Baltimore’s Black Eye

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  • It looks like it’s bag-over-the-head time for Greg Kane again.

    Usually, it’s my fellow conservatives that inspire my bag-over-the-head moments. There was Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 2000, pulling a Harpo Marx routine while other justices asked probing questions about whether or not Florida’s electoral votes would go to Vice President Al Gore or then President-elect George Bush.

    There was Sen. Trent Lott several years ago, driveling about what a great president segregationist Strom Thurmond would have made in 1948.

    Then we had former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who’s convinced that the face of welfare is a black one.

    And how can I forget my buddy Herman Cain? He made his bid for the Ignoramus Hall of Fame last summer, when he showed he didn’t know the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

    His piece de resistance was loudly trumpeting that the United States should not let the People’s Republic of China become a nuclear power. Cain clearly never got the memo that China’s been a nuclear power since 1964.

    All the above people are conservatives who have provided me, their frustrated fellow conservative, with some bona fide bag-over-the-head moments. But my latest bag-over-the-head moment didn’t come about because of politics.

    No, this time it’s geography. The cause of my embarrassment is some of my fellow Baltimoreans.

    Except, in this case, they were real Balti-morons.

    You may have already seen the video that’s gone viral. It depicts an incident that happened in the early morning hours of March 18, as St. Patrick’s Day revelers in Baltimore were winding down their celebrations.

    Some poor, clueless white guy who’d had way too much to drink was trying to find his way back to his hotel. For some reason, he stopped in front of the Clarence Mitchell Jr. Courthouse in downtown Baltimore.

    A George Armstrong Custer feeling must have swept over the guy, because, as the video shows, a mess of black folks soon surrounded him.

    One of them, a butt-ugly, scandalous, scantily-clad, fourth-rate hoochie, bent over and started grinding her hips into the white guy’s crotch. Several of the black guys stood around, openly talking about robbing the white guy, who was a tourist from Arlington, Va.

    The white guy tried to move away from the hoochie, but one of the dudes went into his pocket, apparently taking something. As the black guy walked away, the white guy followed.

    Bad move. He should have tried to get the heck out of there when the gettin’ was good. But as a tourist, he probably didn’t know the one thing he most needed to know about Baltimore.

    It’s a town where 90 percent of the population is in bed by 11 p.m. The remaining 10 percent are the ones who really NEED to be in bed by 11 p.m. They’re the ones the rest of us wish to hell were in bed by 11 p.m.

    The white guy had run into some of those. He followed the black guy who had gone into his pocket. The black guy turned around and nailed the white tourist with one of the best right crosses this side of Mike Tyson.

    The white guy went down, his head cracking the pavement. Then others kicked him, beat him a little more, and robbed him of his watch, iPhone, money and car keys.

    Others, cackling hysterically the entiretime, then ripped off the man’s shirt, pulled his pants down to his ankles and his underwear down to his knees, leaving him almost fully naked on the Baltimore street.

    In how many ways was this a bag-over-the-head moment? I’ll try to count a few.

    1. In addition to the black eye the tourist received, the city of Baltimore got one. When searching for this incident on the Internet, I came across an item with someone asking for recommendations about strip clubs in Baltimore.

    “I dunno,” someone answered, “but I hear they will beat you down and strip you.”

    2. As you might expect, white racist Web sites are having a field day with this one.

    3. Most embarrassing of all is the site where the beating-robbery-stripping occurred: in front of the Clarence Mitchell Jr. Courthouse.

    Mitchell was a Baltimore civil rights icon, a member of the NAACP who was the organization’s lobbyist in Washington. He was so instrumental in influencing congressmen to vote for civil rights legislation that he earned the nickname “The 101st Senator.”

    He was a man of dignity and grace. Last month a group of so-called black folks with neither dignity nor grace desecrated the courthouse named for him.

    Time for me to grab that bag. Readers now know that I’m from Baltimore. I have only one request.

    Please, don’t spread that around.

    Gregory Kane is an award-winning columnist and Pulitzer finalist who writes from Baltimore.

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