Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory, who has repeatedly refused to distance herself from anti-Semitic hate preacher and Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan, told Elle Magazine in an interview published Wednesday that she has no plans to distance herself from the Nation of Islam organization and sees no reason why she should have to.
“I have been caricatured as someone who is an uncritical supporter of Louis Farrakhan and his every word and deed. That is not true,” Mallory writes, in her essay, clearly designed to alleviate some of the concerns currently dogging the Women’s March organization. “Trust and believe, Minister Farrakhan is clear that I do not agree with everything that he says.”
Oddly enough, though, Mallory isn’t specific about which parts of Farrakhan’s belief system she objects to, even though it seems rather simple to say, “I reject Minister Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic remarks, and do not believe the Jewish people are termites, nor the spawn of Satan.”
Instead, Mallory insists Nation of Islam does good work and she sees no reason to distance herself from the organization.
“To be effective when organizing people who have been discarded by society it does not make sense for me to throw away an organization — like the Nation of Islam — that has been very effective at reaching the hearts and minds of young black men to turning them away from violence,” Mallory insists.
As for the criticism over her connections to the Nation of Islam, and particularly her attendance at Farrakhan’s “Savior’s Day” event where he preached hatred against the Jewish people while Mallory sat stone-faced in the audience, well, that’s just the right-wing noise machine “obsessed” with pillorying a strong woman.
“Other people are obsessed with my relationship with Minister Farrakhan,” Mallory claims. “I am obsessed with empowerment in the black community.”
That’s a line that the Women’s March leadership has used repeatedly, but it’s not conservative organizations doing the digging on their institutional anti-Semitism. Both Tablet Magazine and The New York Times revealed conversations which took place during the formative weeks of the Women’s March, exposing the leadership’s — and, in particular, Mallory’s — virulent hatred for the Jewish people.
The New York Times wrote:
Vanessa Wruble, a Brooklyn-based activist, said she told the group that her Jewish heritage inspired her to try to help repair the world. But she said the conversation took a turn when Tamika Mallory, a black gun control activist, and Carmen Perez, a Latina criminal justice reform activist, replied that Jews needed to confront their own role in racism.
Tablet was even clearer:
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.
Those remarks are precisely why Mallory’s claims ring hollow. If she disagreed with Louis Farrakhan on the subject of his own anti-Semitism, she’d be able to outline precisely where her ideology departs from the Nation of Islam’s. But at every available opportunity, Mallory has shied away from explicitly condemning Farrakhan’s speeches and beliefs.
Instead, she does as she did with Elle Magazine, and with The View co-hosts on Monday, when she also refused to denounce Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism: she turns the blame around on the questioner, as if somehow distancing herself from Louis Farrakhan would have any dramatic impact on her ability to agitate for racial equality.