- Dozens of prominent progressive organisations have quietly dropped their support for the Women’s March after months of controversy over accusations of anti-Semitism among the organisation’s leadership.
- Notably, the Democratic National Committee, the NAACP, and the Human Rights Campaign have all ended their affiliation with the organisation just days before the third annual march.
- This comes as Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory again refused to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has for years made anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks, during a Monday interview on “The View.”
The Democratic National Commitee joined dozens of prominent progressive organisations who have quietly dropped their support for the Women’s March after after months of controversy over accusations of anti-Semitism among the organisation’s leadership.
The DNC’s move comes just days before the group’s annual event and shortly after march co-leader Tamika Mallory refused to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has for years made anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks, in a Monday interview on “The View.”
“The DNC stands in solidarity with all those fighting for women’s rights and holding the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers across the country accountable,” Sabrina Singh, the DNC’s deputy communications director, said in a statement. “Women are on the front lines of fighting back against this administration and are the core of our Democratic Party.”
The DNC was joined by groups including the AFL-CIO, NARAL, the Center for American Progress, the Human Rights Campaign, and Amnesty International – all of whom are no longer listed as official sponsors of the group.
Other groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and Emily’s List, also recently dropped their sponsorship of the Women’s March.
But a number of influential groups, including Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, remain on board.
“We’ve seen unprecedented attacks on our health and rights from the Trump-Pence administration. The Women’s March has become a symbol of our collective resistance to these damaging and discriminatory policies and Planned Parenthood is proud to once again, join our progressive partners for the #WomensWave mobilization to protect and advance the progress we’ve made as a movement dedicated to equity and justice for all people,” Planned Parenthood’s senior communications director Erica Sackin said in a statement to Refinery29 in mid-December.
The Women’s March is moving ahead with its third march on Washington, DC, on January 19, 2019, with at least 130 marches also scheduled on that date across the US. The first women’s marches, held on the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, were attended by anywhere from 3.6 to 4.6 million people across the country.
A refusal to condemn Louis Farrakhan
This comes after Tablet Magazine published a story last month in which two Women’s March co-founders who have since left the organisation – Evvie Harmon and Teresa Shook – directly accused Women’s March co-leaders Mallory, Linda Sarsour, and Carmen Perez of making anti-Semitic statements during Women’s March meetings. Former DC Women’s March president Mercy Morganfield, daughter of blues legend Muddy Waters, corroborated Harmon and Shook’s allegations.
Shook, who inspired the original 2017 Women’s March with a 2016 Facebook post, has called for all four national co-chairs – Mallory, Sarsour, Perez, and Bob Bland – to step down from leadership. All four current Women’s March c0-chairs deny the allegations made against them by their former colleagues.
Mallory faced particular backlash after attending the Nation of Islam’s annual Saviour’s Day event in February 2018 where Farrakhan declared “the powerful Jews are my enemy” and “the Jews have control over those agencies of government,” while also blaming Jews for “degenerate behaviour in Hollywood turning men into women and women into men.”
In May 2017, Mallory posted a photo on Instagram of herself posing with Farrakhan, writing, “Thank God this man is still alive and doing well. He is definitely the GOAT,” using a shorthand for “greatest of all time.”
In an appearance on “The View” on Monday, Mallory refused to condemn Farrakhan’s bigotry, simply saying that his words were “not my language. It’s not the way that I speak, it’s not how I organise.”
And she defended calling the leader “the greatest of all time.”
“I didn’t call him the greatest of all time because of his rhetoric,” Mallory responded. “I called him the greatest of all time because of what he’s done in black communities.”
In the same interview, Bland said the Women’s March “unequivocally condemns” anti-Semitism and bigotry and that the group had condemned Farrakhan’s remarks “in statement after statement.”
"The Women's March unequivocally condemns anti-Semitism, bigotry…"
Co-president @bobblanddesign addresses anti-Semitic allegations surrounding the organization: "We condemn any statements of hate and… we're committed to repairing any type of harm." https://t.co/f8u2wc159S pic.twitter.com/Y9SDi9S56C
— The View (@TheView) January 14, 2019
In one of these statements, released in March 2018, the Women’s March wrote, “Minister Farrakhan’s statements about Jewish, queer, and trans people are not aligned with the Women’s March Unity Principles, which were created by women of colour leaders and are grounded in Kingian Nonviolence … Our external silence has been because we are holding these conversations and are trying to intentionally break the cycles that pit our communities against each other.”
The DNC’s former deputy chair, Rep. Keith Ellison, retracted his previous membership in the Nation of Islam last year, saying that the group’s leaders “organise by sowing hatred and division, including anti-Semitism, homophobia, and a chauvinistic model of manhood.”
Anthony Fisher contributed to this report.
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