Chicago’s Women’s March 2019 Takes the High Road
Chicago’s Women’s March 2019 Takes the High Road
For the last two years, the Chicago’s Women’s March has averaged more than 100,000 attendees. To say it is a huge draw for Chicago in January is putting it mildly. So it is no small thing for its organizers to cancel plans for next month’s march. The reasons? Supposedly, organizers have claimed high costs and limited volunteers. While that might be true, the fact the Women’s March movement has been plagued by issues of “inclusiveness” for years also play a hand, in large part thanks to Tamika Mallory and her association with Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the cancellation comes as “scrutiny grows” following Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic remarks.
[T] the announcement came after the Chicago chapter condemned and distanced itself the national Women’s March leadership for its ties to anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ statements from Minister Louis Farrakhan of the National of Islam.”
These comments occurred last February at the annual Savior’s Day gathering in Chicago. Tamika Mallory attended the gathering, billed as “the annual Nation of Islam celebration and crowning event of Black History month.” According to the Sun-Times, Farrakhan made “inflammatory statements about ‘powerful Jews’ he considered enemies.” as well as other statements considered by many to be objectionable.
Mallory’s attempts at damage control were too little too late, as yesterday’s decision about the 2019 march indicate. In a statement several weeks after the “event”, Mallory wrote:
I have heard the pain and concerns of my LGBTQAI siblings, my Jewish friends and Black women (including those who do and those who don’t check off either of those other boxes.) I affirm the validity of those feelings, and as I continue to grow and learn as both an activist and as a woman, I will continue to grapple with the complicated nature of working across ideological lines and the question of how to do so without causing harm to vulnerable people.”
Note that the alphabet soup she spews doesn’t list Hispanics, Orientals, Native Americans, or any other of a number of peoples I could name. The “inclusiveness” is lacking, to say the least. For the co-chair of a major women’s organization to be so limited in her area of concern for her gender should be shocking, but it isn’t. It is also indicative of problems that have plagued the Women’s March for several years now.
Which is why the action taken by the Chicago Women’s March organization are so important. Despite calls for Mallory and the rest of the national organization to denounce the Nation of Islam or for that leadership to step down, no such steps have been taken. So the Chicago group took matters into its own hands:
No universe exists in which it is acceptable to support anti-Semitic statements,’ the Chicago chapter said in a statement in March. ‘Women’s March Chicago condemns bigotry in all its forms.’”
The Chicago group has done all it can to distance itself from the national organization. It noted how the group came together independently of the national group in response to the 2016 election. It has condemned statements by Farrakhan , something the national organization continues to dance around.
How much did the negative publicity surrounding Farrakhan’s comments and Mallory’s song-and-dance have on the 2019 Chicago march? We’ll never really know. It is more than a little conceivable they led to the decline in monies donated and the lack of volunteers to staff the event.
Mallory might consider herself a freedom fighter but she associates with a man who would see the end of not only whites but Jews and others. It has been less than two months since he led the chant of “Death to America” in Iran.
In October, Alan Dershowitz called on Barack Obama and Keith Ellison to denounce statements by Farrakhan comparing Jews to “insects”.
‘He’s blamed the Jews for all the problems of the world. He’s called Judaism a religion of Satan,’ Dershowitz said.”
Those two politicians, much like Mallory, did a song-and-dance but never really condemned the comments or the commenter. The Chicago Women’s March organization took the high road.. It may have taken them some time and there may have been other factors that helped lead to their decision, but they publicly commented and are sticking to their guns. After all, do any of us really believe the national organization would have let the march be cancelled without at least attempting to funnel cash into it first? We’re talking an average of 100,000 people taking part. Think of the way the media would have played it up, especially coming as closely after the Democrats take control of the House?
Good on you, Chicago Women’s March. Kudos for standing up for the right things and for pledging to “plan another activity for the day of the canceled march on Jan. 19.” Good for you for resisting any pressure that may have been leveled at you to stay in the fold. Resist the urge to give in and continue standing for what is important: inclusiveness and equality should apply across the board, not just to a few. That is something those who support Farrakhan and those like him either forget or ignore.
Featured Image via Pixabay (ArtwithPam)