A New York Times book review of the latest work of notorious anti-Semite Amiri Baraka attempts to excuse his bigotry. Somebody Blew Up America," the post-9/11 poem that briefly made Baraka notorious (and cost him his position as New Jersey's poet laureate), is a howl of outrage set to bebop tempo, more concerned with its own musicality than with logical or thematic coherence. You could call it reckless, unhinged and paranoid in tone, but to call it anti-Semitic is (as Baraka himself has argued) a gross distortion. "Somebody Blew Up America" touches briefly on outrageous conspiracy theories linking the Israeli (and American and British and Russian) governments to the 9/11 attacks, but along the way it mourns Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht, the Rosenbergs and those who died in the Holocaust, along with all other victims of history. Allen Ginsberg could almost have written it (and would surely have loved it).
"Reckless, unhinged, paranoid" are all classic descriptions of racists and anti-Semites, but the Times grants him a pardon and again seeks to whitewash (or maybe "blackwash"?) the anti-Semitism of its favorites. Welcome to 1984. Again.