Monday, July 27, 2009

Charlie Rose Show: A discussion about race in America

A discussion about race in America in the aftermath of an incident between a Harvard professor and a Cambridge, Massachusetts police officer with Reverend Floyd Flake, Raina Kelley of "Newsweek" and David Remnick of "The New Yorker"

Whitney Houston - I Look To You [NEW]

Whitney Houston - I Look To You [NEW]
Making a comeback album?New single to it?
All that matters is if it sounds good,And it sounds really good.

Whitney Houston presents "I look to you" in London

R. Kelly - I Look To You (New) 2008 [Whitney Houston]

City Manager: 'Today Is the Day to Move Forward'

A committee has been formed to study the controversial arrest of black Harvard scholar Henry Gates and develop recommendations for the Cambridge Police Department to handle similar incidents in the future. (July 27)

Real Time With Bill Maher July 24, 2009 Panel One

Real Time With Bill Maher July 24, 2009 Panel One

Growing Up in High-Poverty Neighborhoods Strongly Increases the Risk of Downward Mobility for Children of Middle-Income Black Families

Today, Pew's Economic Mobility Project (EMP) released Neighborhoods and the Black-White Mobility Gap, a new report authored by New York University sociologist, Patrick Sharkey, that explores the degree to which neighborhood poverty rates explain the black-white downward mobility gap. Previously, the project found that children of middle-income African-American parents are significantly more likely than white middle-income children to fall to the bottom of the income ladder over a generation.

Today's report finds that growing up in a high-poverty neighborhood increases the risk of experiencing downward mobility and explains a sizable portion of the black-white downward mobility gap:

♦ Nearly half of black children born into families who are at least middle-income ($62,000 or more) were raised in a high-poverty neighborhood (i.e., at least 20 percent poverty), compared to just one percent of middle-income white children.

♦ Spending childhood in a high-poverty neighborhood versus a low-poverty neighborhood (i.e., less than 10 percent poverty) increases the likelihood of being downwardly mobile by 52 percent.

♦ Neighborhood poverty explains a significant porton (between one-quarter and one-third) of the black-white gap in downward mobility, which is more than the combined effect of family characteristics, including parental education, family structure, occupation and labor force participation.

♦ Black children who grew up in neighborhoods that saw a decline in poverty had better economic outcomes than those who grew up in neighborhoods with stable or increasing poverty.

The data suggest that public policy efforts that focus on investing in disadvantaged neighborhoods and reducing the concentration of poverty could enhance economic mobility for all children in those neighborhoods and narrow the black-white mobility gap.

The report used data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics on blacks and whites born from 1955-1970, following them from childhood to adulthood. A restricted-use "geocode" file was made available to the author and allowed him to link sample members to their respective neighborhoods, or census tracts.

Islamic group called "Education Is Sin" starts riot in Nigeria

They're opposed to Western education as being against Sharia norms: the group wants to "clean the (Nigerian) system which is polluted by western education and uphold Sharia’h all over the country." Imagine the quips, the digs, and the New York Times analyses if there were a Christian group calling itself "Education Is Sin." This one, however, will pass unnoticed, or with "Boko Haram" left untranslated in reports -- as in the Reuters story here.

More on this story. "150 Killed in Bauchi Religious Crisis," by Segun Awofadeji in This Day, July 27 (thanks to Skydeexie):

Bauchi, the capital city of Bauchi State, was awash with bloodbath early morning yesterday as scores of religious fundamentalists were killed after a failed attack on a police station.
Official estimates put the death toll at 32, but the figure is not less than 150, according to correspondents who said they counted the bodies.

A group called “Boko Haram” (“education is sin”), which has been campaigning for the imposition of Sharia’h (Islamic law) on the 36 states of the Nigerian federation, was said to have sparked off the crisis when its members launched an attack on the station.
Reuters news agency quoted a member of the group, who was wounded during the initial attack on the station, as saying the group wanted to “clean the (Nigerian) system which is polluted by western education and uphold Sharia’h all over the country”.

