Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory repeatedly refused to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in an appearance Monday on ABC’s The View in a heated exchange with hosts Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain, who grilled Mallory about the hate preacher’s anti-Semitic views, JTA reported.
The Women’s March leader was questioned by McCain, who said, “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, homosexuality,” quoting Farrakhan.
“We did not make those remarks,” replied Mallory. “What I will say to you is that I don’t agree with many of Minister Farrakhan’s statements.” Asked about his views about Jewish people, Mallory remarked, “As I said, I don’t agree with many of Minister Farrakhan’s statements.”
“You condemn them?” asked McCain. “I don’t agree with these statements,” replied Mallory, prompting McCain to retort, “You won’t condemn it.”
Co-host Sunny Hostin had previously grilled Mallory about her labeling of Farrakhan as the GOAT, an acronym for the “greatest of all time.”
“Tamika, you came under some fire for your relationship with Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam,” Hostin told the guest. “He’s known for being anti-Semitic, for being homophobic, but you do attend his events and you posted… a photo calling him the G.O.A.T., which means the greatest of all time. You are running an organization that says it fights bigotry. Do you understand why your association with him is quite problematic?”
Mallory fired back, saying “just because you go into a space with someone that does not mean that you agree with everything that they say.” But Hostin immediately pushed back, asking Mallory why she had called Farrakhan “the greatest of all time.”
“I didn’t call him the greatest of all time because of his rhetoric,” Mallory responded. “I called him the greatest of all time because of what he’s done in black communities.”
Mallory was joined on the show by Women’s March co-chair Bob Bland, who said allegations of racism against the organization’s national leadership were “not true.”
“So the journalist I spoke to was lying?” McCain asked. Bland responded that journalists were receiving untruthful insight and said the Women’s March “unequivocally condemns anti-Semitism.” McCain then asked if Bland condemns Farrakhan’s remarks about Jewish people. “Yes,” Bland said —something Mallory failed to do at any point in the interview.
The heated exchange comes after the Women’s March has been embroiled in months of controversy over allegations of anti-Semitism. Tablet Magazine reported last month that during the first meeting of the Women’s March in November 2016, leaders of the organization endorsed virulent anti-Semitic tropes, claiming that Jews were “leaders of the American slave trade” and “bore a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people.”
Though a number of sources have cited this incident, Mallory and Bland deny that any such mention of Jews was made at the first meeting.
The controversy over the anti-Semitism of the Women’s March leaders has prompted a number of local organizations to disassociate themselves from the national movement. Also, national groups that had previously supported the Women’s March, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and Emily’s List, are not supporting this year’s march.
[Photo: The View / YouTube ]