Women’s March leader under fire for attending Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic speech
A Women's March co-chair is fighting off calls to resign after being accused of supporting an anti-Semitic speech by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Tamika D. Mallory has spent the last few days fending off waves of criticism for attending the strong-worded speech in Chicago late last month, during which Farrakhan spun the "Time's Up" phrase against the "Satanic Jew."
Mallory repeatedly tried to explain her stance, including with a thread of tweets after repeated backlash.
"I am and always have been against all forms of racism. I am committed to ending anti-black racism, antisemitism, homophobia & transphobia. This is why I helped create an intersectional movement to bring groups together," she tweeted.
"I am a Black woman and a mother and while I do the hard work and learn along the way, I also won't accept abuse and attacks. I won't stand for it because I don't deserve it. I risk my life every day so my Black son & live freely and safely. I hope you are committed to my son too."
Farrakhan's anti-Semitic remarks were part of a Savior's Day speech, honoring Nation of Islam founder Wallace Fard Muhammad.
He repeatedly railed against Jewish people, alleging they controlled governments around the globe and "when you want something in this world, the Jew holds the door."
The Anti-Defamation League lambasted Mallory and Women's March co-founders Carmen Perez and Linda Sansour for past ties to Farrakhan.
"It is impossible to imagine any other group being asked to tolerate seeing celebrities, public figures, and elected officials embrace a person who openly calls for their death," ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt wrote in an op-ed published last week.
Perez told Refinery29 in January of Farrakhan, "There are no perfect leaders."
Mallory's presence also upset participants of the Women's March, which took place nationwide in January 2017 and earlier this year.
"What do you think? Farrakhan speaks despicable lies/how can you stand with him. Gross..." she tweeted Friday.
Mallory, who tried to explain her positions in a string of tweets Sunday night, said her goal was to bring people together — not be divisive.
"Empathy for each other requires that we listen, reflect, attempt to understand, and give space for nuance & complexities of the different communities we come from. This isn't gonna be easy. I know that," she wrote.
The Women's March said in a statement that Farrakhan’s comments don't reflect its views.
"We will not tolerate anti-Semitism, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia and we condemn these expressions of hatred in all forms," the statement read. "We love and value our sister and co-President Tamika Mallory, who has played a key role in shaping these conversations. Neither we nor she shy away from the fact that intersectional movement building is difficult and often painful."