December 11, 2018

Women’s March Issues Statement Addressing Farrakhan Controversy

After being under fire for one of its leaders attending a Louis Farrakhan speech, the Women’s March issued a statement on Mar. 6 addressing the issue.

The statement claimed that the Women’s March was committed to fighting against “anti-Semitism, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia.”

“Minister Farrakhan’s statements about Jewish, queer, and trans people are not aligned with the Women’s March Unity Principles, which were created by women of color leaders and are grounded in Kingian Nonviolence,” the statement read. “Women’s March is holding conversations with queer, trans, Jewish and Black members of both our team and larger movement to create space for understanding and healing.”

They then claimed that they had been silent over the Farrakhan controversy for nine days because they have been “holding these conversations and are trying to intentionally break the cycles that pit our communities against each other.”

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt praised the Women’s March for their “strong statement”:

However, others felt that the Women’s March statement was too weak and didn’t adequately address the controversy:

The controversy started when Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory attended the Nation of Islam’s Saviour Day, where Farrakhan issued a speech that was laced with a variety of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Mallory and the rest of Women’s March leaders remained largely silent about it until the Mar. 6 statement.

Mallory and two other Women’s March leaders, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour, have prior connections to Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam that were not addressed in the statement.