Kristen Clarke, President-elect Joe Biden‘s choice to run the Justice Department‘s Civil Rights Division, is defending her decision to support a former leader of the Women’s March who was accused of anti-Semitism.
Clarke’s name appeared on a 2019 petition supporting Tamika Mallory, former co-chair of the Women’s March. Mallory helped organize a mass mobilization in response to President Trump’s 2016 election but later stepped down amid accusations of anti-Semitic remarks and associations.
Mallory was accused by a former member of the Women’s March of saying that White Jewish people needed to address their roles in perpetuating racism.
She also came under scrutiny for attending a Louis Farrakhan event and referring to him as the “GOAT” or “greatest of all time.” Farrakhan is the leader of the Nation of Islam.
Former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile was also a signee.
Fox News reached out to Clarke, the president of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, an advocacy group, for comment and was referred to an exclusive interview with The Forward, where Clarke said that while she denounced anti-Semitism, she also denounced the marginalization of women of color.
“The marginalization of women of color is a threat to disrupt democracy, and what led me to join that letter was a grave concern about seeing another woman of color marginalized and silenced. Let me be clear, I denounce anti-Semitism wherever and whenever it shows up,” Clarke told the publication.
As previously reported by Fox News, Clarke made controversial comments about race in a 1994 letter to the Harvard Crimson, where she cited links between differing melanin levels among Black and White populations to describe cultural differences.
Clarke acknowledged at the time that the theory was “not necessarily something she believed.”
The Melanin Theory “is not necessarily something we believe, but some information we think those pursuing a true understanding of The Bell Curve should either address, ignore or refute,” Clarke reportedly said. The Bell Curve was a controversial 1994 book by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray that included commentary on the relationship between race and IQ.
She also came under scrutiny for hosting an on-campus discussion with Prof. Tony Martin, who authored the book “The Jewish Onslaught.” Martin’s speech was anti-Semitic, and Clarke has since acknowledged that it was a “mistake” to invite him to Harvard for the speech.