This whole Robert Louis Gates and Sgt. James Crowley situation reminds me of something Dr. Ian Malcolm said in Jurassic Park, "just because you can do something, doesn't necessarily mean you should."
Mr. Gates could have approach the situation from two different angles. Lets take a look:
1) Did Mr. Gates have a right to spew all the rhetoric he did on those police officers while on his property? Sure. But what did he get out of it? All he did was "piss off" the police, who proceeded to arrest him for disorderly conduct. I'm guessing, Mr. Gates took comfort in himself while sitting in a jail cell knowing he stuck up for his "rights". If opening up a "can of worms" for the sake of principals made him feel good, I guess that's his prerogative. Enjoy your 15 minutes, Mr. Gates.
2) Why not put you're "principals" in your "back pocket" for 2 minutes, cooperate with the police, speak to them in an educated fashion and resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Who wants to be involved in a police confrontation? It's happened to me in the past and all I wanted was for the situation to end as quickly as possible. The only way that's going to happen is by remaining calm and cooperating with them. Once we start spewing all this political or social rhetoric at them, we're asking for trouble. I have no "beef" with taking the "principals" route, but personally I would just "chill" and get the thing over with, right there and then, with not too much hoopla.
It's amazing, how a simple response to an alleged break-in, followed by an overreaction by a Harvard professor, got the President of the United States involved in the mess. Quite frankly, he didn't come out looking too good either.
I think all the parties involved, including the President, should listen to Dr. Ian Malcolm.
Oh and, um, enjoy your beer, guys.