Tablet Magazine exposes how the Women’s March has been hijacked by radicals.
An investigation by Tablet magazine on the Women’s March has exposed the anti-Semitic beliefs and ties to Nation of Islam that many of us on the right have known about.
But now that it’s out in the open (again), will anyone pay attention and dump these leaders so many of them prop up? The racist beliefs came out from the very beginning, but many members decided to hide them:
It was there that, as the women were opening up about their backgrounds and personal investments in creating a resistance movement to Trump, Perez and Mallory allegedly first 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. These are canards popularized by The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, a book published by Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam—“the bible of the new anti-Semitism,” according to Henry Louis Gates Jr., who noted in 1992: “Among significant sectors of the black community, this brief has become a credo of a new philosophy of black self-affirmation.”
To this day, Mallory and Bland deny any such statements were ever uttered, either at the first meeting or at Mallory’s apartment. “There was a particular conversation around how white women had centered themselves—and also around the dynamics of racial justice and why it was essential that racial justice be a part of the women’s rights conversation,” remembered Bland. But she and Mallory insisted it never had anything to do with Jews. “Carmen and I were very clear at that [first] meeting that we would not take on roles as workers or staff, but that we had to be in a leadership position in order for us to engage in the march,” Mallory told Tablet, in an interview last week, adding that they had been particularly sensitive to the fact that they had been invited to the meeting by white women, and wanted to be sure they weren’t about to enter into an unfair arrangement. “Other than that, there was no particular conversation about Jewish women, or any particular group of people.”
We associate the Women’s March with Linda Sarsour, Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, and Carmen Perez.
Brushed to the side is Teresa Shook, a lawyer in Hawaii, who made the first post on Facebook that called for women to march against then-president elect Donald Trump. The post went viral and others reached out to her like Evie Harmon Fontaine Pearson. Bland, who owns Manufacture NY and raised money from Planned Parenthood with her Nasty Women shirts, contacted Pearson and Vanessa Wruble via Pantsuit Nation:
“From the very beginning, Vanessa [Wruble] was leading,” explained a source with direct knowledge of those early days. “She was the operational leader. She made sure all the people doing our various pieces were operating coherently. She walked people through all of the things that had happened, and then those that needed to happen. Some people were focused on logistics, some on community engagement, other people were working on the website—and she was the linchpin of it all, especially in the early days.”
For her part, Bland had her eyes on more outward-facing tasks. At some point, according to Shook, Bland asked her for access to her event page for the March. Soon after, Bland created a new page—designated as the official March page—and bought the womensmarch.com URL. Bland then deleted Shook’s original event page without asking, or even notifying, her.
Then Bland realized that the co-chairs decided to pocket “2 percent of all national funds raised.” At that time, they sold over $750,000 in merchandise.
The Women’s March published its Unity Principles on January 12:
“We must create a society in which women, in particular women—in particular Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, Muslim women, and queer and trans women—are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.”
Notice someone missing? Yes, nothing about American Jews, which Tablet noted “the vast majority of whom vote and identity as Democrats.” Many within the group wondered if this absence “signaled something about whether and how warmly” the new left would welcome them.
Those who had concerns didn’t have enough time to bring it up as the marches across the country were about to happen. The aftermath of the marches “seemed to solidify four women—Mallory, Perez, Sarsour, and Bland—as the public face of what was, in reality, an amorphous movement.”
Harmon told Tablet (emphasis mine):
At the end of January, according to multiple sources, there was an official debriefing at Mallory’s apartment. In attendance were Mallory, Evvie Harmon, Breanne Butler, Vanessa Wruble, Cassady Fendlay, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour. They should have been basking in the afterglow of their massive success, but—according to Harmon—the air was thick with conflict. “We sat in that room for hours,” Harmon told Tablet recently. “Tamika told us that the problem was that there were five white women in the room and only three women of color, and that she didn’t trust white women. Especially white women from the South. At that point, I kind of tuned out because I was so used to hearing this type of talk from Tamika. But then I noticed the energy in the room changed. I suddenly realized that Tamika and Carmen were facing Vanessa, who was sitting on a couch, and berating her—but it wasn’t about her being white. It was about her being Jewish. ‘Your people this, your people that.’ I was raised in the South and the language that was used is language that I’m very used to hearing in rural South Carolina. Just instead of against black people, against Jewish people. They even said to her ‘your people hold all the wealth.’ You could hear a pin drop. It was awful.”
Reached by Tablet, Wruble declined to comment on the incident. Multiple other sources confirm that soon after, Wruble was no longer affiliated with the Women’s March Inc.—as the nascent group was starting to be known.
Not only that, but Mallory and the others displayed their disconnect to REAL working women, the ones they supposedly want to defend:
Over the weekend of Feb. 3, the Women’s March held a retreat in Rhinebeck, New York, at the Omega Institute. The National Committee, around 50 people, convened to spend the weekend decompressing data. At the retreat Mallory presented a last-minute plan for upcoming National Women’s Day: a strike, to be called Day Without a Woman. Harmon was shocked. “We’re going to ask women not to go to work?” she recalled saying, out loud, at the time. “I was like, ‘I’m sorry, you can’t do that to right-to-work states. We cannot tell a woman who makes $30,000 a year and a single mother that this is her duty. She could get fired for this!”
