Vision and idiocy each get their due with 2002 awards

January 01, 2003|By GREGORY KANE

TODAY BEGINS the new year. The 2002 Chutzpah Awards have been delivered. Do we have room for any other awards? Let's see.

The "Credit Where Credit Is Due Award" goes to Tyrone Powers, director of the Institute for Criminal Justice, Legal Studies and Public Service at Anne Arundel Community College. After Gov.-elect Robert Ehrlich and Edward Norris, Ehrlich's pick to run the state police, announced at a news conference a plan to have troopers assist Baltimore cops in fighting crime, Powers pointed out the idea had already been proposed by those Baltimoreans who came up with "The People's Plan to Dramatically Reduce Crime in Baltimore City."

Powers is chairman of that group. He presented a 10-point "people's plan" at City Councilman Kenneth Harris' August solutions-to-crime summit held at the War Memorial Building. Point one, section three of the plan reads:

"Due to staffing problems and concerns a relationship can be developed between the Maryland State Police and the Baltimore City Police that allows for joint foot patrols in problem areas. The state of Maryland and the governor's office could help fund this due to the nationally recognized state of emergency in Baltimore City.

"Money could also come from the Health Department and federal health programs since the United States government has designated crime as a health issue. City cadets and Maryland State Police cadets can be utilized to walk and work with officers and troopers. ... "

Kudos to Powers, who gets a bonus for coming up with a plan that doesn't violate American law. Those pols who demanded that National Guard troops patrol Baltimore's streets and assist police after the Dawson family was firebombed to death probably forgot about that thing called the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which forbids such.

The "Not Shutting Up When I Was Ahead Award" goes to David Horowitz, who made cogent and eloquent arguments against reparations for slavery throughout all of 2002. Alas, the scourge of liberals, leftists and politically correct thought police went to the proverbial well once too often.

In a piece about that farce called the "Millions for Reparations Rally" held in the nation's capital in August, Horowitz made egregious boo-boos. Here's a sample from Horowitz's "Reparations Buffoons on the Washington Mall."

"In 1991 America's most prominent black racist and spiritual guru of a crackpot religious cult led an improbable `Million Man March.'"

That march happened in 1995, not 1991. Horowitz went on to identify Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan's mentor as Wallace Fard. (It was Elijah Muhammad. Fard was long gone from the Nation of Islam scene when Farrakhan joined in the 1950s.) Horowitz wrote that black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey "bilked" blacks who "bought tickets" on his Black Star Line.

Garvey was actually accused of mail fraud, and the evidence against him can best be described as ephemeral. A word of advice for Horowitz about future articles on this topic: Editors are our friends, David.

The "Most Likely To Inspire God To Endorse Atheism Award" goes to that wacky bunch of Muslim rioters in Nigeria who went on a rampage to protest a perceived insult to their religion. Reporter Isioma Daniel wrote in a newspaper called ThisDay that Muslim protesters who objected to the Miss World pageant being held in Nigeria should perhaps ponder that the prophet Muhammad might have selected a contestant for a bride.

The overwhelming majority of Muslims would have responded with an angry call to the paper, or by canceling a subscription or organizing a boycott. But apparently some Muslims in Nigeria are not as level-headed. They burned churches. They stabbed and beat people to death. One news report said they put a gasoline-filled tire around a man's neck and burned him to death.

The final toll was more than 50 dead, 200 injured and four churches destroyed. Nigeria, rocked by civil war once in the late 1960s, might be on the brink of another, this one inspired by religion. African-Americans who are Muslims and Christians manage to get along. Perhaps a delegation - led by Revvum Jesse, Revvum Al and Farrakhan - can head to Nigeria to show Christians and Muslims there how it's done.

Finally, an e-mailer who identifies himself as "Another Angry Black Man" offered several more candidates for a Chutzpah Award. His best offering was "all those parents who whine about the educational system, but forget to check up on their children's progress, like demanding to see homework and completed tests. Maybe if they invested as much time in making sure what their kids were doing in school they'd see the results they want."

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