The Woman’s March Situation may be Unique (2)
Following is part two of the above topic.
The Woman’s March Leadership Openly Embraced an Anti-Semitic Group
The event that appears to have lit the match for the Women’s March debacle is described in The Tablet article.
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.”
However, the Women’s March leadership’s closed ranks support for Mallory failed to end the controversy. Here’s a succinct summary of the then developing split.
In the days since her attendance was first noted, Mallory has sought to defend herself from accusations of anti-Semitism and pushed back on calls for her resignation.
Criticism has also spread to the broader Women’s March organization, prompting the group to issue a statement on Tuesday. “Minister Farrakhan’s statements about Jewish, queer, and trans people are not aligned with the Women’s March Unity principles,” the group said. “The world Women’s March seeks to build is one free from anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, racism, and all forms of social violence.” BuzzFeed reports that Women’s March leaders will meet with Jewish groups on Thursday to discuss the matter further.
Mallory steadfastly refused to disassociate herself from both Farrakhan and his views. It all came into sharp focus when Meghan McCain confronted Mallory on The View.
The rabid antisemitism of The Women’s March’s leadership has been undeniable, but until recently hasn’t exactly been completely mainstream. The View co-host Meghan McCain may have changed all of that on Monday, however.
Appearing with the women of The View, Tamika Mallory found herself facing off against McCain over hate preacher and Church of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s repeated antisemitic statements such as calling Jewish people “termites.” Farrakhan released a video of himself saying this on Twitter.
McCain decided to confront Mallory about support she, and other members of the Women’s March have given to Farrakhan in the past and asked flatly if they condemn his statements.
Mallory repeatedly said that she disagrees with some of Farrakhan’s statements, but despite McCain’s pressing for clarification, would not say she specifically condemned the statements from Farrakhan. What she did do, however, is say that she’d rather not be judged through the lens of a man.
Since then the Woman’s March has lost both local chapters and Progressive organizational support. But the same leadership clique has held on even as the movement collapsed.
After claims of anti-Semitism against the leaders of Women’s March Inc. rocked the movement—including a blockbuster report in Tablet magazine—hundreds of activist groups that previously partnered with the march have headed for the exits ahead of this year’s events. It may be the biggest silent protest the normally noisy left has staged in decades.
Unfortunately, the applause probably should be limited to two cheers. These groups stopped partnering with the march. Politics being what it is, none of them is ordinarily in the business of publicly criticizing their allies, even when criticism is eminently deserved. A cynical observer still might charitably note that actions speak louder than words. In these polarized times, the discovery of common ground should not be dismissed.
On the other hand, sometimes making a statement may be said to require… making a statement. When the Social Justice League decides not to light their virtue signals, it is difficult not to notice.
So, although Progressive groups have walked away from the Woman’s March, they have tried to avoid being noticed while doing so. This suggests that they don’t want to be too visibly opposing anti-Semitism in general while, in this specific case, doing so.
This situation strongly suggests that the Woman’s March case is indeed unique.
In the next post I will discuss why the Woman’s March leadership believed that they could openly support anti-Semitism and other forms of extreme bigotry without fear of the consequences.