July 1, 2003
FROM THE DESK OF: THE NEW JERSEY AND NEWARK SCHOOLS' POET LAUREATE
NJ LEGISLATURE VOTE (68-2) TO ABOLISH NJ POET LAUREATE POSITION IS A VOTE TO REPLACE DEMOCRACY WITH GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP, AN ATTACK ON THE FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS OF US CITIZENS, AND THE U.S. CONSTITUTION, AS MOUTHPIECES FOR A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT AND CO-SIGNERS OF BUSHS' NEO-FASCIST POLICIES.
To their credit Assemblymen, Wm Payne and Donald Tucker the sole voices upholding the poet's Constitutional First Amendment rights.
But this finally illegal vote is also a violation of Article 1, section 10(1) of the U.S. Constitution (that neither congress nor the states could pass Ex Post Facto Laws, i.e., a law in the present that will make something that happened before that subject to the contemporary statute.
The vote is also an infamous confirmation of the anti-democratic , neo-fascist direction that the entire US nation has been headed since the right wing coup that passed as the 2000 National Election that brought to ascendancy and murderous power, a counterfeit President for an increasingly fake democracy.
This attack on the US Constitution has been led by the Israeli Lobbyist Anti Defamation League who cite three lines of a 244 line poem as proof of the poet's "Anti-Semitism" ("Who told 400 Israeli workers at the twin towers to stay home that day/ Who told Sharon to stay away").
The ADL in characteristic dishonesty claims the mention of Israeli nationals is an attack on Jews, hiding the difference between the religion, Judaism and the reactionary nationalism of Israeli political Zionism. But that is done to cover the fact that American Jews were left to be killed in the World Trade Center with the rest of we Americans, because ISRAEL REGARDS AMERICAN JEWS AS AMERICANS, FIRST, & only as sources of wealth and influence which they must not lose. Zionist Israel sees the American people the same way, as a cash cow and political justifier of their historic policy of ethnic cleansing of Arabs out of Palestine.
That is why it was Israeli Nationals that were warned and NOT American Jews.
The CEO (Micha Macover), of an Israeli messaging company, ODIGO, has already admitted to being warned. (See "Israeli Company Workers Were Warned Of 911 Attack," by Yuval Dror, Ha'aretz Daily 12-20-02)
With the names of the scapegoated leaders and nations as cheers and battle cries, the US imperialist superpower bombs and invades Afghanistan screaming "Osama bin Laden, Taliban" (both enabled by Bush-1), "Qaeda," calling the Palestinians "terrorists" and, their elected leader, Yasir Arafat "the main obstruction to peace" while Israel uses US tanks, planes, bombs, guns, destroying entire Palestinian neighborhoods. The US sides with the Butche Sharon, who was thrown out of office as Defense Minister by the Israeli people, in 1984 for his responsibility in the massacres of Palestinians in Lebanese refugee settlements. Israel has failed to recognize a single UN resolution, refusing since 1967 to end its occupation of Gaza and the West Bank or to stop the illegal settlements on Palestinian soil. Bush egging the Israelis on with calls for "Regime Change"
Yet the US mouthpiece for such tyrannical violations of human rights and democracy, the ADL, has so much influence among US and New Jersey politicians that they can decide whether or not the state has a Poet Laureate position or not, or for that matter, by overthrowing Cynthia McKinney and Asa Hilliard, who will be elected as the Black Congresspersons from Atlanta and Alabama
The vote in the New Jersey Legislature reflects the disintegration of US democracy as conducted by Bush counterfeit presidency as Dimitrov's classic definition of fascism as "The naked rule by terror by the most imperialist, jingoistic, sector of finance capital". Bush and company uses the threat of terror to justify their right wing assault on the constitution and the democratic rights of American citizens. It is permissible for the state to disregard and violate a citizen's lst amendment and other constitutional rights, slander and character assassinate them if they question, or criticize a foreign power and the foreign policy of the US super power.
