Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Monday evening an investigation by his team at “Tucker Carlson Tonight” has uncovered a decades-old letter from President-elect Joe Biden‘s nominee to lead the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) civil rights division, Kristen Clarke, in which she wrote that Black people “had superior physical and mental abilities.” Their investigation also shows that she had invited an antisemitic professor to speak on campus.
Last Thursday, the Biden transition team announced Clarke’s nomination for the DOJ role of Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.
The letter in question from 1994 titled “Blacks Seek An End to Abuse“, which Clarke wrote to the editors at The Harvard Crimson during her undergraduate studies while serving as president of the Black Students Association (BSA), dives into her views regarding race science. The name of another student, Victoria Kennedy, appears next to Clarke’s.
“Please use the following theories and observations to assist you in your search for truth regarding the genetic differences between Blacks and whites [sic],” Clarke wrote. “Dr. Richard King reveals that at the core of the human brain is the ‘locus coeruleus’ which is a structure that is Black because it contains large amounts of (neuro) melanin which is essential for its operation.
“Two: Black infants sit, stand, crawl and walk sooner than whites. Three: Carol Barnes notes that human mental processes are controlled by melanin–that same chemical which gives Blacks their superior physical and mental abilities.”
“Four: Some scientists have revealed that most whites are unable to produce melanin because their pineal glands are often calcification or non-functioning. Pineal calcification rates with Africans are five to 15 percent, Asians 15 to 25 percent and Europeans 60 to 80 percent. This is the chemical basis for the cultural differences between Blacks and whites.
“Five: Melanin endows Blacks with greater mental, physical and spiritual abilities–something which cannot be measured based on Eurocentric standards.”
Following an outcry on campus, according to Carlson, Clarke suggested that she didn’t necessarily believe what she had written.
A month later, Clarke invited a Trinidadian antisemite named Tony Martin to speak on campus. Martin, who at the time was a professor at Wellesley College, had authored a self-published 1993 manifesto titled The Jewish Onslaught. In the manifesto, Martin claimed that there was an “escalating Jewish onslaught” against Black people.
Martin spent his later years giving speeches to Holocaust-denying organizations such as the Institute for Historical Review. He retired from Wellesley in 2007 and died in 2013.
In his Harvard speech he attacked both Jews and Judaism, according to a 1994 piece published in The Crimson after the speech titled “My Kristen Clarke Problem” written by a Jewish student.
The piece by Martin Lebwohl details that immediately after Clarke introduced Martin as the speaker, “Martin lavished praise on” her, “who, he said, had courageously invited him ‘in the face of enormous pressure from the forces of reaction.’ It is young people like Kristen, Martin said, who are the hope and future of the African-American community.”
During his speech, according to Lebwohl, Martin urged Harvard students to read the then-new book The Bell Curve that tried to link a person’s intelligence to their race in order to pedal his antisemetic ideas.
According Lebwohl’s piece, Clarke told The Crimson after the speech: “Professor Martin is an intelligent, wellversed Black intellectual who bases his information on indisputable fact”.
In another section of his piece, Lebwohl appears to imply that the BSA had been the center of antisemitism debates on Harvard’s campus before the Martin speech.
“But Kristen Clarke has given us different questions to ask. These are unsettling questions about why the BSA must, every couple of years or so, bring the ugly specter of anti-Semitism to a lectern on this campus,” Lebwohl wrote. “Does the young leadership of the Black community think Jews and the Jewish heritage are their enemies?”
“I cannot answer these questions myself. That is Clarke’s job,” he added. “But before she answers, I hope she understands that the anger and disappointment that will no doubt be directed at her by Jews and others on this campus are not outbursts of gratuitous hostility toward her community, but are rather expressions of hurt and anguish over the loss of what might have been between us.”
“Now the ball is in Kristen Clarke’s court,” Lebwohl wrote later at the end of his piece. “I hope she cares enough to answer by addressing these questions in a public forum. We need to know, Kristen, if you stand with Tony Martin, or if you stand with us.”
Neither Clarke nor the Biden transition team have spoken out about the letter or her inviting Martin to campus. On Tuesday, after Carlson reported on the letter, the transition team tweeted a promotional video of their DOJ nominees, writing, “This team will restore the independence and integrity of the Justice Department, renew Americans’ faith in the rule of law, and work tirelessly to build a more equitable justice system. They understand that the Justice Department exists to serve the American people.”
In the video, Clarke says, “Our country is beleaguered by incredibly profound problems right now. Hate crimes are on the rise. There are people struggling for access to fair housing and educational opportunity, especially amid the pandemic.”
The uncovering of the letter and of Clarke inviting Martin to campus could severely damage her chances of the U.S. Senate confirming her to the DOJ post, with Democrats only holding the narrowest of majorities in the upper congressional chamber.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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