Women’s March leaders Bob Bland and Tamika Mallory appeared on “The View” Monday and responded to questions about the group's ties to anti-Semitic leader Louis Farrakhan. Mallory once again failed to directly condemn Farrakhan's anti-Semitic comments.
Mallory even defended remarks she had made calling Farrakhan “the GOAT” or the “Greatest of All Time” on Instagram. She argued that “I didn’t call him the greatest of all time because of his rhetoric, I called him the greatest of all time because of what he’s done in black communities.”
Mallory explained that comment to "View" host Sunny Hostin who repeatedly pressed her on her attendance at Farrakhan’s “Savior’s Day.”
“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,” Mallory said. “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 went on to argue that her attendance at the event didn’t mean she agreed with what was said, despite her other remarks praising Farrakhan.
“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. “Just because you go into a space with someone does not mean that you agree with everything that they say.”
Women's March co-president @TamikaDMallory on her association with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has routinely spoken disparagingly about Jews, and if she condemns his statements: "I don't agree with many of Minister Farrakhan's statements." https://t.co/f8u2wc159S pic.twitter.com/I4py6l3bN7— The View (@TheView) January 14, 2019
At this point, McCain quoted Farrakhan’s remarks in which he said, “I’m not anti-Semite, I’m anti-termite”; “It’s the wicked Jews, the false Jews, that are promoting lesbianism.”
“A lot of people — and by a lot of people I include myself — think you’re using your organization as anti-Semitism masked in activism and you’re using identity politics to shield yourself from criticism,” McCain said.
“Do you condemn Farrakhan’s remarks about Jewish people?” McCain asked.
“Yes, and we have repeatedly, in statement after statement this year, which are available directly on our website for anyone to read,” Bland claimed in response.
However, Mallory would not specifically condmen Farrakhan’s remarks about Jewish people in her reply to McCain.
“What I will say to you is that I don’t agree with many of Minister Farrakhan’s statements,” Mallory said.
“Do you condemn them?” McCain asked.
“I don’t agree with these statements,” Mallory repeated.
“You won’t condemn it,” McCain pointed out.
“To be clear, it is not my language, it is not the way that I speak,” Mallory said.
"The Women's March unequivocally condemns anti-Semitism, bigotry..."— The View (@TheView) January 14, 2019
Co-president @bobblanddesign addresses anti-Semitic allegations surrounding the organization: "We condemn any statements of hate and... we're committed to repairing any type of harm." https://t.co/f8u2wc159S pic.twitter.com/Y9SDi9S56C
“View” host Whoopi Goldberg later asked Mallory if she planned to step down from leading the Women’s March. The movement’s original founder, Teresa Shook, recently called on the group’s leadership to do.
“I am willing to lead until my term at Women’s March is up,” Mallory replied.
A recent report by the Tablet alleged that Women’s March co-chairs Carmen Perez and Tamika Mallory in one of their first meetings “asserted that Jewish people bore a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people—and even, according to a close secondhand source, claimed that Jews were proven to have been leaders of the American slave trade.”
Bland and Mallory told “View” host Meghan McCain that the allegations of what was said in that first meeting were untrue.
However, in earlier comments to The New York Times, the group’s leaders admitted that the role of Jewish women was discussed in their first meeting.
“Since that conversation, we’ve all learned a lot about how while white Jews, as white people, uphold white supremacy, ALL Jews are targeted by it,” Mallory said in a statement to The Times.
That comment earned her another round of criticism.
The Women’s March continues to lose high profile support over their ties with anti-Semitism. Some of the group’s sister marches have been cancelled due to the controversy.
The Southern Poverty Law Center and Emily’s List are not partners of the march this year and actresses Alyssa Milano and Debra Messing have also pulled their support of the march.
One Women’s March partner, Planned Parenthood, announced their continued support of the organization despite the anti-Semitism controversy.