Opinion: Columnists

Amiri Baraka represented the worst of today's Left

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Opinion,Gregory Kane,Columnists,Race and Diversity,Political Correctness

In one of what were probably several obituaries written about poet, playwright, essayist and activist Amiri Baraka after his death, one reporter told how he preferred to be remembered:

“Well, I guess as a poet and a political activist. The poetry is at the base of it.”

Sorry, Mr. Baraka, but here’s how I’ll remember you: as a nasty, bilious little man who was the quintessential representative of today’s leftists and liberals.

Which is to say bilious and nasty.

Baraka died Thursday, Jan. 9, in Newark, N.J., where he had lived most of his life. Throughout his life, he attempted to combine first Black Nationalism, then Marxism, with his artistic works.

It was after his leftward drift and embrace of Marxism that Baraka became his most nasty and bilious, especially during the last 10 or so years.

Baraka was an African-American, and, like most of his fellow African-Americans who happen to be liberal and leftist, he had little to no tolerance for African-Americans with conservative views.

That might be why, in one poem, he referred to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a “skeeza.” (Online dictionaries seem to be in agreement that the term “skeeza” is basically equivalent to that of a slut.)

Baraka read that poem a few years back in front of a nearly all-black audience at Coppin State in Baltimore. (Coppin State is a historically black university.)

When Baraka read the line calling Rice a skeeza, the crowd didn’t just applaud. They stomped their feet. They howled. They roared. There was such sheer joy that you’d have thought the Ravens had just won the Super Bowl.

I wrote a column about Baraka’s nastiness and the crowd’s inappropriate reaction, only to get email from a Coppin State professor defending both. Of course it was nasty and bilious.

The curious thing about black leftists like Baraka is that when they say such things about a Condoleezza Rice and get away with them, they become emboldened. They become encouraged.

So it came as no surprise to me later that Baraka sought out Michael Steele, an African-American and a former lieutenant governor of Maryland, as his next target.

Steele, according to Baraka, was “a real public coon.”

For at least the last six years, liberals and leftists have been telling us that anyone who so much as disagrees with their darling, President Obama, is a racist.

Mind you, no one in the Republican Party, or in the Tea Party movement, has come even close to calling Obama the “n” word. (That task was left once again to nasty, bilious leftists, those in the New Black Panther Party.)

And none of these supposed racists has dared call Obama a coon. But Baraka had no problem calling a prominent black Republican that word.

What was the reaction of his fellow leftists and liberals, black and white alike? Why, silence, of course. They understood Baraka’s nastiness, indeed might have, deep down, encouraged it.

Recently Melissa Harris-Perry, who hosts a show on MSNBC, apologized to Mitt Romney’s family about a segment that appeared on her program.

In the segment, viewers and panelists were shown a photo of the Romney family with Romney holding his infant adopted black grandson on his lap.

The panelists made it a point to mock the photo and the Republicans’ supposed lack of commitment to diversity.

To this day I’m pondering what Harris-Perry apologized for. Her panelists reacted as the nasty, bilious leftists they are. What did Harris-Perry think was going to happen when her panelists saw the photo?

With Baraka’s passing, the left has now lost it nastiest and most bilious.

GREGORY KANE, a Washington Examiner columnist, is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.

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