of a man intent in proving he’s not a racist, wouldn’t you say?
The President is now bouncing coins into his beer mug.
The professor seems distracted as he dips his pretzel into some mustard.
Prof. Gates – “Is this dijon? I only eat dijon mustard.”
…Back to you in the studio…