The Women’s March has replaced three board members who have been accused of antisemitism — though it has retained Carmen Perez (above right), who has faced similar accusations.
The Washington Post reported Monday:
The Women’s March is cutting ties with three inaugural board members who have been dogged by accusations of anti-Semitism, infighting and financial mismanagement — controversies some say have slowed the organization’s progress and diminished its impact.
Co-Chairs Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour stepped down from the board July 15, though the organization has been slow to announce their departures. The Women’s March website continued to host their photos and titles as co-chairs through this week, when the group announced the board turnover.
The accusations of antisemitism involve ties between the group’s leaders and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a well-known racist and antisemite.
As Breitbart News noted earlier this month:
[Sarsour] has worked with the notorious antisemite and racist Louis Farrakhan, speaking at a Nation of Islam event and defending his organization. Under her leadership, the Women’s March developed ties with Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, including the alleged use of members of the movement to provide security at Women’s March events. Sarsour and other leaders later apologized for having been slow to criticize antisemitism, but did not condemn Farrakhan or his long record of antisemitic hatred.
The new board of 17 members boasts a “diverse cast,” the Post notes. The Post portrays the reshuffle as an attempt to start fresh, without the cloud of antisemitism: the title of its article is “Women’s March cutting ties with three original board members accused of anti-Semitism.”
However, the Post notes, “Co-Chair Carmen Perez … will stay.” Perez has also been accused of antisemitism, and her ties to — and praise of — Farrakhan have also been close.
The online Jewish magazine Tablet reported last December that “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.”
Perez was also mentioned in connection with a specific episode of antisemitism within the Women’s March leadership, when activist Evvie Harmon reported that they had attacked Jews specifically at a meeting:
I suddenly realized that Tamika and Carmen were facing Vanessa, who was sitting on a couch, and berating her—but it wasn’t about her being white. It was about her being Jewish. “Your people this, your people that.” I was raised in the South and the language that was used is language that I’m very used to hearing in rural South Carolina. Just instead of against black people, against Jewish people. They even said to her “your people hold all the wealth.” You could hear a pin drop. It was awful.
The Wall Street Journal noted in January: “Throughout 2016 Ms. Mallory and Ms. Perez shared a steady stream of Farrakhan quotes and video clips on Instagram. In November 2016 Ms. Perez posted a picture of herself holding hands with Mr. Farrakhan.”
Farrakhan praised Perez in February, according to the Times of Israel, claiming that “wicked Jews” were trying to divide the women’s movement.
It is not clear, either from the Post article or the Women’s March website, whether Perez is being retained as an ordinary board member or will continue as co-chair.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.