This evokes the grim history of Germany's last democratic Weimar Republic, before Hitler transformed it into a fascist state. But Hitler was appointed Chancellor legally, Bush' Florida Coup was illegal!! It was "Terrorism", the mysterious Reichstag fire (set by the Nazi's themselves) that allowed Hitler to pass the Reichstag Enablement Act, like the Patriot Act and Homeland Security, dismiss the constitution, jail union members , communists, and later liquidated them, including 6,000,000 Jews. 911 has allowed the same internal citizen disorientation and fascist reorientation in The US as in 1933 Germany!
Of course, I will sue. For starters, for violation of my democratic rights, the US constitution, slander, character assassination, injury to myself and my family, psychological assault, creating the context for possible physical assault on myself and family. Bias crime, stopping my appearance on many campuses thereby interfering with the right of Afro American and democratic minded students the opportunity to judge for themselves whether the work was anti-Semitic or not. Censorship as well as interference with my ability to make a living, and restraint of trade. I would also like to take up the question of why the ADL is not made to register as an agent of a foreign power.
An important factor related to our suit is news that recently (4/26/03 - Rense.com) a Colorado couple successfully sued the ADL, for the same kind of attack, calling them "anti-Semitic." The ADL was defeated to the tune of $9.75 million dollars rewarded to their victims for Slander and Wiretapping Violations!!
The irony is that even this legislation cannot remove me as Poet Laureate, since the appointment was made by the NJ Humanities Commission and not the governor or legislature and any attempt to remove me, would be a further confirmation of the legislature's intent to violate the constitution and the first amendment.
Even more disgusting and dangerous is the ADL's threat a few months ago, to have the children of West Orange wear yellow stars of the Holocaust when Newark's children go there to play sports! Now, in an attempt to prevent my appearance at Barringer High School (my alma mater) June 30, to give the Commencement Address, they threatened to picket Barringer and otherwise cause disruption. In addition there was even the straight out neo-fascist pledge to begin to remove my books from the schools.
Democratic minded Americans must oppose these violations of the US Constitution, especially the Censorship which rises in its intensity, at the same time the campaign to privatize media in the US, by trying to remove Public radio and television, eliminating support of the arts by public monies, forcing artists to rely more and more on private sources, foundations, corporations.
Actually, such organized Peoples Democratic campaign against violations of the first amendment), can be at the base of the critical need to build a US Peoples Democratic Anti-Fascist United Front.
Since January the Office of NJ Poet Laureate, in association with Kimako's Blues People (Amiri & Amina Baraka, Directors), Celeste Bateman Public Relations, with help from Weequahic Park Association's publicist, Joe White, Robert McRae, Logistics Reggie Baker, Transportation, supported by funds from the Newark Public Library and the Newark Board of Education, has produced a series of readings by important poets from all over New Jersey, as well as New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania in the Newark Schools and Newark Public Library the last Friday and Saturday of each month (schedule included). So despite the slander, character assassination, media disinformation and attacks by the Governor, the ADL and the generally ignorant or specifically devious work against the Second New Jersey Poet Laureate (the first Afro American - one wonders, does this have something to do with the aggressiveness of the assaults), has gone on, intentionally handicapped, but nevertheless vigorous and important, alive and well. And it will continue, no matter the slander and the dishonest attacks.
AMIRI BARAKA, NEW JERSEY & NEWARK SCHOOLS POET LAUREATE
We have received several hundred letters of support and copies of letters addressed to Gov. McGreevey and the NJ Legislature denouncing this attack on our first amendment rights. But with the initiation of litigation, people who want to be part of what will be a growing anti-censorship anti-violation of the lst amendment movement, contact us at AMIRIB@AOL.COM or Fax 973 242-1509
NEW JERSEY POET LAUREATE READING SERIES
AMIRI BARAKA, (STILL) NJ & NEWARK SCHOOLS POET LAUREATE
(The NJ Legislature LIED!)