Women’s March leader Bob Bland joined her colleagues Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, and Carmen Perez last week, showcasing what appeared to be blatant anti-Semitism on one of her social media properties.
The Jewish Post reports that on March 17, Bland re-posted a message from social justice activist Jesse Rabinowitz about the mass shootings at a pair of mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The shocking and bizarre screed blamed “Islamophobia” for the more than four dozen deaths at the hands of a crazed shooter, but in a way that laid the blame squarely at the feet of critics of anti-Semitism — and the “American Jewish Establishment.”
“The same language and hate that folks spew against Sisters Linda Sarsour and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) killed 54 Muslims in New Zealand. You can’t stand in solidarity with the Muslim community and simultaneously disavow Muslim women for speaking their truths. American Jewish Establishment, I’m looking at you,” the post read.
Commenters were quick to point out that the post called out “hate,” but then went on to encourage a different kind of hate, only against American Jews. One commenter was blunt in her response to Bland, chastizing the Women’s March leader for using a mass shooting event as a catalyst for blatant and divisive anti-Semitism: “My biggest fear is that the entire purpose of your post was to somehow insult or shame Jews.”
Bland, it should be noted, did not remove the post, and still has not removed the post, more than a week later. Instead, she simply excused her own ignorance by claiming she was juggling motherhood at the time she shared Rabinowitz’s thoughts, and that she did not read the missive to the end.
Ultimately, she didn’t say she would not have shared the post, only that she would have added that “white Christian supremacy” is also responsible for the spead of hatred along with, apparently, Judaism.
“Hey- it has come to my attention that some people are upset that I shared Jesse’s post. I was juggling 2 kids on a Sunday + not being mindful. I’m sorry. I do agree with the first 2 sentences that Jesse said, except I would extend it to all establishment politicians of both parties, of any or no faith. Words matter and I should have clarified,” Bland said in the comments section of her post. “If I had time, I would have also said that white Christian supremacy is the real threat + driver of these terror attacks on a global scale.”
“What all the recent terrorists have in common are a shared ideology of anti-Blackness, Islamophobia, anti-semitism and xenophobia, which is why we need to focus on attacking the evils of white supremacy + not tearing down WOC,” she continued. “Again, my apologies and I will be more considerate in the future.”
As with most Women’s March responses to blatant anti-Semitism on the part of its leadership, Bland’s “apology” is merely an excuse, watering down a hateful statement with a plea to intersectionality.
Bland has, perhaps unintentionally, been an outlier among the four current Women’s March leaders in that, until now, she has resisted the urge to make overt anti-Semitic statements. Her colleagues — Sarsour, Mallory, and Perez — have all been vocal, at one time or another, about their issues with Jewish colleagues or their ties to the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam. Both Sarsour and Perez have a long history with NOI and its hateful preacher, Louis Farrakhan, and Mallory was revealed, in a pair of twin exposés released late last year, to have bullied a Jewish Women’s March organizer.
Bland, who was with the Women’s March from the beginning, did, reportedly, witness Mallory’s exchanges, and did not pursue action against her. Instead, Bland kept the core group of four Women’s March leaders together, even after the rhetoric and close ties to NOI were revealed. As a result, support for the Women’s March has crumbled; most major sponsors pulled out of the national March this past January, and local groups have taken pains to distance themselves from the national group, led by Bland, Sarsour, Mallory, and Perez.