The NY Times has published a letter from one of the Women’s March organizers responding to an opinion piece the Times published earlier in the week. The previous piece, titled “When Progressives Embrace Hate,” was a critique of the far left extremism of Women’s March organizers, including their fondness for cop-killer Assata Shakur, communist tyrant Fidel Castro and racist nutbag Louis Farrakhan. Today’s response really doesn’t make any effort to deny that the Women’s March organizers are fans of left-wing extremists. Instead, it attacks the author of the piece for failing to get with the preferred narrative:
“When Progressives Embrace Hate,” by Bari Weiss (Opinion, nytimes.com, Aug. 1), perpetuates a flawed narrative that is dangerous for many reasons, most fundamentally because it threatens to divide and distract progressives at a time when we need to stand united.
It frames challenging discussions that our movement must continue to embrace — conversations about struggle and liberation, about inclusion and understanding — as hateful or taboo. Ms. Weiss is endorsing a sensational alt-right attack that aims to discredit the Women’s March movement and its leaders and to derail the progress we have made since January…
The election of Donald Trump was a wake-up call for so many; it revealed an American dystopia that communities on the margin have endured and fought against for generations.
Notice the author (march organizer Bob Bland) isn’t rebutting anything Weiss claimed to be true, she’s just saying the attack hurts the narrative and divides progressives. After some more progressive unity blather, the author concludes by saying Weiss is an apologist for the “white nationalist patriarchy.”
For now, critics like Ms. Weiss are just critics from their seats. Until they get up, listen and do the work to understand those whose feelings have been shaped by injustices, they will remain apologists for the status quo, racist ideology and the white nationalist patriarchy.
Bari Weiss could really point to this response as exhibit A in her own defense. She used facts to accuse the march’s organizers of extremism. Their response is to call America a “dystopia” and accuse Weiss of siding with the “alt-right,” “racist ideology,” and the “patriarchy.” In fact, looking back, it’s clear that Weiss predicted this would be the response from the organizers:
I can already hear the pushback. What’s a few impolitic tweets and photos compared to the horror show of this administration?…Maybe I’ll be accused of siding with the alt-right or tarred as Islamophobic.
I’d say that pretty much nails it. When the march organizers couldn’t defend themselves on the facts, they went on the attack. Anyone who disagrees with their extreme views, including CNN’s Jake Tapper and the NY Times opinion editor, is instantly labeled alt-right. Hopefully, other women are waking up to the fact that the organizers really are extremists and their critics aren’t all racists in league with the patriarchy.