A Reckoning for Progressive Anti-Semitism? (1)

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Then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama (D) and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in 2005 at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting.  The picture was not released by photographer until 2018 because it would have “made a difference” to Obama’s political future.

Opening Thoughts

There is a troubling dynamic by which the Progressives have embraced groups with unreconcilable conflicting beliefs as part of their coalition.  For example, I have pointed out the appalling disconnect between political Islam’s policies towards homosexuals (and women) and those supposedly espoused by Progressives.  The above photograph of the future Progressive messiah and President of the United States associating happily with Louis Farrakhan at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting perfectly captures this bizarre political situation.

This papering over of such fundamental differences couldn’t last forever.  To my surprise the flash point that finally illuminated this disconnect has occurred over the issue of anti-Semitism within the Woman’s March.  Although this issue had been festering behind the scenes, it was co-leader Tamika Mallory’s attendance at a Nation of Islam’s Saviours’ Day event and her public (literally) embrace of its leader, Louis Farrakhan, that set the debacle in motion.

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Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory poses proudly and gushes over the virulently anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan.  Pathetically, she claims that he “speaks out against hate, injustice and antisemitism and claims that he is a “role model” for the Woman’s March Board!

It was a lengthy, carefully researched article in the Tablet Magazine that blew the lid off this festering scandal.  This article exposed the rise of a virulently anti-Semitic leadership group to the very top of the Woman’s March organization.

According to several sources, it was there—in the first hours of the first meeting for what would become the Women’s March—that something happened that was so shameful to many of those who witnessed it, they chose to bury it like a family secret. Almost two years would pass before anyone present would speak about it.

It was there that, as the women were opening up about their backgrounds and personal investments in creating a resistance movement to Trump, Perez and Mallory allegedly first asserted that Jewish people bore a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people—and even, according to a close secondhand source, claimed that Jews were proven to have been leaders of the American slave trade. These are canards popularized by The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, a book published by Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam—“the bible of the new anti-Semitism,” according to Henry Louis Gates Jr., who noted in 1992: “Among significant sectors of the black community, this brief has become a credo of a new philosophy of black self-affirmation.”

To this day, Mallory and Bland deny any such statements were ever uttered, either at the first meeting or at Mallory’s apartment.

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Woman’s March leadership: (left to right) Bob Bland, Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez and Tamika Mallory.

However, since the Tablet article numerous events have occurred that support the charge of anti-Semitism by the Woman’s March leadership.  For example:

Returning to the Tablet article, we find a concise summary of the issues and relationships that would eventually blow apart the Woman’s March (emphasis added).

The development of the origins of the Women’s March and its transformation into a vehicle that promoted a small coterie of women—three of whom bizarrely professed their admiration for the openly anti-Semitic, homophobic, and misogynistic Nation of Islam preacher Louis Farrakhan—was a deliberate act, one that had nothing to do with the general spirit out of which the March was born.

Over the year that followed, the Women’s March continued to grow, publishing its book, raising money, and putting on new events. In October 2017, the group held a Women’s Convention. Attendance was reported to be high for the whole event, and was packed for the summit’s most popular panel, “Confronting White Womanhood.”

On March 11, 2018, the Women’s March had their biweekly phone call with national organizers. The public controversy had started to explode over Mallory’s attendance at the Saviours’ Day event, during which, in the course of a three-hour speech, Farrakhan blamed Jews for “degenerate behavior in Hollywood, turning men into women and women into men.” Angie Beem, president of the Washington state chapter, remembered that phone call.

“Many of us were upset,” Beem told Tablet. “She is the face of a women’s march, and our mission and values are equality and inclusion. To openly praise someone like this went against everything we were supposed to stand by.” Beem described a sense of awkwardness as Mallory went on to defend Farrakhan to over 40 women on the call. And she wasn’t alone, Beem said; Perez and Bland jumped in to defend him as well. “They said to us: ‘You know, he has done some great things for people of color.’ They didn’t denounce anything he said, they only did that recently. Some state people supported them and some who were very brave stood up to them. One woman said something like, ‘Just because somebody does one good thing doesn’t mean they are excused for everything else.’ They said, ‘We hear you.’ But then they refused to do anything about it.”

Yes, anti-Semitism has been the proximate cause of this crisis.  However, in the above quote note that it is not limited to that vile evil.  No, it is  Louis Farrakhan’s “anti-Semitic, homophobic, and misogynistic” beliefs that are identified as unacceptable.

Thus, these ideological disconnects are finally being exposed in the Progressive coalition.  The question is will this crisis be limited to the Women’s March or will it spread to the overall Progressive movement?  That is the question to which I will turn.

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