But just because the right has failed to confront anti-Semitism within its ranks doesn’t mean the left should fail, too. The Women’s March organizers should understand this better than anyone. It’s a poor look for those who call themselves activists, and who say they’re concerned with inclusivity and intersectionality, to defend someone who has crusaded against both of those ideas. Some may see Farrkhan as a truth-teller when it comes to race relations, but his record reaches beyond that. He’s an anti-Semite, he’s a homophobe and he’s a misogynist. Spearheading a movement that’s about building a better world for women of all colors and creeds means opposing advocacy that attacks women of any color or creed.
Many in Farrakhan’s corner seem to miss this point. They like to reply to criticism by citing the Israeli occupation. But respect for Judaism and those who practice it doesn’t require approval of each and every action the Israeli state takes, no matter what some of this week’s AIPAC conference attendees might suggest. A feminist who really believes in inclusivity and intersectionality would fight for the Palestinian women who suffer under Israel’s policies and for the Jewish women here and abroad who suffer when anti-Semitism extends its reach. And she could do that without suggesting either of those forms of oppression is the same as the everyday suffering of black women in a racist America.