As is always and everywhere the case, the group cast its aggression as defensive:

“The police has (have) been arresting our leaders; that is why we decided to retaliate,” said the man, who gave his name only as Abdullah, according to the news agency.
Meanwhile, the state Governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda, has described the fundamentalists as militants, urging Nigerians to see it as a national issue.

“Their plan is to attack everybody,” he said, while announcing a curfew from 9pm to 6am. “Governors should brace up and clean their states of this rubbish.”

THISDAY gathered that the sect struck around the Federal Low-cost Housing Estate and Dutsen Tanshi areas in the early hours of yesterday.

They were said to be reacting to the refusal of the Bauchi State government to allow a free atmosphere to publicly practise their religion as well as win more souls to the sect.

The newspaper learnt that members of the sect had been planning a demonstration in Bauchi for a long time now but were not given the chance because of the fear by government that their doctrine, if allowed to be preached publicly, could cause a religious crisis.

Obligatory Unsupported Assertion Alert:

Their teachings are regarded as completely out of tune with the teachings of other Islamic sects, especially regarding peaceful co-existence. [...]
Boko Haram, the sect fingered in the latest Bauchi religious crisis, means “education is sin”. The sect wants Islamic law imposed on the federation, while also campaigning against Western education. They have similar beliefs with the Taliban group in Afghanistan.

David Beckham Confronts Another Angry Fan

Here we go again! These days it seems David Beckham is intent on getting more attention for run-ins with angry fans at his matches than for his footwork on the pitch. Yesterday the football superstar had yet another unfriendly face-to-face with an angry spectator at a Kansas City game - this time to defend wife Victoria Beckham’s honour. This comes a mere few days after that now infamous encounter with a riled up LA Galaxy fan - now banned for life - who refused to shake his hand. David looked upset as he went up to the man who was wearing an England shirt during the LA Galaxy’s game at Kansas City Wizards on Saturday claiming he was bad-mouthing his wife Victoria. David could be heard during the match - broadcast live on U.S TV - shouting to the fan: “Is that an England shirt?” But rather than have an angry war of words to defend his wife’s honour, he held out his hand for a handshake in what appeared a friendly gesture and a peace offering. David made sure there was no repeat of the bust-up, which marred last weekend’s friendly with AC Milan and saw him fined $1,000 (USD) by Major League Soccer. Later, however, he branded the fan a ‘disgrace’ for allegedly hurling insults about Posh. When asked about the incident in an interview immediately after the final whistle, he blasted: “He shouldn’t actually be wearing that shirt because what he was saying about my wife was a disgrace.” But he was clearly disappointed with the fan, who appeared to be holding a can of drink. David was again booed by sections of the sell-out 10,000-plus crowd at the ground, which is actually a minor league baseball stadium. But there was still plenty of support for the England star, who signed autographs for fans after helping the rejuvenated Galaxy come from a goal behind to draw 1-1.

Tsk, tsk … if Becks continues to let himself get goaded into confronting all the fans that have nasty things to say he might really get himself into trubs. How is it that he has managed to make it this far in professional soccer and yet still cannot control his impulses while playing on the field? It would really behoove him to remember the old adage, I’m rubber your glue, and just keep his head in the game … in a professional manner. This kind of behavior only tells his detractors that he is an easy mark for verbal assault. He needs to really change up his game-plan or this foolishness will likely become a nightly event. Brush it off, Becks … you’re better than this.

Rihanna, Chris Brown Have Secret Weekend Rendezvous?

Former lovebirds Rihanna and Chris Brown seem to be back to their old ways, as the two stayed at the same hotel over the weekend. According to reports, the duo may have reunited at the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York this weekend. Although it may just be a "coincidence" sources claim the two used decoys to confuse photographers.

Brown arrived at the hotel Friday, while Rihanna was already staying there since returning to New York from London. If substantiated, Brown may be violating a court order to stay at least 50 yards away from the pop/r&b diva. The order is reduced to 10 yards if the two both attend a public event. Although Rihanna felt the stay away order was not necessary, the judge decided to keep it in place pending Brown's next court appearance.

