Barack Obama says that police "acted stupidly" and gets raked over the coals for calling the Boston police department stupid. Boston police officer Justin Barrett says Henry Gates acted like a "banana-eating jungle monkey" and that in acting like a banana-eating jungle monkey he should have been pepper-sprayed. His lawyer's defense? Barrett didn't say Gates was a banana-eating jungle monkey, only that he acted like a banana-eating jungle monkey.
Look, everyone, if you say someone acted in some way, unless you append that with a disclaimer, people are going to assume you mean that's how they are. If what is probably an otherwise smart person acted stupidly, throw in an "I'm not saying the Boston police are stupid, but in this case they seem to have acted that way."
Of course, that doesn't really work for Barrett. Saying "While I know he is fact a well-respected professor, in this single instance Gates acted like a banana-eating jungle monkey" doesn't make it any less racist.