Obama did more than apologize. Right off the bat, he said that the police did not act like racists. He said they acted "stupidly". Later, he backed off that statement and said that "stupidly" was a poor choice of words. What he should have said was that the police could have handled the situation in a better way. If they had been more diplomatic, there probably would have been no confrontation and Professor Gates, a lame man who walks with a cane, would not have ended up hand-cuffed in his own home.
The woman who called the police was no racist. She never even mentioned the race or color of the two men trying to enter the house. She even went so far as to say that it may have been two men trying to get into their own home. The police should have been fully aware of this possibility, which the woman had specifically alerted them to, and should have approached a citizen in his own home a little more deferentially and not in a confrontational manner.
Obama went far beyond an apology. The president called Officer Crowley in Boston and had a very friendly phone conversation with him, culminating in his invitation to Officer Crowley and Professor Gates to come to the White House, enjoy a beer, and have a civil conversation together.
It was a misunderstanding that had gotten blown way out of proportion. Professor Gates and Officer Crowley had already started talking to each other in Boston and were overcoming their issues even before they went to the White House.
Obama reached out to bring these two men together, and even admitted that he had made a poor choice of words in his initial remarks. In this entire episode, Obama showed that he is a national healer and a conciliator.
Only the Right Wing Hate Media saw this as an opportunity to infuriate white folks and went on a vitriolic rampage against Obama. Obama brings people together. The Right Wing Media is the Great Divider. "Divide and Conquer" has long been their strategy. Today, however, that strategy seems to be backfiring on them. Most people, whites and non-whites, are sick of this Conservative game. We watch with disbelief as Conservatives continue to marginalize themselves.