Others agreed, and also noted the impossibility of the timing: Planning a strike in 30 days seemed to speak directly to the leaders’ inexperience in organizing national activism. “They don’t have a clue what they’re doing,” [Activist Mercy] Morganfield told Tablet. “They were chosen for optics—for the image they brought to the march. They believe that being in the right place at the right time for this march and this movement made them the founders—but it didn’t.”
It was after the February 3 meeting that the anti-Semitic racists officially took over the organization:
The signatories to the original not-for-profit Women’s March Inc. were Bob Bland, Breanne Butler, and Evvie Harmon. At the retreat, “we went through what we had discussed and then we had our big kumbaya circle of love,” Harmon told Tablet. “After that broke up and everybody was boarding the buses, that’s when the Skadden lawyer came up to me with some papers saying, ‘You need to sign here to dissolve this entity that you and Bob created. And sign here to be a part of the entity that we just created.’ After I signed the first document, I went to sign the second one and the lawyer said, ‘Oh wait, you’re not Breanne Butler,’ and then she walked away. I looked at her and said, ‘What are you talking about? What just happened?’ She said quickly, ‘Oh, I’m gonna go find Breanne,’ and she basically ran away from me.”
After that the Women’s March became profitable, which horrified the original founders. After Women’s March Inc. received its trademark, Shook said, “You do not trademark a movement. The women’t March should belong to all of us. The sister marches don’t get a dime. They’ve been asked to be transparent over and over.”
Internal Meltdown Due to Racism and Anti-Semitism
The Women’s March has lost followers and supporters as more and more reports show the relationship between the leaders and Louis Farrakhan. The group has continued, but now the internal battles have begun, which could lead to its undoing.
“Many of us were upset,” Beem told Tablet. “She is the face of a women’s march, and our mission and values are equality and inclusion. To openly praise someone like this went against everything we were supposed to stand by.” Beem described a sense of awkwardness as Mallory went on to defend Farrakhan to over 40 women on the call. And she wasn’t alone, Beem said; Perez and Bland jumped in to defend him as well. “They said to us: ‘You know, he has done some great things for people of color.’ They didn’t denounce anything he said, they only did that recently. Some state people supported them and some who were very brave stood up to them. One woman said something like, ‘Just because somebody does one good thing doesn’t mean they are excused for everything else.’ They said, ‘We hear you.’ But then they refused to do anything about it.”
A few weeks later, in an email dated March 29 between Beem and Mrinalini Chakraborty, who at the time was the Women’s March national head of field operations & strategy, Beem wrote that the Washington state chapter was taking heat for the current controversy and that it would be best if at least two of the co-chairs were removed. “This particular issue has been hard for many of us and believe me, we are working internally to put in better systems in place so that this doesn’t happen in the future,” Chakraborty replied, according to an email seen by Tablet. “People have been hurt and we need to heal before we can move forward. However, I do think that it’s important we don’t talk about ‘removing people from leadership.’” Chakraborty did not respond to a request for comment.
Oh it gets worse. Morganfield found out that the organization uses members from Nation of Islam as security guards and drivers for the leaders. Bland admitted to Morganfield that “they have been in bed with Nation of Islam since day one.”
All of this left Morganfield furious and she demanded that Mallory and Sarsour resign. She didn’t flat out said the leaders are anti-Semitic, but said this: “There are no Jewish women on the board. They refused to put any on. Most of the Jewish people resigned and left. They refused to even put anti-Semitism in the unity principles.” She also noted that the Board of Directors has no representation from the LGBT community. The Women’s March has no Veterans Caucus and Disability Caucus has one person.
Beem, the president of the board for the Washington state chapter, said that it will dissolve on January 3:
“The vice president of our chapter is Jewish,” Beem said. “She gave them that first opportunity to apologize and admit and say ‘we screwed up’ but they didn’t, so she was done.” After this year’s march, Beem said, “we are dissolving the organization.”
The Women’s March fiscal sponsor is The Gathering for Justice, which was founded by Harry Belafonte years ago. Perez serves as treasurer for the Women’s March and executive director of Gathering for Justice.
Back in 2013, Perez and another activist “launched a new initiative under The Gathering for Justice auspices called Justice League NYC.” Tablet said you cannot evaluate these two organizations separately “given their fiscal relationship.”
Also, Women’s March Inc operates as a 501(c)(4) group while Women’s March Foundation operates as a 501(c)(3) group. Tablet wrote that “it is perfectly legal to have affiliated 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations, both need to be governed by separate boards of directors, maintain separate bank accounts, have different names and different letterheads to avoid violating tax laws.”
Millions and millions of dollars roll into the organization, but the ones doing the actual work have received nothing. Bland claimed it’s normal for nonprofits not to help state and local chapters:
Faced with the questions raised by Morganfield and others, the Women’s March co-chairs told Tablet that it was never their intent to fund local chapters. “It’s not industry standard for nonprofits that have membership-based or chapter-based organizing to directly support their chapters on a money basis,” said Bland. “We are a very distributed network.” Mallory added: “It’s also important to note that many of the chapters have expressed—and we support the idea—that they want to be separate but working in community with us.” Mallory summed up their approach: “Folks have to be empowered to raise funds on their own and to really be a grassroots network as well, just the way that we are trying to model as a national organization.”
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