In the two years since the first Women’s March in January 2017, the nonprofit and leaders behind the nationwide organization and Washington D.C.-based event have fielded several accusations of anti-Semitism. On Monday’s episode of The View, we got a very nuanced and fair look at the controversy from none other than Meghan McCain. (Just kidding, it was horrible.)
Some of these criticisms have been rooted in the projection that co-chair Linda Sarsour’s support of Palestine and the BDS movement is anti-Semitic in itself, while others have gone after co-chair Tamika Mallory for her photo with Nation of Islam leader and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan taken at a Savior’s Day ceremony. Host Sunny Hostin asked Mallory why she called Farrakhan the “GOAT” in an Instagram post. “I didn’t call him the greatest of all time because of his rhetoric,” Mallory responded. “I called him the greatest of all time for what he’s done in black communities.”
Not good enough for McCain. “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,” she told Mallory. “You’re talking about all women being invited to that march? I am pro-life, we were not invited. We were not allowed at that march. I’m a conservative woman. You’re talking about all women, including Jewish women as well, and conservative women.”
Bland disputed that the march was hostile to anti-choice and conservative women, but considering the march was started explicitly in reaction to the election of President Donald Trump—who’s been accused of sexual harassment or assault by over a dozen women—it seems pretty obvious why the march wouldn’t go out of its way to placate conservatives!
McCain referred to a report in the Jewish news site Tablet, which described a culture within the organization that is unwelcoming to Jewish women. Bland denied the honesty of the reporting featured in Tablet’s piece, and said the organization “unequivocally condemns anti-Semitism, bigotry,” as well as Farrakhan’s remarks about Jewish people, which Bland said the organization had done “repeatedly.” (Here’s one statement, put out in March of last year.)
Mallory, on the other hand, said she didn’t “agree with those statements” made by Farrakhan. “You won’t condemn it,” McCain shot back. “It is not my language, it is not the way that I speak,” Mallory said.
At the end of the segment, co-host Whoopi Goldberg asked Mallory if she understood why some see Mallory stepping down as a prerequisite to any further conversations about the Women’s March. “I also know of people who don’t want me to step down, and so there’s both sides of that,” Mallory said. “There are people who actually support my leadership, and I am willing to lead until my term at Women’s March is up.”
If you really want to, you can watch the entire cringeworthy segment below: