The plot Baraka missed
I realized later after New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey called for Amiri Baraka to resign as the state's poet laureate that we had not heard the version of the poem that had incited so many Jewish groups to hate Baraka.
After being booed by poets whose distant relations once saw the Nazi burning books (as well as people), Baraka cut those six lines of apparently mistaken history surrounding the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 in later readings at the Dodge Festival.
This act was later interpreted by the Jewish rights groups as Baraka's admission of guilt.
In retrospect, I believe Baraka may have stumbled on some fundamental truth. There was indeed a Jewish conspiracy, one much more insidious than the wanton destruction of the twin towers. Jews didn't merely want to bring down our economy, but they wanted an even greater prize. They wanted to take over New Jersey's poetry scene.
Didn't Baraka notice all the Jewish names associated with the Dodge Foundation, people of great poetic power who hungered for even more poetic power -- determined to grab hold of it my any means possible? Did they not control the ticket counter and force us pathetic gentiles onto the longer lines, hoping that after our two or more hour ride to get there, we might give up if we had to wait ten extra minutes for entrance? The evil Jews even controlled the sign up sheets for the open readings.
Is it true that 4,000 Jewish poets got placed higher in the reading list? And why did no Jewish poets even seem to take an interest in spending countless hours suffering through these diatribes?
Did Baraka fail to see all those Jewish-looking teachers peering intently at poets reading in the various tents, each bent upon stealing these poetic secrets to as to carry them back to Israel for that countries planned literary offensive on the world?
Why weren't the rest of us warned about all the bad poetry we would encounter at the Dodge, allowing us to avoid those horrendous pitfalls such as "Spoken poems and silent reading" (of which Baraka was apart)?
How dare the Jews play such a prominent role in preserving our books and cultures, taking on such money-grubbing professions as librarians and book sellers -- through which they could horde all the words of the world and issue these out to us Gentiles by requiring us to show a card?
Why didn't Baraka tell us? Was he blind?