The Women’s March is continuing to fall apart as the leadership team tries to dodge accusations of anti-Semitism.
Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour are both co-chairs of the National Women’s March. The two also have close ties to anti-Semitic figures like Louis Farrakhan, who, in a tweet that is still up on Twitter, compared Jews to termites.
I'm not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite. pic.twitter.com/L5dPQcnVg4
— MINISTER FARRAKHAN (@LouisFarrakhan) October 16, 2018
Although these ties to Farrakhan recently surfaced, other instances of anti-Semitism from the leadership team have reportedly been there since the very beginning.
A recent report by Tablet Magazine claimed that the very first meeting of the Women’s March leadership team included a conversation about Jewish people being “exploiters of black and brown people.”
Sarsour and Mallory denied that they hold anti-Semitic views or discussed Jewish people during that first meeting, but many have been disappointed in their response.
One of their largest critics has been the Women’s March founder, Teresa Shook. As IJR previously reported, Shook called for Sarsour and Mallory to step down from the leadership team, writing:
“In opposition to our unity principles, they have allowed anti-Semitism, anti-LGBTQIA sentiment, and hateful, racist rhetoric to become part of their platform by their refusal to separate themselves from groups that espouse racist, hateful beliefs.”
Now, local Women’s Marches are falling apart as groups cut ties with the national organization. According to the Washington Times, organizers in Washington state disbanded their operation over a dispute about the national leadership.
Women’s March Washington leader Angie Beem took to Facebook to explain the dissolution, writing, “Continuing to be a part of the Women’s March with the blatant bigotry they display would be breaking a promise. We can’t betray our Jewish community by remaining a part of this organization.”
Washington is not alone in their outrage over the weak response to anti-Semitism coming from the leadership team. According to a report by Forward, groups from Los Angeles to Massachusetts have cut ties or are considering cutting ties with the national organization.
WMLA recognizes the power in words and we know how much pain these statements have caused for the Jewish and LGBTQIA+ communities and to you we apologize on behalf of the insensitive and out-of-touch actions of Women’s March, Inc.
— Women's March LA (@wmnsmarchla) March 12, 2018
Although it looks like this battle between statewide organizations and the national leadership is just getting started, there isn’t much time for the groups to come to an understanding. The 2019 Women’s March is scheduled for January 19.