Since its inception, the Women’s March has had a problem with anti-Semitism. Recent events have drawn attention to these attitudes that previously percolated just below the surface. Now, the leaders of the Women’s March have a binary choice: either condemn anti-Semitism and force its leaders to sever relationships with those who espouse anti-Semitic beliefs, or double down and risk losing momentum.
On Monday, Women’s March founder Teresa Shook called on current leaders of the movement to step down, saying that they “have steered he movement away from its true course” by allowing anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in their ranks.
Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez of Women’s March, Inc. have steered the Movement away from its true course. I have waited, hoping they would right the ship. But they have not. In opposition to our Unity Principles, they have allowed anti-Semitism, anti-LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform by their refusal to separate themselves from groups that espouse these racist, hateful beliefs. I call for the current Co-Chairs to step down and to let others lead who can restore faith in the Movement and its original intent.
In response, the Women’s March condemned their founder’s remarks, saying that she had weighed in “irresponsibly.”
Today, Teresa Shook weighed in, irresponsibly, as have other organizations attempting in this moment to take advantage of our growing pains to try and fracture our network. Groups that have benefited from our work but refuse to organize in accordance with our Unity Principles clearly have no interest in building the world our principles envision. They have not done the work to mobilize women from diverse backgrounds across the nation.
Last month, a shooter opened fire in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, killing 11 people. The suspected shooter’s anti-Semitic statements drew the attention to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has connections to several Women’s March leaders. In a recent speech that he tweeted out just days before the deadly synagogue shooting, Farrakhan compared Jews to termites. In the past, he has called Adolf Hitler a “great man.”
Read more at The Federalist.