When stupid meets nasty


Balti-morons: that’s what folks not from around these parts call us.

On occasion, I have bought into that disparaging characterization of folks in my hometown. In one of my many rants about how stupid some Baltimore-area drivers are, I have even used the term Balti-morons.


Gregory Kane

That conviction was reinforced a couple of weeks ago, when I was driving along Gwynn Oak Avenue and crossing Windsor Mill Road. I narrowly avoided colliding with a woman driving a gas-guzzling SUV who was trying to make a right turn on red without yielding to oncoming traffic.

She gave me the mean mug and some harsh words, of course, because, in her mind, this Balti-moron was absolutely right. Pity the moron that doesn’t know he or she is a moron.

I’ve tried to give us the benefit of the doubt: those of us that drive stupidly are probably quite intelligent at other things.

But what if I’m wrong? What if the driving is a symptom of even more widespread stupidity? What if we’re stupid at a plethora of other things?

That’s when I read the headline of a story in the November 22 edition of The Baltimore Sun: “New charges widen jail corruption case.”

Nineteen more people have been indicted for corruption in that mess involving the Black Guerilla Family prison gang running the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC). Fourteen of those indicted were corrections officers.

Back in April, 25 people were indicted, 13 of them corrections officers. That brings the total number of corrections officers indicted to 27.

So at least 27 corrections officers saw an upside to smuggling cell phones, drugs and other contraband into the BCDC for the BGF. Indictments indicate some of these folks even talked about their criminal acts in phone conversations that were recorded.

Are we dealing with a level of stupidity here that is depressingly, dangerously high? What would possess these corrections officers to think that phone conversations are in any way private?

That would make them think no one was listening? What would make them think no one was watching? What would make them think they could get away with it?

In one word: stupidity. We’re talking about a really daffy, clueless bunch here.

We are talking about people like former corrections officer Jennifer Owens, one of those indicted in April. She has since pleaded guilty. Here is what she said about the situation at the BCDC in a phone call that was recorded:

“They don’t even really be firing anybody. Like they give people the option to resign. For real.”

Oh, Jennifer, you mean like FOR REAL, FOR REAL?

I would like to think that intelligent corrections officers are easy to find, but I have to take into account the population from which the pool of potential corrections officers come.

I’m forced to conclude the pool isn’t that bright. And some in the pool, in addition to being stupid, are also downright nasty.

Read this excerpt from The Baltimore Sun story about the most recent indictments:

“The new court filings describe cell phones smuggled inside sandwiches and marijuana inserted into body orifices.”

Anyone cramming foreign objects into a body orifice is nasty. Anyone using any drug that was brought into the BCDC through a body orifice is equally nasty.

And what about the female corrections officer that went to see an inmate at the Roxbury Correctional Institute in Hagerstown? According to the news report, “she was captured on surveillance video being fondled under her pants.”

Nasty, lady. Nasty. I don’t know whether to nominate you for Queen of the Skanks, Skank of the Year or Skank of the Decade, but you might end up getting nominated for all three.

The BCDC mess shows why stupid and nasty make for a bad combination. This might have been avoided if there were corrections officers that recognized their limitations, who wouldn’t hesitate to say, “Hey, I might be stupid, but I’m not nasty.”

Or, “Hey, I might be nasty, but I’m not stupid.”

But when stupid meets nasty, we get what we have down at the BCDC.