Amiri Baraka well represents New Jersey

By Dennis Prager

I had always thought that New Jersey-jokes were neither funny nor in good taste. I was wrong.

Consider Amiri Baraka, a communist (“Marxist-Leninist” in his terminology), anti-Semitic, America-hating racist who has devoted his life to the promotion of hatred. He is New Jersey’s official poet.

Baraka, formerly LeRoi Jones, came to public notice recently when Jewish groups pointed out that in his most recent poem, “Somebody Blew Up America,” Baraka writes:

Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed

Who told 4,000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers

To stay home that day … ?

Jewish groups publicized this anti-Jewish slur. “Israeli” is a euphemism here for Jewish – it is doubtful that a hundred Israelis worked at the World Trade Center. And in any event, this Arab-originated lie states that “Jews” stayed away on 9-11.

But the poem is far worse than its few anti-Semitic lines. It is a 1,169-word hate-filled tirade against whites and America – which in New Jersey is not only OK, it is rewarded. New Jersey is governed by cynicism. The Democratic governor, James E. McGreevey, appointed a black bigot as the state poet in order to help keep the black vote Democratic. It is not enough for liberal Democrats to make appointments based on race – the blacks who are appointed should ideally come from those segments of the black community most angry at America. This reinforces black perceptions of Democrats as people who hear their grievances, while at the same time reinforcing those grievances – which is critical to the Democrats’ success because a black who is not angry at America may vote Republican.

McGreevey knew exactly whom he was appointing. But alas, Baraka did the only unpardonable thing in the cynical state of New Jersey – he offended another key Democratic constituency, Jews. So the governor has now demanded Baraka’s resignation. New Jersey can tolerate hatred of whites and of America, but not hatred of a Democratic constituency.

This corruption and cynicism explain the unanimous New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that any New Jersey candidate for public office can resign whenever he thinks he will lose, especially if he is a candidate to whom some of the justices had contributed.

This ruling violated pre-existing New Jersey law, common sense and the democratic process. Indeed, it is probably the most antinomian, politically driven, democracy-undermining court decision of our lifetime. Under New Jersey law, a candidate has until 51 days before an election to resign. Democrat candidate Sen. Robert Torricelli resigned 36 days before the election because he believed he would lose. Given the clarity of this law, the candidate’s name should simply have remained on the ballot, just as Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan’s name did in the 2000 election after he had died. But the New Jersey Supreme Court serves liberalism and its party, not America or New Jersey law. That is why two justices who had donated to the Torricelli campaign did not remove themselves from this case.

New Jersey cynicism also explains the election of U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine and former Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Neither had served in any public office before being elected to the Senate. But they had what it takes to win in New Jersey: they are fabulously wealthy liberal Democrats who can spend tens of millions of dollars to buy a Senate seat. Corzine, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, broke all previous records of spending on a Senate campaign. But for a man worth an estimated $400 million dollars, it was pocket money. Lautenberg, worth a mere $40 million, spent $60 million to buy his New Jersey Senate seat. Beyond amassing fortunes, both are undistinguished men. As, a liberal website, wrote, “Lautenberg is scrappy, sometimes mean, unpopular, occasionally nasty, and insecure. In short, he’s New Jersey” (emphasis added).

The rot runs deeper yet. New Jersey’s most celebrated institution, Princeton University, is in a greater state of moral decay than almost any other elite university – which is quite an achievement. When Harvard’s president asked Cornel West, a professorial version of Amiri Baraka, to produce something scholarly and not preoccupy himself with making rap records, guess which university leaped to hire West. Princeton.

Princeton has also recently lured another scary professor – Peter Singer of Australia. Professor Singer was named the DeCamp professor in the University Center for Human Values, one of the most prestigious appointments at Princeton. Among other views of Professor Singer that mock Princeton’s origins is his belief that parents should have 28 days after the birth of their child to decide whether to kill it if they deem the child sufficiently handicapped. Ideologically, New Jersey is to America what Berkeley is to California – and Princeton now fits there quite well.

Baraka, Torricelli, McGreevey, Corzine, Lautenberg, a politicized Supreme Court. Only one state has them all.