This possible reunion comes just days after Brown recorded a public apology for assaulting Rihanna. During the video the 20-year-old noted that he had apologized to the Grammy winner on several occasions. "Since February my attorney has advised me not to speak out even though ever since the incident I wanted to publicly express my deepest regret and accept full responsibility," he said on the video. "Although I will do some interviews and answer some questions in the future, I felt it was time that you heard directly from me that I am sorry."

In addition to the stay away order, Brown was sentenced to 180 days of community service and must a complete a domestic violence program. He is due back in court August 5.

So Much for Anyone Picking up Plaxico This Year

While trying to work out a plea deal, a report claims that Plax was willing to do a year in jail for possessing a gun in a New York City nightclub without a carry permit. The District Attorney, according to the NY Post, is demanding two years.

Negotiations in the gun-possession case against ex-Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress — who accidentally shot himself in the leg at a Midtown nightclub last November — fell apart earlier this year after prosecutors insisted he do two years’ state time on a plea to a lesser gun charge, the DA told The Post.

Career over? Burress turns 32 in less than three weeks, and in a worst-case scenario where he does a two years in jail, you’re looking at attempting a comeback at the age of 34. (Don’t forget about whatever suspension Goodell tacks on following reinstatement.) For the glass half-full crowd, Burress has never been a workout warrior or a speedster, but has mostly relied upon footwork, height, and great hands to be a successful wide receiver. If he comes out of the clink in shape at 34, he’ll probably get a couple looks, and in a best case scenario, maybe he has a 50-catch season left in him. Projecting the careers of WRs is difficult - Marvin Harrison’s unemployed at 36, Derrick Mason just retired at 35, and Drew Bennett did the same at 30.

And yes, we still feel the same way about Burress as we did back in December.

Baseball Commissioner Selig Contemplating Reinstating Pete Rose?

MLB commissioner Bud Selig appears to be “seriously considering” reinstatement for Pete Rose from his lifetime ban from baseball, according to a new report. The issue of Rose’s possible re-instatement and election to the Hall of Fame remains a contentious one with baseball fans. The New York Daily News says Hall of Famer Hank Aaron told several reporters he would like to see Rose as a member of the Hall in Cooperstown. The report states former teammates and Hall of Famers Joe Morgan and Frank Robinson also expressed their desire to see Rose’s ban lifted. The comments from such important icons of the game have apparently been taken under consideration by commissioner Selig.

Rose, nicknamed “Charlie Hustle,” totaled 4,256 hits in 24 seasons with Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Montreal, but was banned from baseball in 1989 for gambling by then-commissioner Bart Giamatti, who served as baseball’s head man for only five months until a tragic heart attack. In 2004, after years of public denial, he admitted to betting on baseball and on, but not against, the Reds. If Rose were to become eligible, he would have to be voted into the Hall of Fame by the 65 living members that make up the Veterans Committee, because his 15 years of eligibility expired during his banishment.

On a related side-note Hank Aaron also commented to sports writers, that players suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs should have some kind of symbolic asterisk next to their accomplishments, should they be voted into the hall of fame. While in his view players who actually are proven to have taken performance-enhancing drugs should be banned from the hall altogether.

Who Did Obama Bully Today? Douglas Elmendorf, Congressional Budget Office Chief

For the second time, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has dealt a blow to Obamacare. Their analysis of a White House/Congressional proposal to give an independent panel the power to keep Medicare spending in check, reported the panel idea would save a measly $2 billion over 10 years. Its not often one can call $2 billion measly, however the term is appropriate when its an offset to help pay for a $1-1.6 trillion Obamacare bill.

In mid-July CBO director Douglas Elmendorf said bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose "the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount." Though President Obama and Democratic leaders had constantly said that controlling the skyrocketing growth in spending on government health programs such as Medicaid and Medicare is their top priority, the reform measures put forth so far would not fulfill their pledge to "bend the cost curve" downward, Elmendorf said. Instead, he said, "The curve is being raised."

