The poem became infamous after Baraka read it at the Geraldine Dodge Festival on September 20, 2002. On October 2, 2002 , he defended himself to Connie Chung on CNN:
Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed
Who told 4000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers
To stay home that day
Why did Sharon stay away?
CHUNG: Why did you write these particular lines that have provoked such controversy?
BARAKA: Well, let's say the rest of the poem is of no consequence? It's just those lines that are important?
CHUNG: Those lines have created quite a firestorm. And you know that.
BARAKA: Well, here's the point. My intention was to show that not only did Israel know, because Israel -- we're talking about 9/11 -- not only did Israel know, but the United States knew. Bush and company...
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