Women’s March Leader Mallory: Farrakhan Great for What He’s Done in Black Communities

Monday on ABC’s “The View,” co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain took on the two leaders of the Women’s March over their ties to the leader of the Nation of Islam Louis Farrakhan, who has made anti-Semitic public comments in the past.

Co-host Sunny Hostin asked, “There has been some controversy surrounding the Women’s March Organization. And Tamika, you came under some fire for your relationship with Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. Now, he’s known for being anti-Semitic, for being homophobic, but you do attend his events, and you posted, I believe, a photo together calling him the GOAT, which means the greatest of all time. And you are running an organization that says it fights bigotry. Do you understand why your association with him is quite problematic?”

Organizer Tamika Mallory answered, “I think it’s important to put my attendance, my presence at Savior’s Day, which is the highest holy day for the Nation of Islam, in proper context. You know, as a leader, as a black leader in a country that is still dealing with some very serious unresolved issues as it relates to the black experience in this country, I go into a lot of difficult spaces. I wrote a piece immediately following the beginning of this controversy talking about wherever my people are, that’s where I must also be. So I also go into prisons where there are people who have been convicted of heinous acts, and I am trying to help people to move from wherever they are today and build that unity to bring them to a place where we live in a more fair and equitable society, and I think that that work is not easy for everyone to understand, but it’s certainly work that I’m committed to. And everywhere that I go is difficult. The Women’s March was very difficult. I met with a lot of women who did not even understand why race was important to be a part of the conversation as it relates to women’s rights issues, and there was a lot of, you know, offensive rhetoric that I heard. And you know, just because you go into a space with someone does not mean that you agree with everything that they say.”

Hostin interjected, “But let me push back a little bit. Why call him the greatest of all time?”

Mallory continued, “I didn’t call him the greatest of all time because of his rhetoric, I called him the greatest of all time because of what he’s done in black communities.”

Co-host Meghan McCain said, “Let me just interject really quickly. I would never be comfortable supporting someone who said, ‘I’m not anti-Semite, I’m anti-termite. It’s the wicked Jews, the false Jews, that are promoting lesbianism.'”

She added, “A lot of people — and by a lot of people I include myself — think you’re using your organization as anti-Semitism masked in activism, and you’re using identity politics to shield yourself from critics.”

Organizer Bob Bland said, “I’ll be very clear in this room, that the Women’s March unequivocally condemns anti-Semitism, bigotry.”

McCain said, “Do you condemn Farrakhan’s remarks about Jewish people?”

Bland said, “Yes, and we have repeatedly, in statement after statement this year, which are available directly on our website for anyone to read.”

Mallory said, “What I will say to you is that I don’t agree with many of Minister Farrakhan’s statements.”

McCain asked, “Do you condemn them?”

Mallory said, “I don’t agree with these statements.”

McCain said, “You won’t condemn it.”

Mallory added, “To be clear, it is not my language, it is not the way that I speak. It is not how I organize.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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