Apparently the White House is not a big fan of the truth, today the President sent his own top-bean-counter,White House Budget Director Peter Orszag, to appear on CNN and beat up on the CBO:

Orszag, a former director of the CBO, pointed out that "it is very rare for CBO to conclude that a specific legislative proposal would generate significant long-term savings so it is noteworthy that, with some modifications, CBO reached such a conclusion with regard to the IMAC (Independent Medicare Advisory Council concept."

Then he basically accused the CBO of fabricating the analysis, and made a subtle warning about hurting its reputation:

"As a former CBO director, I can attest that CBO is sometimes accused of a bias toward exaggerating costs and underestimating savings. Unfortunately, parts of today's analysis from CBO could feed that perception," Orszag said.

"In providing a quantitative estimate of long-term effects without any analytical basis for doing so, CBO seems to have overstepped."

Getting attacked by his own party's administration, solely for having pride in his work and doing the right thing, CBO Head Douglas Elmendorf, is Who Obama is Bullying today.

Farewell, E. Lynn Harris

In many ways, E. Lynn Harris was the breakout writer who moved African-American fiction from the “literature” shelves to the popular collection. He took on topics like homosexuality, class, and family secrets, finding the universality in those themes even as he expressed the conflict they bring to African-Americans.

He also placed his characters in a settings that were not always visible to mainstream white society – the successful, educated black men and women rarely seen in major media. And within that culture, he highlighted the difficulty of being black and gay, part of a minority that no one – black or white – acknowledged or accepted. Over the course of his career he was able to write more about his gay characters’ success and happiness in their lives.

Harris was also at the forefront of the business model that has dominated black publishing for two decades – the self-published author who handsold his books before finding a mainstream publisher. Capitalizing on the drive that made him successful in college and his daytime career selling computers for IBM, he sold his first novel, Invisible Life, out of the trunk of his car. By visiting community centers like beauty salons and book clubs to talk directly with his potential readers, he was able to build a loyal audience that wanted to hear about the brands and dramas that drove his characters. That direct connection and understanding of the emotional experiences of his readers scored him repeated trips to the New York Times bestsellers list. It also showed other African-American writers of all genres that they could tell their stories – and showed publishers that there is an audience for those stories.

Check the WRL Catalogue for E. Lynn Harris’ books.

Rice, Henderson inducted into Hall

By JOHN KEKIS The Associated Press
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Jim Rice's icy glare melted into a wide smile. Brash, flamboyant Rickey Henderson was humbled by it all.

The former left fielders were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday along with the late Joe Gordon. While Henderson, now 50, was just the 44th player elected to the Hall in his first year of eligibility, Rice had to wait until his final year of eligibility to be selected.

"It doesn't matter that the call came 15 years later," Rice said. "What matters is that I got it.

"It's hard to comprehend. I am in awe to be in this elite company and humbled to be accepting this honor. I cannot think of anywhere I'd rather be than to be right here, right now, with you and you," Rice said, pointing at the 50 Hall of Famers on stage behind him and then at the fans. "Thank you."

Playing at a time when offensive numbers paled in comparison to the past two decades, the so-called steroid era, Rice batted .298 with 382 home runs and 1,451 RBIs from 1974-89. He drove in 100 or more runs eight times, batted over .300 seven times, and topped 200 hits four times. And he's the only player in major league history with at least 35 homers and 200 hits in three consecutive seasons (1977-79).

And he's known for a long time the reason he had to wait so long.

"The media often asked me about my players (teammates)," Rice, now 56, said. "I refused to be the media's mouthpiece. I came to Boston to play professional baseball, and that's what I did. And I did it well."

Henderson, baseball's all-time leading base stealer, was briefly overcome before evoking some hearty laughs.

"My journey as a player is complete," Henderson said. "I am now in the class of the greatest players of all time, and at this moment I am very humbled."

Born in Chicago on Christmas Day 1958, Henderson moved with his family to California when he was 7 years old and became a three-sport star at Oakland Technical High School. Football was his forte and he received numerous scholarships. He was persuaded to turn them down for a shot at baseball.

