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January 14, 2019 4:53 pm

In National TV Appearance, Women’s March Leaders Again Refuse to Condemn Farrakhan

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Women’s March leaders Tamika Mallory (second from left) and Bob Bland (center) appear on ABC’s ‘The View,’ Jan. 14, 2019. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

Two Women’s March leaders repeatedly refused to condemn Nation of Islam (NOI) leader and prominent antisemite Louis Farrakhan during an appearance on ABC‘s talk show “The View” on Monday.

Queried about her presence at a NOI Savior’s Day event last yearwhere she posed for a picture with Farrakhan, that she later posted on social media with a caption calling Farrakhan the “GOAT” or “Greatest Of All Time,” Tamika Mallory sought to relativize the issue, saying, “I think it’s important to put my attendance, my presence at Savior’s Day, which is the highest holy day for the Nation of Islam, in proper context.”

“You know, as a leader, as a black leader, in a country that is still dealing with some very serious unresolved issues as it relates to the black experience in this country, I go into a lot of difficult spaces,” she continued.

“I wrote a piece immediately following the beginning of this controversy, talking about, wherever my people are, that’s where I must also be,” she said. “So I also go into prisons, where there are people who have been convicted of heinous acts. And I am trying to help people to move from wherever they are today, and build that unity to bring them to a place where we live in a more fair and equitable society. And I think that that work is not easy for everyone to understand, but it’s certainly work that I’m committed to and everywhere I go is difficult.”

She then appeared to accuse other Women’s March leaders of racism, saying, “The Women’s March was very difficult. I met with a lot of women who did not even understand why race was important to be a part of the conversation as it relates to women’s rights issues, and there was a lot of offensive rhetoric that I heard.”

“Just because you go into a space with someone does not mean that you agree with everything that they say,” she added.

“I didn’t call him the greatest of all time because of his rhetoric,” she said of Farrakhan, “I called him the greatest of all time because of what he’s done in black communities.”

This was followed by heavy applause from the audience.

Asked about recent revelations that Mallory and Carmen Perez had berated another Women’s March leader with antisemitic rhetoric — including that Jews were responsible for the African slave trade — Mallory’s colleague Bob Bland flatly denied the allegations.

“That is not how that meeting happened,” she said.

Asked if the people involved were lying, Bland replied, “The people that the journalist spoke to did not tell the truth.”

“The Women’s March unequivocally condemns antisemitism, bigotry,” Bland added in a trembling voice. “We have repeatedly, in statement after statement this year … we condemn any statements of hate, and we’ve actually been working so hard over the past two years to fight this type of hate, over and over again, and we’re committed to repairing any harm, because we understand that the Jewish community is feeling hurt right now.”

Asked forthrightly about Farrakhan’s antisemitic statements, including a recent rant in which he compared Jews to termites, Mallory said, “I don’t agree with many of Minister Farrakhan’s statements.”

Asked again to condemn them, Mallory simply repeated, “I don’t agree with these statements.”

“It’s not my language, it’s not the way that I speak, it’s not how I organize,” she elaborated, “and I think it’s very clear over the 20 years of my own personal activism, my own personal track record, who I am, and that I should never be judged through the lens of a man, that is not actually what this women’s movement is supposed to be about.”

This was also met with applause from the audience.

Watch Mallory and Bland’s appearance on ‘The View’ below:

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