April 9, 2021
EXCLUSIVE: New findings obtained by Fox News revealed that President Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Rights Division organized a conference that was used as a tool by radical anti-government activists to champion cop-killers and free violent criminals.
According to a previously unseen university transcript obtained by the American Accountability Foundation and given to Fox News, Kristen Clarke was a critical leader and organizer of the controversial Race-ing Justice Conference while she was a student a Columbia Law School in April 1999
The transcript points to Clarke as the event organizer multiple times, as many speakers thanked her and other organizers for bringing the conference together. Clarke was previously reported as only being a contact for the conference.
“Let me begin by acknowledging the work of Manny Marable and Kristen Clarke who drew us all together,” said conference speaker and author Ashe Bandele.
According to the transcript, fellow conference speaker Anne Elliott stated later in the conference that she was invited by Clarke to speak.
“When Kirsten asked me to speak, she asked me to speak first and then she asked me to moderate,” said Elliott. “So I said I’ll moderate if you give me 10 minutes to say something about Project Greenhope and about women in prison. So I’m going to do that. And then I’m going to introduce my colleagues here for you to hear.”
The conference organized left-leaning students and anti-government activists in their shared support of freeing death row inmates, whom they referred to as “political prisoners.” The list included people convicted for a wide array of crimes, including convicted cop-killers Mumia Abu-Jamal, Mutulu Shakur, Sundiata Acoli and Tom Manning, in addition to other radical extremists.
The convicted criminals the conference equated to “political prisoners” included Assata Shakur — who was convicted of murdering a New Jersey state trooper, escaped from prison and remains on the FBI’s Most Wanted list — and Susan Rosenberg, who was convicted for transporting multiple illegal firearms and over 740 pounds of explosives.
Rosenberg was also a member of the American communist terrorist group, the May 19th Communist Organization, that bombed the US Capitol on Nov. 7, 1983.
Multiple speakers at the conference referred to the death row inmates as “political prisoners,” or “POWs,” including City College of New York professor Herb Boyd and founder of the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, Safiya Bukhari.
“I think we need to extend that definition [of political prisoners] to include, you know, a number of particularly Puerto Rican, African American political prisoners that we have — most particularly Sundiata Acoli, they talk about Sekou Odinga, we have the situation where Susan Rosenberg and you know Sylvia [Blyden], of course [Mumia Abu-Jamal] and hopefully many of you will be on your way to Philadelphia tomorrow to participate in that situation,” said Boyd.
“By the same token, Tom [Manning], another political [prisoner], is suffering from severe arthritis and is in constant pain to the point he’s on crutches now and they won’t take him out to the hospital either,” said Bukhari, according to the transcript.
Bukhari also referred to herself as a “prisoner of war” and downplayed the events of the Holocaust in her remarks, saying it “was only 6 million Jews killed in the camps and prisons of Germany and Poland.”
Additionally, Bandele compared the prisoners being advocated for to the late South African President Nelson Mandela.
“And I’m trying to figure out how we get to do that with our own Mandellas right here, [Sundiata Acoli, and Sekou Odinga, Mutulu Shakur],” said Bandele, according to the transcript.
Bandele also compared then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to the infamous Alabama Democrat state lawmaker Bull Connor, who turned fire hoses and police dogs against civil rights activists, including children.
“Then, as now, what was happening throughout the country was that you had a sheriff in the South named Bull Connor,” said Bandele. “Now we have a mayor named Rudy Guliani, and I’m struggling to understand the substantive difference between the two of them.
“And I think that, and I’m not saying this to be pedantic or to be hysterical or by hyperbolic.”
The conference also included a panel titled “In Defense of Mumia” in regards to Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of murdering Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner by shooting him in the face during a routine traffic stop involving Abu-Jamal’s younger brother.
After the conference concluded, attendees immediately traveled to Philadelphia to attend a rally the next day calling for Abu-Jamal’s release from prison.
Clarke’s fellow organizer and mentor, Manning Marable, claimed in his closing remarks of the conference that the organizers were marching because Abu-Jamal “never received a fair trial and was tried by a racist judge.”
“[Why do] we march tomorrow? This was a teach-in and study, while important, must be combined with struggle. We held this conference as a way of linking an analysis of the prison industrial complex with a heightened awareness about the need to challenge the injustice of the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal,” said Marable. “We must march in Philadelphia tomorrow because Mumia Abu-Jamal never received a fair trial and was tried by a racist judge.”
The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on Clarke’s organizing the conference.
It was announced on Friday that Clarke’s nomination hearing has been set for next week, alongside fellow Biden DOJ nominee Todd Kim.
In a tense exchange with Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee, Attorney General Merrick Garland — who would become Clarke’s boss at the DOJ if she’s confirmed — defended Clarke after a 1994 letter from her resurfaced in which she wrote that “Melanin endows Blacks with greater mental, physical and spiritual abilities” among other things.
“I’ve read, in the last few days, these allegations about Kristen Clarke, who I’ve also gotten to know, who I also trust, who I believe is a person of integrity, whose views about the civil rights division I have discussed with her and they are in line with my own,” Garland responded to Lee.
“I have every reason to want her. She is an experienced former line prosecutor of hate crimes and we need somebody like that,” Garland continued before he was interrupted by Lee, who said he was asking about Clarke’s “statement” rather than the person herself.