Users of BET.com (the web arm of Black Entertainment Television) have named "Calypso Louie" Farrakhan as their 2005 Person of the Year.
"Minister" Farrakhan won the honor for "making the most positive impact on the black community over the past year," according to Retha Hill, the network's Vice-President for Content. Acording to BET, Farrakhan finished ahead Oprah Winfrey, U.S. Senator Barrack Obama, BET founder Robert Johnson and black hurricane victims in the voting.
I couldn't find any links to the award on the BET.com website, suggesting that Farrakhan won the award some time ago, or perhaps the folks at BET are less-than-ethusiastic about their users's choice. Additionally, I can't find any info as to how BET.com made their selection; if it was a web poll, there's pretty good chance that Farrakhan's so-called "Fruit of Islam" did a little stuffing of the electronic ballot box.
Sadly, Farrakhan still holds tremendous sway over segments of the African-American community, despite some ludicrous (and racist) statements in the past, including
-- Charges that the New Orleans levees were deliberately blown up by government officials to kill black people
-- Claims that "white people were invented by a mad black scientist.
-- Assertions that he was "teleported" to a UFO where he heard the voice of his late mentor, Elijah Mohammed
-- His belief that Hitler was a "great man" and that the Holocaust "never happened."
Based on those comments alone, I can't think of anyone less deserving of "Person of the Year" honors than Minister Farrakhan, but, hey I'm only a white devil, and therefore, I don't count. But you'll also note that some legitimate contenders for the honor, including Dr. Thomas Sowell, Dr. Walter Williams, Dr. Benjamin Carson, Maryland Lt Gov Michael Steele, and Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell didn't make the list. Of course, four of them are Republicans, and that is probably an automatic disqualifier.