Well, he could have said "I had just gotten back from China. I was tired and cranky about my sticking door, and just plain worn out. I said and did things I shouldn't have, and I'm sorry for that. I still think the officer was a bit aggressive, but the main fault was mine and I take responsibility for it."
Under the circumstances a reasonable and gentlemanly response worthy of respect. End of story.
But, no. Professor Gates' knee-jerk reaction was one of oppression, bias, and victimhood. I remember vividly an incident in a department store back east. A very large black woman had been stopped just outside the store by two (white) plainclothes store security people, one male and one female. She was yelling and blustering and being as in-their-face as she could while they pulled merchandise, some still on hangers, out of her big shopping bag. "You doing this to me 'cause I'm black!" she said. It could have been laughable were it not so sad.
The good professor reacted the same way. And then so did our president. That knee-jerk reaction, on both their parts, puts the lie to the myths about post-racialism in our society.
The "let's-have-a-beer" charade just made it worse. Cheap, tawdry, manipulative, and cliché-ridden. (What? No single-malt, no chardonnay?) And, of course, Joe had to come on board, too. Enough already!
A sorry spectacle all around.