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A beer? Why not lemonade?

I’ve held off on posting about the Gates vs Crowley incident because quite frankly, I wasn’t there, and it annoys me that we are so quick to rush to judgment about "hot button" issues. I’m sure it’s normal though. What I will say is, both a Harvard professor, and a police officer, are supposed to set good examples for our youth. That’s the lesson our young people need to take away from this incident. 


      I did, however, have a different reaction when the president offered a peace treaty, over beers. Ewwwww, I initially thought — why not lemonade? Kids will be watching and they already think the president is super cool. So having a beer made me a little uneasy. And, I wasn’t the only one raising an eyebrow at the toast and make-up meeting

Charisse Van Horn has a more positive way of analyzing the situation, and I am in full agreement with her. 

Here’s a brief blurb from Van Horn’s astute observation over at The 

Does Beer Summit send wrong message?

Maybe those who are looking at the negative could use the experience in a positive manner. Instead of focusing on the fact that alcohol will be served and that America has an underage drinking problem, look at the situation and focus on the positive. Three adults (well over the legal drinking age, I might add) are going to the White House to discuss their problems, over a beer. The situation could be used to show that there is a ‘responsible’ or ‘right’ way to drink, versus the ‘wrong’ way.

Now, if President Obama, Henry Gates and Sergeant Crowley get plastered, and a brawl breaks out with the three going at it on the White House lawn, well, that would be a different story. 

I’ll toast to that, Charisse!

*delicious lemonade photo, and recipe –> here at the Matador Records blog*


  1. George Edward Stanley says:

    I believe that there are a lot of very important lessons in this post, Amy. People shouldn’t be so quick to rush to judgment. Professors and police officers (and other adults!) should try to set behavior examples for young people. And Charisse Van Horn’s suggestion (and I’m with you, Amy, initially thinking that a different beverage might have been preferable for a meeting which I’m sure will be watched around the world) that perhaps if we all tried first to find the positive aspects of any situation, we might not feel the need to concern ourselves with the negative aspects. That really is a lesson we all should take to heart.

  2. Amy Bowllan says:

    George, you ALWAYS seem to make more sense than I am able to clearly articulate in my posts. Thank you so much. What you wrote is EXACTLY what I was trying to convey, to no avail. :)

  3. George Edward Stanley says:

    Well, thanks, Amy, but I always see things in your writing that I had never before considered. You’ve opened up areas with your blogs that have now become driving forces in my life. Just one example is the elementary school in Kenya. I hope to be able to post books to it ocassionally. I’ve also started thinking about what I could do for schools in Chad. It’s been 36 years since I taught at the University of N’Djamena, but I still remember how ill-supplied the schools there were.

  4. George Edward Stanley says:

    … and “occasionally” other languages affect my English spelling… but that’s another story. I also wanted to add that your blog on Nelson Mandela, in addition to making me remember my South African years, also ratcheted up my desire to write a biography of this great man’s childhood. Several editors I work with know of this… and when the times right, I’m sure it’ll all come together. I want young Americans (young people all over the world, actually) to see the incredible hardships Mandela overcame early on, which, frankly, I think, allowed him to overcome the even greater horrific events in his adult life to become the peerless leader he was.

  5. J. L. Bell says:

    As I recall, the suggestion for a beer came from Sgt. Crowley, and it was a public-relations stroke of genius. It immediately positioned him as a regular, working-class guy. (Reaction to this story has had as much to do with class as race.) Crowley challenged the President and the Harvard professor to meet on his terms, and they had to accept. Obama negated that gambit by not only accepting but also inviting Biden, who had his own working-class cred, to join in.

  6. I think the media needs something else to focus on. I don’t like beer personally, but don’t begrudge it from adults who drink it. Can you imagine if they had asked for Sweet Tea? YOu can’t get that in DC. Too far north.