by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Kristen Clarke, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, advanced pseudoscientific theories of black racial superiority and organized an event with a notorious anti-Semite as a student at Harvard University.
Clarke and a coauthor outlined “the genetic differences between Blacks and whites” in a 1994 letter to the editors of Harvard’s student newspaper, which criticized the political scientist Charles Murray’s book The Bell Curve. The genetic difference they identify, varying levels of melanin between whites and blacks, accounts for disparate cognitive abilities, physical power, and even spirituality, the pair said. The so-called melanin theory has no basis in science.
“Melanin endows Blacks with greater mental, physical and spiritual abilities—something which cannot be measured based on Eurocentric standards,” they wrote.
Clarke’s remarks will ignite a white-hot confirmation battle in the Senate at a time of heightened racial tension. Though the incendiary statements are more than 25 years old, several of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees were grilled over comparatively tamer items they wrote as college students, prompting public apologies and even a withdrawal. If confirmed, Clarke would shape federal litigation strategies and lead enforcement of the nation’s civil-rights statutes. Tucker Carlson Tonight was the first to report on her writings.
Clarke also came in for criticism from Jewish students after she invited the anti-Semitic academic Tony Martin to campus in her capacity as president of the Black Students Association. Martin, then a professor of Africana studies at Wellesley College, promoted false theories implicating a Jewish cabal in the global slave trade and self-published a book called The Jewish Onslaught just one year before visiting Harvard at Clarke’s request. A majority of Martin’s faculty colleagues condemned the book as anti-Semitic, according to a 2001 column in the Boston Globe.