“We want poems/like fists beating niggers out of Jocks/or dagger poems in the slimy bellies/of the owner-jews.” – from Black Art

Anti-Semitic poet Amiri Baraka died Thursday in Newark, N.J., at the age of 79. The headlines describe him as “polarizing” (The New York Times), “provocative” (The Los Angeles Times), and “controversial” (The Chicago Tribune). He most recently made headlines with his 9/11 poem “Somebody Blew Up America,” which featured the lines, “Who told 4000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers/to stay home that day/Why did Sharon stay away?”

In the uproar caused by that poem, Baraka denied any claims of anti-Semitism, saying in a statement, “To infer that I am accusing Israel of committing the atrocity is disingenuous slander and character assassination. But I do believe, as I stated about England, Germany, France, Russia, that the Israeli government, certainly its security force Shabak knew about the attack in advance.”

Naturally, the tributes that appeared today were nothing but flattering.

Well, it wasn’t when he called former RNC chair Michael Steele a “real public coon” (get it?) or former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a “skeeza.” We’ll start narrowing our choices by scratching off the ones archived on the Anti-Defamation League’s website.