"My dream was to play football for the Oakland Raiders," Henderson said. "But my mother thought I would get hurt playing football, so she chose baseball for me. I guess moms do know best."

Henderson led the AL in steals 12 times and holds the record for steals with 1,406, runs scored with 2,295, unintentional walks with 2,129, and homers leading off a game with 81.

He said he owed much of that to a trick played by his former Babe Ruth coach, Hank Thompson.

"He tricked me into playing by coming to pick me up with a glazed donut and a cup of hot chocolate," said Henderson, who played for nine teams during his 25-year career. "That was the way he would get me up and out of bed."

Henderson said a high school counselor who needed players for the baseball team provided even more spark.

"She would pay me a quarter every time I would get a hit, when I would score or stole a base," he said. "After my first 10 games, I had 30 hits, 25 runs scored and 33 steals. Not bad money for a kid."

Henderson was drafted by the Oakland Athletics on the fourth round in 1976 and made his major league debut with Oakland in late June 1979. It was a day Henderson said he would never forget.

"That was the most thrilling time of my life," Henderson said.

, remembering former As owner Charlie Finley. "Charlie, wherever you're at, and that donkey, I want to say thank you for that opportunity."

When Finley hired Billy Martin as manager in 1980, Henderson had the perfect partner in crime. "Billyball" – the aggressive attack Martin relished – helped catapult Henderson to stardom.

Just the thought of that time forced Henderson to halt briefly in his speech when remembering Martin, who was killed in a car crash on Christmas 1989.

"Billy always got the most out of me," he said. "Billy, I miss you so much and I wish you were here today."

In 1980, Henderson became the first AL player to steal 100 or more bases in a single season with 100 to break Ty Cobb's record of 96 steals in 1915. Two years later he set the modern major league record for stolen bases with 130, breaking former Cardinals star Lou Brock's mark of 118.

The day's most poignant moment came at the end of the acceptance speech given by Gordon's daughter, Judy. Gordon died in 1978 at age 63 and requested that he not have a funeral.

"We consider Cooperstown and the National Baseball Hall of Fame as his final resting place, a place he'll be honored forever," Judy Gordon said, tears welling in her eyes.

Gordon won the 1942 AL MVP, beating out Triple Crown winner Ted Williams, and was an All-Star nine times in 11 seasons, leading the league in assists four times and in double plays three times. Nicknamed "Flash" because of his quick feet, Gordon was the first AL second baseman to hit 20 home runs in a season – he did it seven times – and still holds the league mark for career homers by a second baseman (246).

Palin Quits: "The least functional government Alaska's ever seen"

Plain quits, blaming others for the ethical mess she has left in her own state.

LA Times: "Stiffen your spine to do what's right for Alaskans when the pressure mounts, because you're going to see anti-hunting . . . circuses from Hollywood . . . [who] use Alaska as a fund-raising tool for their anti-2nd-Amendment causes," she said.

"Stand tall, and remind them individual patriots will protect our right to bear arms," she said. "By the way, Hollywood needs to know: We eat, therefore we hunt."

Parnell is expected to continue Palin's efforts to build a new gas pipeline from the North Slope and to maintain control over oil revenue.

Two Democrats have already announced plans to run for governor: State Sen. Hollis French, who locked horns with Palin over the investigation into why she fired her public safety director, and Bob Poe, a longtime public administrator.

"I've worked for four governors, three Democrats and one Republican, and this has been the least functional government Alaska's ever seen," Poe said in an interview. "To the point where the Cabinet took to having meetings on their own, because the governor never called the Cabinet together."

Professor vs. policeman: Viewpoints

by Mark Silva

If Harvard University's Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the Cambridge Police Departtment's Sgt. James Crowley ever get around to having that beer at the White House which President Barack Obama says the two are welcome to join him in, it may take two or three rounds to sort this one out:

The Associated Press' Jesse Washington, who writes about racial affairs for the wire service, spins a tale of two professionals: One a Harvard faculty member who is a nationally acclaimed expert in African-American history, the other a seasoned police instructor in the avoidance of racial profiling, who met at the door of the professor's house last week in a confrontation which the president deemed emblematic of profiling.

