[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/07/30/gates.police.apology/art.gates.harvard.file.gi.jpg caption="Scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. had a confrontation with a Cambridge, Massachusetts, police sergeant."]
The controversy involving the arrest of a black Harvard professor by a white police officer has brought race relations in America to the front burner.
President Obama has called it a "teachable moment." But what is the lesson to be gained?
I believe that one of the lessons is that we have not entirely passed through the threshold of the post-racial era. Living in it may be our national aspiration, but it is not our everyday reality.
Our everyday reality is that we must continue to struggle to reconcile racial differences without resorting to name-calling. Angry white racist cop! Angry black racist man! We must continue to struggle to find our common ground. Now that a national conversation on racial profiling has begun, where do we go from here?
Having acknowledged that his comment that Cambridge, Massachusetts, Police Sgt. James Crowley had "acted stupidly" in arresting internationally renowned scholar Henry Louis "Skip" Gates Jr. may have escalated the matter, President Obama has volunteered to take time from pressing national and international issues to host a meeting between the two men in which they share cold beers and cooler heads.
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