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Nominated the day after the violent Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Kirsten Clarke is caught in the crosshairs of conservative theatrics. Questions concerning her fitness or “suitability” to serve as assistant attorney general have little to do with concerns of her qualifications.
Bloomberg Law reported Clarke has promised that under her leadership, the Civil Rights Division would be a leader in addressing systemic racism and injustice.
“We’re emerging from 2020, a year in which we experienced a national reckoning with racism and hate and other problems tearing at the fabric of communities across our country,” Clarke said. “The Justice Department stands to play an important role in moving our nation forward.”
Senators like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee fed into post-election rhetoric that fueled attacks on democracy. Objections made by Cruz and Lee do not come with good faith concerns, but an attempt to derail progress.
No, NOT happening. Last Democratic nominee to head Civil Rights Division was rejected bc of outrageous attacks on his representation as a lawyer for Mumia Abu-Jamal on appeal. No way, no how are these same smears going to be raised now against Biden’s nominee. Shut this down now. https://t.co/0ZLAbqliv4
— Leslie Proll (@LeslieProll) March 8, 2021
During Merrick Garland’s confirmation hearing last month, questions were raised about Clarke inviting a controversial Black Wellesley professor to speak to Harvard’s Black Student Association in 1994. The late Tony Martin reached out to Clarke at a time when she and other students found themselves fighting back against racist arguments such as those made in the book “The Bell Curve.” But Martin’s work included antisemitic rhetoric and opinions.
In an interview with the Jewish outlet “The Forward”, Clarke said she denounced Martin’s rhetoric and regrets ever inviting him to campus to speak. Few are held to the standard of decisions they made as young college coeds.
Cruz, Lee, and many of their congressional colleagues argued against alleged bad acts in college and high school being considered during the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. They don’t even want to be held to the standard of their behavior in the past several months.
.@KristenClarkeJD & @vanitaguptaCR are exceptional nominees to serve in the DOJ. As Asst AG for Civil Rights and Associate AG, they will be superb leaders at a critical moment for civil rights enforcement & criminal justice transformation.#ConfirmGuptaandClarke pic.twitter.com/qw912MdmCY
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) March 3, 2021
On the frontlines of voting rights and criminal justice Clarke is widely respected in her field. As the president and executive director of the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, Clarke has led one of the country’s premier civil rights organizations.
Women’s History Month: Celebrating Black Women Pioneers And Their Many Historic Firsts
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1. Kamala Harris, first woman and Black woman Vice President of the United States
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2. Barbara Jordan, First Black Woman Elected Into Congress from the South
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3. Bianca Smith, MLB’s first Black woman coach
“I only saw women in the front office. I didn’t see women on the field, so it never occurred to me to be a coach until I actually got on the field myself and realized, ‘Okay this is something I can do.'”@RedSox coach Bianca Smith is ready to pave the way. pic.twitter.com/unnoZoAH4L
— MLB (@MLB) February 3, 2021
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4. Mae C. Jemison, First Black Woman in Space
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5. Amanda Gorman, the nation’s youngest inaugural poet
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6. Bessie Coleman, First Black Woman Pilot
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7. Mellody Hobson, first Black woman to chair Starbucks’ board
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8. Mary Jackson, First Black Woman to Work for NASA
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9. Meisha Ross Porter, first Black woman to be NYC Schools Chancellor
Source:NYC Dept. Of Education
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10. Hattie McDaniel, First Black Woman to Win an Academy Award
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11. Jennifer King, First Black Woman NFL Coach
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12. Alice Coachman, First Black Woman To Win an Olympic Gold Medal
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13. Oprah Winfrey, First Black Woman Billionaire
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14. Madam C.J. Walker, First Woman Millionaire In America
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15. Nia DaCosta, first Black woman to direct a Marvel movie
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16. Mariya Russell, First Black Woman Chef to Earn a Michelin Star
Meet Mariya Russell, the first Black woman to win a Michelin star in the guide’s 94-year history pic.twitter.com/ZYIq5KqmPL
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 27, 2020
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17. Whoopi Goldberg, First Black Woman to Win EGOT (Academy Award, 1990), (Emmy, 2002 & 2009), (Grammy, 1985) and (Tony, 2002)
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18. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, First Black Woman to Become a Doctor of Medicine in the U.S.
This #BlackHistoryMonth we’re highlighting notable African-American public health figures. Meet Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the first African-American woman physician. She authored the “Book of Medical Discourses” containing medical advice for women & children. https://t.co/UeUNE1eVRL
— FairfaxCounty Health (@fairfaxhealth) February 26, 2020
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19. Serena Williams, First Black Woman to Win a Career Grand Slam in Tennis
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20. Loretta Lynch, First Black Woman to be Attorney General of the U.S.
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21. Stacey Abrams, First Black Woman to be a Major Party Nominee for State Governor
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She brings twenty years of experience in civil rights enforcement and advocacy. Clarke’s enforcement experience is an asset at a time when hate crimes along with white nationalist violence have been on the rise.
In September 2020, Clark wrote a CNN op-ed admonishing the Trump Administration’s mishandling of the division. She pointed to several instances of the prior administration subverting the division’s purpose.
Clarke has made it clear that she will address white supremacy and racial violence head one. “We need this administration to make fighting white supremacy, confronting racial violence, addressing police violence and tackling rampant voter suppression topline priorities,” Clarke said during a virtual meeting before her nomination.
Anoa Changa is a movement journalist and retired attorney based in Atlanta, Georgia. Follow Anoa on Instagram and Twitter @thewaywithanoa.
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Here Are All The Black People In Joe Biden’s Cabinet And His Most Senior Advisers
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1. Adewale Adeyemo, Deputy Treasury Secretary
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2. Gen. Lloyd Austin, Department of Defense
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3. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, vice chair of the Democratic National Committee
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4. Kirsten Clarke, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division
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5. Ashley Etienne, Kamala Harris’ Chief Communications Director
Ashley Etienne is the Communications Director for MVP Kamala Harris. She’s not new to the game. Etienne was the communications director for the House Oversight Committee under the late Elijah Cummings. Biden-Harris administration has chosen the best!👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/FLVgWZCdUn
— silverprincess💛 (@marsha_vivinate) November 30, 2020
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7. Rep. Marcia Fudge, Housing and Urban Development
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8. Joelle Gamble, National Economic Council
Source:Courtesy of Biden-Harris Transition Team
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9. Shuwanza Goff, Deputy Director Of The White House Office Of Legislative Affairs
Source:Joe Biden Communications Coalitions
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10. Jamie Harrison, DNC Chair
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11. Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Deputy Press Secretary
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12. Brenda Mallory, Council on Environmental Quality Chairperson
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13. Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, Co-Chair of Biden’s Coronavirus Task Force
Finally, some science.
Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a doctor and college professor promoting health and healthcare equity for structurally marginalized populations, will co-chair Joe Biden’s Covid task force.https://t.co/cUHso6sruX
— NewsOne (@newsone) November 16, 2020
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15. Susan Rice, White House Domestic Policy Council Director
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16. Cedric Richmond
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17. Cecilia Rouse, Council of Economic Advisors chairperson
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19. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, UN Ambassador
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Opposition To Kirsten Clarke’s DOJ Confirmation Is Steeped In Anti-Blackness
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