Amiri Baraka, poet laureate for the state of New Jersey, is being asked to resign his post.
After being awarded a two-year term as New Jersey’s poet laureate and receiving a $10,000 stipend for the post, Baraka has been asked by Gov. James McGreevey to step down because of the contents of one of his recent poems, “Somebody Blew Up America.”
The audacity of a governor to ask for the state’s poet laureate to resign from his post because he did not particularly appreciate one poem should astound the American public.
The Anti-Defamation League has also stepped up to denounce the poem as racist and offensive.
Baraka has been accused of blaming the Jews for the attack on the World Trade Center.
Baraka refuses to step down and defends his position. “Obviously they knew about it, like Bush knew about it,” Baraka told the New York Times.
Although offensive, it is not possible to please all of the people all of the time. For Baraka to be asked to resign from his post because of his belief that Jews knew about the attacks would be like asking the president to step down because he believes that women who have abortions are baby killers.
Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion.
Just because America was attacked by terrorists does not make it unpatriotic to think the real terrorists may be right here in the United States.
Baraka’s viewpoint may be a tad bit harsh, but it is his belief, and to try to force him to change it is the real terrorism.
Bridget Nance for the Editorial Board.