No Apologies, But Constructive Words

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Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Sgt. James Crowley have agreed to move on, but they did not, in their statements after their beer meeting with President Obama and Vice President Biden, apologize or say they had come to an agreement about what happened at Gates' house July 16.

Their tone was conciliatory: Gates posted an op-ed at The Root expressing "hope that many people have emerged with greater sympathy for the daily perils of policing, on the one hand, and for the genuine fears about racial profiling, on the other hand," and asserting that he and Crowley, "through an accident of time and place, have been cast together, inextricably, as characters--as metaphors, really--in a thousand narratives about race over which he and I have absolutely no control."

Crowley, meanwhile, told press at the AFL-CIO afterwards that "I think what you had today was two gentlemen agree to disagree on a particular issue, I don't think that we spent too much time dwelling on the past, we spent a lot of time dwelling on the future," saying that, when the two meet again--something they've agreed to do--he "would like not only to discuss, but I'd also like to listen to Prof. Gates's perspective, and certainly he has the credentials to enlighten me a little bit, and I think that perhaps the professor, as he expressed to me, has a willingness to listen to what my perspective is as a police officer."

So there were no mea culpas, but both expressed a desire to move on and an openness to the other's perspective; from reading and listening to both of them, it sounds like they'll be able, at least, to sit down and talk constructively. The two will have a phone conversation in the coming days about when and where they'll meet a second time.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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