Awardee more than makes up for errors in article with moxie

January 05, 2003|By GREGORY KANE

AH, MES AMIS, ze lettres, ze e-mails, zey keep coming in, non?

Yes, they do. So it may be time to share a few. The first comes from David Horowitz, the former leftist who now gets his revenge by skewering the left, liberals, those addicted to political correctness and black nationalists whenever he gets the chance. Horowitz reacted to his "Not Shutting Up When I Was Ahead Award," bestowed on him in Wednesday's column. I chided Horowitz for some errors he made in an article called "Reparations Buffoons on the Mall" and suggested he might remember that "editors are our friends."

"Well, I would certainly have appreciated having you as an editor - I enjoy most of your columns," Horowitz began. "I just didn't happen to have one. I really didn't know enough about [Marcus] Garvey, I guess, and appreciate the correction. The wrong date for the Million Man March is pretty minor, wouldn't you say, and I meant disciple of Wallace Fard in the sense that Fard was the true originator of the [Nation of Islam] cult."

Horowitz is right on several points. Making the year of the Million Man March 1991 instead of 1995 could well have been a typo, one that an editor would surely pick up. Wallace Fard enters this discussion because Horowitz called Fard current NOI leader Louis Farrakhan's mentor. I contended that the title more appropriately fit Elijah Muhammad, but Horowitz is correct in noting that Fard is the originator of the sect.

One other note: Horowitz more than made up for the few errors in "Reparations Buffoons on the Mall" with his book Uncivil Wars: The Controversy Over Reparations for Slavery. Horowitz reprinted his anti-reparations ad that he bought in several college and university newspapers in his book, and added material about the atmosphere of intolerance and hatred he found in our so-called institutions of higher learning when he visited campuses to defend his views.

Make sure to put Uncivil Wars on your reading list. A guy with Horowitz's moxie is entitled to a few errors.

An e-mailer who wants to be identified only as "Tim the MP" [he says he was an Army military police captain for seven years] contends I made an error when I said National Guard troops couldn't be used to help city police because it would violate the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.

"This is not correct," Tim wrote. "The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the use of the armed forces who are under federal control for law enforcement purposes. The Maryland National Guard is a state agency unless it becomes federalized by the President of the United States. ... Therefore it would be perfectly legal to use National Guard troops to assist the Baltimore City Police.

"[But] a better idea would be to get rid of [State's Attorney] Patricia Jessamy and her entire staff and begin establishing a team of professional jurors ... made up of men and women who are over the age of 35, who have worked for a living at least 10 years, who can read and write the English language and, finally, who can pass an IQ test and score higher than double digits."

Tim also proposed that city cops drive these jurors to the courthouse and home, that the city provide them free catered lunches and pay them an hourly wage equal to what they make "on their normal jobs."

Sounds like nice work if you can get it.

Harry Bennett, who hails from my West Baltimore stomping grounds and who sometimes contributes letters to the editor, reacted to the Dec. 28 Chutzpah Awards column, particularly the parts about the Democrats accusing 1998 Republican gubernatorial candidate Ellen Sauerbrey of racism and New York City Councilman Charles Barron accusing Sen. Trent Lott of murder.

"Can there be any doubt that Ellen `Sauergrapes' is racist, when you recall her attitude and accusations toward Baltimore's (majority black) voters?"

Quite a bit of doubt, Harry, as expressed by former Mayor Kurt Schmoke, former state Sen. Clarence Mitchell III and former Prince George's County Executive Wayne Curry, who all said she wasn't.

"Since Charles Barron advocates reparations (whether it's realistic or not), I can sort of see his point," Bennett wrote. "If Black descendants of slaves are due reparations from today's Whites, then it can be said that the ancestors of Trent Lott and other Whites killed slaves, by murder and overwork."

It could be said, but it's hard to prove. Lott's sharecropper roots suggest his ancestors were some of that overwhelming majority of Southern whites who owned not one slave. Mississippi being the leading "hang 'em high" state during and after Reconstruction, it's possible some of Lott's ancestors committed murder.

But unless there's some proof Lott himself did, this is a subject Barron - and the rest of us - had best drop.

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