The rest is history, and unique perhaps in the annals of what on most days would have passed for a little noticed event on the beat of a street cop and a day in the life of a professor walking with a cane had the president of the United States not opined on its greater import -- and then all-but-apologized for a bad "choice of words'' about the police officer's conduct (stupid) in the case of Gates versus Crowley.

Washington tells the tale through the eyes of the two main characters:

AP National Writer

Henry Louis Gates Jr. felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up as he looked across the threshold of his home at Sgt. James Crowley. Looking back at Gates, Crowley worried about making it home safely to his wife and three children.

Fear was the only thing the white police officer and black scholar had in common. Soon their many differences would collide, exploding into a colossal misunderstanding.

How could things go so wrong? How could two by all accounts decent men start a fire that drew comparisons to the O.J. Simpson case and knocked President Barack Obama off his racial tightrope?

Part of the answer lies in the truth seen through each man's eyes during the episode, which ended with one of the most influential men in America charged with disorderly conduct.

If this really is to become a "teachable moment," as Obama hopes, then we have to examine what they saw, according to their public statements -- and why they saw it that way.


It's early afternoon on Ware Street in Cambridge, Mass., a few blocks from the campus of Harvard University. Gates and his car service driver, a large black man, are trying to force open Gates' jammed front door. Lucia Whalen, a 40-year-old white woman who works up the street at the Harvard alumni magazine, is passing by and calls 911.

According to Crowley's police report, he arrived to find Whalen standing on the sidewalk in front of the home. She told Crowley that "she observed what appeared to be two black men with backpacks on the porch ... her suspicions were aroused when she observed one of the men wedging his shoulder into the door," the report says.

No one is blaming Whalen, who has not spoken publicly since the story broke.

"It wasn't her fault," Gates said.

We don't know how she sees the world, what types of experiences color her vision.

But had she shared just one or two different details with Crowley -- or if the sergeant had gleaned something else from their conversation -- things might have happened differently.

Gates, 58 and gray-haired, says he was dressed in a blazer and walking with a cane. He says his driver was wearing a black suit jacket and matching pants. After they forced open the door, Gates says, the driver carried Gates' luggage into the house, then drove off in the vehicle.

None of that was on Crowley's mind when he walked up the steps to Gates home.

"Witnesses are inherently reliable," he said later. "She told me what she saw."


Crowley is on the porch, alone; Gates is inside his home. They apparently notice each other through the front door window at about the same time.

Crowley sees the unknown: "I really wasn't sure exactly what I was dealing with," he said later.

The sergeant is 42, a decorated 11-year police veteran who grew up attending diverse public schools in Cambridge. All three of his brothers work in law enforcement. He's an instructor in a police academy class on how to avoid racial profiling.

He asks Gates to step outside.

"I was the only police officer standing there and I got a report that there was people breaking into a house. (The request) was for my safety, because first and foremost I have to go home at night, I have three beautiful children and a wife who depend on me," he said later.

"So I had no other motive other than to ensure my safety, because this gentleman either could have been one of the people breaking in, or he could have been the homeowner who was unaware that there were people in his house unauthorized. I just didn't know."

Gates, meanwhile, is a renowned scholar of black history who has spent most of his life literally cataloguing the sins of the past in volumes like "Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience."

"I know every incident in the history of racism from slavery to Jim Crow segregation," he said recently.

He knows some of it firsthand. About 1989, hired by Stanley Fish to teach at Duke University in Durham, N.C., "one of the first things Gates did was buy the grandest house in town," Fish wrote in a recent blog on The New York Times' Web site.

"During the renovation workers would often take Gates for a servant and ask to be pointed to the house's owner. The drivers of delivery trucks made the same mistake."

"The message was unmistakable: What was a black man doing living in a place like this?" Fish wrote.

