A prominent feminist activist and a Democratic lawmaker have resisted calls to condemn notorious Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan for his anti-Semitic views.
Tamika Mallory, the co-founder of last year’s Women’s March, attended an event last month at which Farrakhan, during a three-hour speech, said “the powerful Jews” are his “enemy.” She later posted a video of herself at the event and an Instagram photo with a caption praising Farrakhan.
“White folks are going down,” Farrakhan said during his annual Saviours’ Day address in Chicago. “And 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.”
“So I know Farrakhan, I know the Middle East question, I know the Jews and Farrakhan — I know all that, but that’s not what I spend all my time focused on,” Davis, a member of Congress’ Progressive Caucus, told the conservative news outlet last week. “That’s just one segment of what goes on in our world. The world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question and his position on that and so forth. For those heavy into it, that’s their thing, but it ain’t my thing.”
Both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have denounced Farrakhan’s harsh anti-Semitic rhetoric. He has previously accused Jewish people of having “a stranglehold on Congress,” blames them for black oppression, and has also attacked the LGBTQ community.
As the leader of the Nation of Islam, Farrakhan has the support of one of the largest black organizations in America that often hosts service events and programs in impoverished communities. But as the SPLC points out, the organization also has a “theology of innate black superiority over whites ... and deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT rhetoric.”
These reasons should all be enough to denounce Farrakhan, but during his February speech in Chicago, Farrakhan found a seemingly unlikely supporter in Mallory, who posted an Instagram photo of herself with him.
“Thank God this man is still alive and doing well,” Mallory wrote. “He is definitely the GOAT [greatest of all time].”
After being called out on social media, Mallory denounced anti-Semitism and homophobia in a series of tweets without ever directly denouncing the man who promotes those positions.
Contrary to others, I listen. I have been in deep reflection and trying to be as thoughtful as possible. I want my own work to speak for itself but I will reiterate my commitment to building this movement. I won’t go back, I won’t redraw the lines of division. I want a new way.— Tamika D. Mallory (@TamikaDMallory) March 5, 2018
She defended herself again on Wednesday in an editorial for News One.
“I go into difficult spaces,” she wrote. “I attend meetings with police and legislators — the very folks so much of my protest has been directed towards. I’ve partnered and sat with countless groups, activists, religious leaders and institutions over the past 20 years. I’ve worked in prisons as well as with present and former gang members.”
Farrakhan, who once called Adolf Hitler a “very great man,” is not mentioned in her editorial.
Anthony Clark, a progressive activist challenging Davis in Illinois’ March 20 primary, said the veteran congressman’s ties to Farrakhan “are extremely deep.”
Davis “has always gotten away with his missteps, just because he’s been entrenched in our district,” Clark told Tablet, a Jewish online magazine.
“I would be hypocritical to yell against [President Donald] Trump and point fingers at someone because of racism and yet ignore anti-Semitism or homophobia or Islamophobia or classism or agism,” Clark said. “You have to literally fight to hold accountable any and everybody. Because if not, we’re not going to change anything.”
In a March 6 pinned tweet, Farrakhan posted video of himself speaking at the Saviours’ Day event.
The caption for the tweet reads, “What have I done to make Jewish people hate me?”
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.