It has been a week and a half since Tablet magazine detailed extensive allegations of anti-Semitism and financial corruption on the part of the Women’s March leadership.
The organization, which since November 2016 has organized grassroots efforts across the country to demonstrate and vote against the Trump administration, has yet to offer a formal statement on the exposé. And so far, not one of the more than 100 partners and sponsors of the Women’s March has raised a fuss over the story — including more than 20 high-profile groups that National Review contacted directly seeking comment.
As of this morning, the Women’s March website still featured a November 20 statement from co-chair Linda Sarsour side-stepping demands from the group’s founder that the current co-chairs resign over their support for anti-Semitic Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Farrakhan.
The Tablet essay, by Leah McSweeney and Jacob Siegel, from earlier this month added fuel to that fire. Several sources told the magazine that at the leaders’ first meeting in November 2016, Carmen Perez and Tamika Mallory, now co-chairs along with Sarsour, “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.”
Later, Mallory and Perez allegedly “berated” one of the group’s leaders over the fact that she was Jewish, saying, “Your people this, your people that” and “Your people hold all the wealth.” The co-chairs have also been accused by former group leaders of reshaping the financial structure of the organization for their personal benefit and of employing members of the NOI security team for Women’s March events.
According to Tablet, the Women’s March pushed back against several of the claims in the article, but instead of publishing an official statement in response, the group contracted with a PR firm, which contacted a number of journalists who had shared the report on social media and told them that Tablet was planning substantial corrections. The PR representative told reporters that she’d provide proof, but only if they agreed to go off the record and delete any posts sharing the original article.
But Tablet’s eventual minor corrections did nothing to alter the substance of the allegations against the Women’s March leaders. For their part, Mallory, Sarsour, and Perez posted a video on Facebook accusing Tablet’s sources of lying and challenging them to a public debate, an invitation that has been ignored.
Behavior like this is generally not taken as the sign of a healthy and flourishing political-action group. Already some local chapters of the Women’s March have disbanded as a result of the national organization’s continued relationship with NOI and refusal to flatly condemn anti-Semitism.
In the wake of this disarray, the group is planning its third March on Washington. The lack of basic organization is fairly evident: The Women’s March website has a sponsorship page that lists partners for the 2017 March on Washington rather than the one that took place this past January, and their press contact failed to answer National Review’s request for a full list of confirmed sponsors for the upcoming January 19 event.
National Review contacted more than 20 of the most prominent organizations among the listed sponsors, asking whether they’re sponsoring the Women’s March again in January and asking for comment on the anti-Semitism allegations levied in the Tablet report.
The vast majority of those 2017 sponsors never replied — including pro-abortion groups such as Emily’s List, NARAL, the National Organization for Women, and the National Abortion Federation; unions such as the ACLU, AFL-CIO, the SEIU, and the health-care union 1199SEIU; and progressive outfits such as the NAACP, GLAAD, MoveOn.org, and the Human Rights Campaign.
Planned Parenthood, which is listed as the Women’s March’s “exclusive premiere sponsor,” also ignored National Review’s request for comment, but Erica Sackin, the group’s senior communications director, offered the following comment to Refinery29 when asked about the Tablet report:
The Women’s March has become a symbol of our collective resistance to these damaging and discriminatory policies and Planned Parenthood is proud to once again, join our progressive partners for the #WomensWave mobilization to protect and advance the progress we’ve made as a movement dedicated to equity and justice for all people. . . . We must also unequivocally reaffirm, as the Women’s March leadership has, that there is no place for anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, or any kind of bigotry in our communities, our progressive movement, and our country. We will continue to work with the Women’s March to hold ourselves and each other accountable to the Unity Principles that are the basis of our partnership.
A spokesperson for the American Federation of Teachers directed National Review to Facebook, where the group’s president had posted a picture of herself posing with Mallory and Sarsour, along with the caption: “While we don’t agree on everything, [Sarsour] and [Mallory] are warriors for justice and I am honored to know them and work with them & call them friends..[sic] glad to have this meeting today w/ them & @Skleinbaum debunking myths.”
Ariel Gold, national co-director of Code Pink, a progressive anti-war group, told National Review via email that the group has partnered with the Women’s March every year since 2016 and is “excited” to be doing so again in January. “We are big supporters of Linda Sarsour and are are [sic] appalled by the way she has been attacked,” Gold added. “Far from being anti-semitic, Linda is on the frontlines of fighting anti-semitism. This is an underhanded attempt to divide the movement that Linda helps lead for freedom and dignity and protection for all.”
A spokesperson for the Center for American Progress, meanwhile, wrote to National Review, “We weren’t involved in the planning of the March, but we support the millions of women who came out and exercised their first amendment rights and made their voices heard. And to be crystal clear — anti-Semitism has no place in this or any other movement.”
The failure of prominent left-wing sponsors to condemn the Women’s March leadership for their entanglements with noted anti-Semites — and their alleged expression of anti-Semitic views themselves — is a clear example of how toxic the far Left is becoming, and of just how much progressive allies are willing to overlook for the sake of advancing their intersectional movement.