So when Gates hears Crowley ask him to step outside, he sees history. How could he not?

"All the hairs stood up on the back of my neck, and I realized that I was in danger," Gates said later. "And I said to him no, out of instinct. I said, 'No, I will not."'


Crowley asks Gates to prove he lives there.

Looking out his front door, Gates sees someone who should be asking, "Is everything all right, sir?" He sees someone who would not doubt that a 58-year-old, gray-haired Harvard professor lived in this home -- if he were white.

Gates sees a racist.

Gates leaves the front door to get his identification. Crowley follows him inside. Gates says he provided a driver's license with the address of the home they were standing in; Crowley's police report only mentions a Harvard ID.

"Now it's clear that he had a narrative in his head," Gates said. "A black man was inside someone's house, probably a white person's house, and this black man had broken and entered, and this black man was me."

Gates demands that the sergeant provide HIS identification.

Crowley sees someone who should be grateful, but instead is yelling and falsely accusing him of being a racist. He sees a problem -- "something you wouldn't expect from anybody that should be grateful that you're there investigating a report of a crime in progress," he said.

Neither man understood what the other one saw.


Gates continues to demand that Crowley provide his name and badge number.

Crowley said in his report that he had already told Gates his name, twice, but Gates was yelling too much to hear him. Gates said Crowley ignored his demands.

Gates doesn't let up. Crowley says he'll talk to Gates outside. Then he says something Crowley understands perfectly, boiling down his 2,095 pages of "Africana" down into one cry of resistance:

"I'll speak with your mama outside," he said, according to the police report.

Gates denies making the remark.

Should Gates have realized that you can't antagonize the police? Should Crowley have understood what it means to suspect a black man of breaking into his own home? Arguments will persist for years.

Once he recovered his balance, backing off his statement that Crowley acted "stupidly," he Obama assumed his traditional position of racial referee and said that both men overreacted.

"My hope," the first black president continued, "is that as a consequence of this event, this ends up being what's called a teachable moment, where all of us, instead of pumping up the volume, spend a little more time listening to each other ... and that instead of flinging accusations, we can all be a little more reflective in terms of what we can do to contribute to more unity."

June new home sales rise 11 percent

WASHINGTON — New home sales jumped in June by the largest amount in more than eight years as buyers took advantage of bargain prices, low interest rates and a federal tax credit for first-time homeowners.

While home prices are still falling, the figures released Monday were another sign the housing market is finally bouncing back. Data out last week showed home resales rose 3.6 percent in June, the third straight monthly increase.

Shares of big homebuilders soared on the news, with Beazer Homes USA up by more than 13 percent and Hovnanian Enterprises rising 8 percent. But with home prices still falling, these companies won't be making much money anytime soon.

The Commerce Department said new home sales rose 11 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000, from an upwardly revised May rate of 346,000.

Buyers are rushing to tax advantage of a federal tax credit that covers 10 percent of the home price or up to $8,000 for first-time buyers. Home sales need to be completed by the end of November for buyers to take advantage.

"The window of opportunity is closing," said Bernard Markstein, senior economist for the National Association of Home Builders.

June's results were the strongest sales pace since November 2008 and exceeded the forecasts of economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who expected a pace of 360,000 units. The last time sales rose so dramatically was in December 2000.

Sales have risen for three straight months. The median sales price of $206,200, however, was down 12 percent from $234,300 a year earlier and down nearly 6 percent from $219,000 in May.

There were 281,000 new homes for sale at the end of June, down more than 4 percent from May. At the current sales pace, that represents 8.8 months of supply — the lowest level since October 2007. If that number falls to just over 6 months, analysts say, builders will feel more comfortable ramping up construction.

Fallout from the housing crisis has played a central role in the U.S. recession, now the longest since World War II. Foreclosures have spiked, homebuilders have slashed construction, and financial companies have lost billions.

But it will still be a while before homebuilders turn into an engine for the economic recovery. Construction levels are still weak because builders still have too many unsold homes sitting vacant.