And the big Chutzpah Award goes to ...

December 31, 2005|By GREGORY KANE

Last day of the year. Gregory Kane's annual Chutzpah Awards. No further explanation is needed, because by this time you know the drill.

The winners for 2005:

10th place: The administration of Mayor Martin O'Malley and Hizzoner's cohort in jackbooting, police Commissioner Leonard Hamm. For the entire year, the O'Malley-Hamm duo has had a let's-lock-up-as-many-people-as-we-can policy that helped create overcrowding at Central Booking and Intake Center. Then O'Malley had the audacity to have Baltimore join a lawsuit that accused state officials of mismanaging the joint.

The city joined the lawsuit in June. Then in August, the forces of the O'Malley-Hamm junta went buck wild in Baltimore, setting a record number of arrests, many of which the state's attorney's office dismissed. Note to the mayor: Some of us Balti-morons might be stupid enough to believe these arrests designed to pack 'em in at Central Booking aren't politically motivated, but not all of us are.

9th place: Rapper Kanye West, who appeared on a telethon to raise money for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. West either couldn't or wouldn't suppress the urge to play politics with the issue, which might explain why he claimed on camera that "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

Yeah, sure, Kanye. Bush cares so little he appointed three black men to his Cabinet and a black woman as national security adviser during his first term as president. And he's the only president to appoint two black secretaries of state. But Bush shouldn't be completely spared any criticism, which brings me to ...

8th place: Bush, for telling now-departed Federal Emergency Management Agency head Michael Brown, on camera, that he was doing a "great job" in his efforts to evacuate a flooded New Orleans. And now we can segue right to ...

7th place: Brown, for having the cheek to accept the FEMA job.

6th place: The writers of an episode of the ABC show Boston Legal, who couldn't resist the urge to weigh in on the topic of po' black folks in New Orleans with a preachy episode that was little more than an endorsement of aggressive panhandling.

Note to Boston Legal writers: Leave matters such as "the poor" and how best to relieve their plight to the editors and writers of Mother Jones magazine. Frankly, they're better at it.

5th place: Stanley "Tookie" Williams, who went to his grave clinging to the belief that his children's books had some effect against gangbanging, while clinging to the gangbanger's code of "no snitching." Williams becomes the first dead person to make this list.

4th place: To Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who spoke at Williams' funeral and thus raised him to the level of a national hero for black America. Are either of these men aware that gangs have increased in America since Williams co-founded the Crips and that black men and boys make up a significant percentage of the body count from gangbanging?

3rd place: Rapper Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, referred to Williams as "our Martin Luther King." We can only assume that Snoop, once a member of the Long Beach Insane Crips who beat a murder rap of his own, used the word "our" to mean his fellow gangbangers.

2nd place: Goes to President Bush. Not to be outdone by Tookie being the first dead guy to win a Chutzpah, Bush distinguishes himself by being the first person to make the list twice in the same year.

It was the president's remarks about Iraqi insurgents using "brutal tactics" that warrants his record-breaking distinction. That was during the summer, when insurgents killed 14 Marines in a roadside bombing. Having taken criticism that he ducked combat in Vietnam, Bush should have at least schooled himself in what combat - especially the anti-insurgency kind - is all about.

That would be brutality, to put it briefly. So please, Mr. President, stop kvetching about the "brutal tactics" the enemy is using. Order our guys to use more brutal tactics and make the enemy dead, which will stop their brutal tactics.

1st place: 2005 marked the 10th anniversary of the verdict in the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. Isn't it time you folks who had a problem with that verdict just let it go?

Those of you who can't let it go are No. 1 on this list. Not because you can't let it go, but because you don't get as outraged by other alleged murderers who were acquitted after they went to trial.

What about Robert Blake, for heaven's sake? Couldn't you bust his hump for a while? What about Snoop, who's already been mentioned. Plenty of folks think his acquittal didn't pass the smell test, either.

Word has it that some of the folks involved in the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till in Mississippi are not only still alive, but walking around as free as jaybirds. Can you toss a little of this O.J. "hateration" their way?

I sure hope so. Because I have exactly one nerve left, and you people are plucking it.

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