Past remarks come back to bite when DoJ Civil Rights nom claims black ‘superiority’ theory was only satire

President Joe Biden’s pick to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division denied past claims that blacks are superior to whites during her confirmation hearing on Wednesday, claiming they were satirical in nature, though that differs from views she expressed in a letter to Harvard University administrators when she attended as a student in the 1990s.

Under questioning from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Kristen Clarke denied that what she wrote in the school newspaper in arguing that whites are genetically inferior to blacks was a serious viewpoint.

“Miss Clarke, Martin Luther King famously said that he had a dream of the day when his children would be known by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. Do you agree with that?” Cornyn asked as he began his inquiry.

“Absolutely, senator,” Clarke responded.

“Well, maybe there’s a misprint, but I’m sure you can clear it up for me, dating back to your days in school when you seemed to argue that African-Americans were genetically superior to Caucasians. Is that correct?” the Texas Republican pressed.

“No, senator, I believe you are referring to an op-ed that I wrote at the age of 19 about the Bell Curve theory, a racist book that equated DNA with genetics and race,” Clarke said. 

“As a black student at Harvard at that time, we took great offense to this book, it was co-authored by a Harvard professor, did a number of events to speak out against the book, and this op-ed opened with a satirical reference to the statement that you just noted,” she continued, adding that “contemporaneous” reporting at the time in the same newspaper pointed that out.

“What I was trying to do was to hold up a mirror and put one racist theory alongside another to challenge people as to why we were unwilling to wholly reject the racist theory that defined the Bell Curve book,” Clarke said. 

“So this was satire?” Cornyn asked?

“Absolutely, senator,” said Clarke, reiterating that the school paper, the Harvard Crimson, “makes clear that these were not views that I espoused.”

However, as Fox News host Tucker Carlson noted during a segment in January, Clarke penned a letter to the Harvard Crimson in 1994 “in her capacity as the president of the Black Studies Association,” adding that she “wanted to explain her views on ‘race science.’”


(Video: Fox News)

Clarke wrote, “Please use the following theories and observations to assist you in your search for truth regarding the genetic differences between Blacks and whites. One: 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,” she continued. 

“Four: Some scientists have revealed that most whites are unable to produce melanin because their pineal glands are often calcified 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,” Clarke’s letter continued.

“Five: Melanin endows blacks with greater mental, physical and spiritual abilities — something which cannot be measured based on Eurocentric standards,” she added, according to Carlson.

“Let that sink in,” the host said. “That is a direct quote from someone Joe Biden is about to put in charge of America’s civil rights laws.

“Even at Harvard, crackpot theories like that were considered deranged and dangerous. After an outcry on campus, Kristin Clarke suggested that she didn’t ‘necessarily’ believe what she had written,” Carlson said, adding that at the time, the editors of the school paper “did not buy that explanation.”

“Well, does she or doesn’t she, wrote the editors. ‘So far, she has given us every indication that she does,’” he said.

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Jon Dougherty

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