Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mansfield: "Skip, You Mouthed Off"

President Obama is having his climactic beer tonight with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and James Crowley, the Cambridge cop who arrested him. In honor of the occasion, I'd like to recommend an opinion piece on The Daily Beast by local columnist Mansfield Frazier, whom Cool Cleveland recently photographed looking badass on a motorcycle.

How's this for a great headline? "Skip, You Mouthed Off." Frazier pulled off the tough feat of saying at the same time that 1) unfair treatment of black men by cops is very real and 2) the professor should've cooled off and complained later. And he did it with more humor than any other writer I've seen tackle this story. (Well, maybe Mansfield's tied with the writers of The Onion.)

Mansfield's been on CNN talking about his column with scholar Michael Eric Dyson, who called him "one of the great writers in American society right now, especially on politics and culture" (see below, starting at 1:50) and on NBC's Today Show (see farther below).

By the way, what beers are the president, professor, and policeman drinking? Bud Light, Red Stripe and Blue Moon. Update, 7/31: Gates switched to Sam Adams Light (good Massachusetts beer). Vice-president Joe Biden joined in and had a non-alcoholic Buckler.

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