This week, we found out once and for all that the dominant philosophy of the modern left — intersectionality — has no place for Jews. What else can we conclude after watching the spectacle of leftists from all walks defend the leaders of the Women’s March for their association with open anti-Semite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan?
In February, Women’s March co-chair Tamika Mallory was caught on tape attending the Savior’s Day service with Farrakhan. At that service, Farrakhan stated, “The powerful Jews are my enemy,” adding, “Satan is going down. And Farrakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew, and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through.” Farrakhan has famously praised Adolf Hitler.
Mallory still hasn’t apologized for her association with Farrakhan, instead defending her Nation of Islam connections by stating that she’s been attending such events for 30 years. She also added, “Jesus had a number of enemies, as do all Black leaders.” Meanwhile, it turns out that co-chair Carmen Perez was also a Farrakhan fan — she posted a photo from 2015 showing herself holding hands with him. Fellow Women’s March co-chair Linda Sarsour has also stood with Farrakhan, speaking at a Nation of Islam event.
Women’s March leaders have continued to hesitate in condemning Farrakhan, and that includes Jewish women. Judy Levey of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs was oh-so delicate when she told The Forward, “People don’t always express themselves on every single issue in ways that we would be comfortable, but it’s really important that when we share values, we work together to raise up urgent issues that we all face.”
In the intersectional hierarchy of identity politics, Jews rank relatively low.
That’s the rub, here, naturally. A good number of leftist Jews are leftists first and Jews second; their religious identity runs second to their political identity. And the Women’s March is a deeply leftist institution — its leadership routinely pushes abortion-on-demand, government-paid child care and so-called anti-discrimination laws that target religious institutions. Jews who find this sort of agenda primary are willing to let a little bit of anti-Semitism slide, much in the way that Jews who preferred President Donald Trump were willing to wink at Steve Bannon.
Even more disappointing is the willingness of leftist Jews to let Jewish ethnicity slide into the background in favor of the intersectional coalition building. Intersectionality suggests that we can determine the value of viewpoints by looking at the “interlocking” group identities of the person speaking — so, for example, a Black lesbian has different experiences and, to the left’s point, more valuable experiences than a white straight man. Jewish ethnic identity, therefore, should play some role in the intersectional coalition of the left, which is dedicated to the proposition that America is a brutal place to those of minority status.
But there’s one problem: In the intersectional hierarchy of identity politics, Jews rank relatively low. That’s because Jews are on average financially successful and educationally overachieving. And this means that Jews slandered by the likes of Louis Farrakhan or his Women’s March allies must take a back seat on the intersectional bus. Anti-Semitism matters less coming from minority victim groups than it does from others, apparently.
This has been the case for years. Last year, the self-titled Dyke March in Chicago banned rainbow flags with Jewish stars because they supposedly “made people feel unsafe” — pro-Palestinian groups were unhappy with the juxtaposition of gay rights and a flag that looked somewhat Israeli. The march was billed as an “anti-racist, anti-violent, volunteer-led, grass-roots mobilization and celebration of dyke, queer, bisexual, and transgender resilience.” Tolerance was not extended, however, to gay Jews flying their flag.
Anti-Semitism is unacceptable in any guise. During the last election cycle, I spoke out repeatedly about anti-Semitism in the alt-right, and blasted the Trump campaign for failing to properly disassociate from the alt-right. Trump, thankfully, has disassociated from the alt-right publicly. The fact that so much of the left is willing to embrace the Women’s March leadership rather than calling them to account is a true shandah.
Ben Shapiro is a best-selling author, editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire and host of the conservative podcast “The Ben Shapiro Show.”