Update: See also With Vigor, Obama Wades Into a Volatile Racial Issue. If you are brown or black, the news that Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr was arrested for trying to enter his own home was repulsive but not unexpected.
As is the news that African Americans and Latinos are hassled by cops.
Here in Wisconsin Republicans had a bird when Democratic legislators passed a measure that makes the police note what the ethnicity is of the people they pull over.
No racism, not anymore, they assure us. No need to fight racial profiling; that's all behind us now.
President Obama set them straight when someone asked him about Gates at last night's press conference.
Even as every Republican presidential campaign since Nixon 1968 through McCain in 2008 has played to racial fears and prejudices, the GOP denies racism.
Even when J.B. Van Hollen goes to court to obstruct black voters, the GOP denies it.
Does anyone really wonder why the GOP is now the American White Party in composition.
From Krissah Thompson on Obama last night responding to a question on Gates:
'But I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home.'
Obama continued: 'What I think we know, separate and apart from this incident, is that there's a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That's just a fact.'
He said that he had pushed for the passage of legislation in the Illinois legislature to address the problem. Obama went on to say that he stood in the White House 'as testimony to the progress that's been made.'
'And yet the fact of the matter is, is that, you know, this still haunts us,' Obama said. 'And even when there are honest misunderstandings, the fact that blacks and Hispanics are picked up more frequently, and often time for no cause, casts suspicion, even when there is good cause.'
"[T]here's a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That's just a fact," said Obama. Tell that to know-nothing Wisconsin Republicans who are not quite up to speed.