Last Wednesday I wrote about actress Alyssa Milano’s decision to decline future involvement in the Women’s March because she was disappointed the leaders of the group had previously embraced anti-Semitic leader Louis Farrakhan. “I’m disappointed in the leadership of the Women’s March that they haven’t done it adequately,” Milano said, referring to the need to create distance from Farrakhan.
As the story about Milano’s comments to the Advocate magazine made the rounds, another Hollywood progressive signaled she felt the same way:
— Debra Messing✍🏻 (@DebraMessing) November 9, 2018
But earlier the same day the Women’s March had issued a statement which denounced anti-Semitism but which also seemed to blame the entire controversy on the right: “Many on the right are thrilled to use any tool they can find to divide and undermine our movement…” the statement said.
Women’s March leaders stand against anti-Semitism in all its forms: pic.twitter.com/KLC3W4zZ2H
— Women's March (@womensmarch) November 9, 2018
Today, Jewish magazine Forward published a response which notes that the controversy last week had nothing to do with the right. On the contrary, it stated with a progressive reporter for a well-known gay magazine talking to a progressive actress:
I’m a reporter for The Advocate, the country’s largest LGBTQ publication. The publication is as liberal as it gets; it covers feminism daily and has an editor who specifically covers the issue.
I asked Milano about the Women’s March because Louis Farrakhan is an open enemy to queer people. In 2006, he said, “It’s the wicked Jews, the false Jews, that are promoting lesbianism, homosexuality.” And just this year, he said “Jews were responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out, turning men into women and women into men.”
Collectively, the Women’s March leaders have refused to apologize for praising him and have overlooked his vitriolic hatred of the marginalized communities their intersectional movement claims to represent.
Why is the Women’s March ignoring these details? Why are they blaming the right when the criticism is coming from Jewish and LGBTQ liberals?
I think that we all know the answer to that question. The far left is fond of describing any criticism that they don’t like as controversy cooked-up by the right to make them look bad. They play this card so often that the Women’s March probably didn’t notice that their blame-the-right boilerplate language didn’t apply in this instance. Simply put, no one involved in this immediate controversy is on the right.
Now it is true that people on the right have been covering Farrakhan and the fact that Women’s March leaders have refused to denounce him and even defended him as being similar to Jesus. But the lesson to take from that is not that the left is wrong to criticize the Women’s March co-founders. The lesson is that the right was correct to be doing so all along.
But for people on the far-left like Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, the right can never be morally correct. The right can only be the villains in their partisan drama. And that means that whatever the right believes is automatically tainted and wrong. Therefore, if someone on the left agrees with the right, they must be wrong too and probably in need of some correction.
Indeed, the Forward piece goes on to note that after Milano and Messing publicly took issue with the Women’s March, Sarsour and Mallory began tweeting out articles defending their refusal to denounce Farrakhan and calling out white women as poor allies:
After Debra Messing, a Jewish woman and longtime ally of LGBTQ people, tweeted out that she stands with Alyssa, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour shared articles published on Medium defending their refusal to directly distance themselves from Farrakhan, whose decades of hate-mongering have earned him his own page on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s archives of horrors.
Their thesis? White women are the problem, not Farrakhan.
Sarsour then wrote up a manifesto about white women and how they should be better allies to organizers of color — a giant subtweet to Jewish critics.
And that characterization of Sarsour’s statement as a subtweet is not an exaggeration. Here’s a sample of what Sarsour wrote:
Don’t be the white women who puts conditions on her solidarity with women of color…
Don’t be the white women who call us to do work with them but don’t want to name the real threat – white supremacy – because they think it’s divisive.
Don’t be the white women who will ignore the real threats of white supremacy but use deflections and distractions to blame the violence happening in our communities on anyone and anything but white supremacists, white nationalism and white supremacy.
Gee, I wonder which white women she has in mind?
Forward is not alone in noticing that the Women’s March seems to be trying to blame its problem on the right. Tablet also published a critique of the statement. The subhead sums up the content, “The movement’s leaders treat calls for accountability from Jewish allies as personal attacks or right-wing smears, but the criticism they face is the result of their own actions.”