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Biden nominee denied working with an anti-Semitic poet, but an academic journal shows otherwise

Kaylee Greenlee, DCNF

Justice Department nominee Kristen Clarke said while under oath she didn’t work with an anti-Semitic poet, though she was listed as an assistant editor for the same scholastic journal as the poet for several years.

Clarke said she never worked with poet and political activist Amiri Baraka despite being named an assistant editor for a scholastic journal that listed Baraka as a contributing editor in 1999 and 2000, according to the journal’s archives, first reported by The Washington Free Beacon. Baraka was known as a black nationalist and Marxist and was criticized for anti-Semitic lines in his poem “Somebody Blew Up America” after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, The New York Times reported in his 2014 obituary.

Republican Sen. Mike Lee questioned Clarke’s relationship with Baraka as a supplement to her April 14 confirmation hearing, the Free Beacon reported. Lee asked Clark if she was ever “on the editorial staff of a journal with Amiri Baraka” to which she replied “no.”

Clarke was listed as an associate editor of the scholastic journal Souls, A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society for two years along with Baraka, who was named as one of 25 contributing editors. She also shared Baraka’s essay “Mumia, ‘Lynch Law’ & Imperialism” which compared law enforcement officers to Klu Klux Klan members with one of her mentors in June 1999, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

Baraka’s work was criticized for including anti-Semitic, racist, isolationist, homophobic and militant content, the Times reported. In “Black Art” he wrote, “we want … dagger poems in the slimy bellies of the owner-jews.”

“Who put the Jews in ovens, and who helped them do it Who said ‘America First’ and ok’d the yellow star,” Baraka wrote in “Somebody Blew Up America.” He included that Israel knew of the Sept. 11 attacks beforehand and told 4,000 Israeli workers to stay home from work that day, though the statement was found to be a baseless conspiracy theory.

Clarke was criticized over other possible misrepresentations during her Senate confirmation, the Free Beacon reported. She penned a letter to The Harvard Crimson editor about “melanin theory” of black racial superiority in November 1994 which she claimed was satirical during her hearing.

“Melanin endows Blacks with greater mental, physical and spiritual abilities–something which cannot be measured based on Eurocentric standards,” Clarke said in her letter, according to The Harvard Crimson.

Staff members of Harvard’s school paper called Clarke’s letter “outrageous” and accused her of “bigotry.” The newspaper staff said they “searched in vain for a hint of irony in Clarke’s letter” without success.

Clarke told the Crimson “she doesn’t ‘necessarily’ believe her assertions,” though the staff said, “she has given us every indication that she does.” The paper called for Clarke’s resignation if she did not retract her statements and publicly apologize for them.

Clarke did not immediately respond the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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Daily Caller News Foundation
Daily Caller News Foundation

Founded by Tucker Carlson, a 25-year veteran of print and broadcast media, and Neil Patel, former chief policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, The Daily Caller News Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing original investigative reporting from a team of professional reporters that operates for the public benefit.

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