Friday, December 18, 2009

15 September 2009


“Gates irate; Crowley growly” —Fax News

The night that Henry Louis Gates
Let slip his secret, bridled hates
Upon a hapless Cambridge cop
Who took him for a thief to stop
From breaking into someone’s house
And called him something worse than “louse,”
It turned out it was Gates’ own home,
That he’d been somewhere—China, Rome—
And, now returned, had lost his keys,
Broke in—to be nabbed by police.
All hell broke loose as tempers flared,
Insults were bandied, neighbors stared,
Handcuffs were clasped, the Harvard prof,
Shoved in a car, was carried off.

How did this end? You’d never guess:
This brouhaha made such a mess
Of headlines that the President
(A friend of Gates) broke precedent,
Took sides, assuming the police
Had acted “stupidly” at least,
That racial profiling was used
And Gates’ dignity abused.

It ends this way, as on the lawn
Of the White House, where are gone
Hot words, cool heads now appear
On all the parties and their beer.