The Women’s March is often criticized for the views of two of its organizers, Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, as well as their support of Louis Farrakhan, and it seems as though at least one prominent participant has finally heard those criticisms. Actress Alyssa Milano revealed her disappointment with the Women’s March organizers in an interview with the Advocate.
Milano told the Advocate that she would currently say no to future March appearances due to the organizers’ refusal to “adequately” call out anti-Semitism:
“Any time that there is any bigotry or anti-Semitism in that respect, it needs to be called out and addressed. I’m disappointed in the leadership of the Women’s March that they haven’t done it adequately,” Milano says now, referring to leaders of the Women’s March who’ve refused to denounce Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan‘s anti-Semitic, homophobic, and transphobic statements.
Women’s March cochair Tamika Mallory sat in the audience while Farrakhan gave a hateful speech in March in which he said, “The powerful Jews are my enemy,” She also received a shout-out from him and posted about the event on social media.
The recent mass shooting in which a man who vocally targeted Jewish people on social media took the lives of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue has deepened the wound of Farrakhan’s remarks and the Women’s March leaders’ refusal to condemn them. A week earlier, Farrakhan tweeted out a speech in which he announced, “I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite.”
Milano has noticed the silence from the Women’s March regarding Farrakhan’s hatemongering and won’t stand for it; nor will she speak at the next Women’s March if it’s still led by Sarsour or Mallory, if asked to make an appearance.
“I would say no at this point. Unfortunate that none of them have come forward against him at this point. Or even given a really good reason why to support them,” she says.
The Advocate article is from October 30, but it seemingly went unnoticed until the Free Beacon‘s Mikhael Smits wrote about Milano’s comments earlier today.
In interview, @Alyssa_Milano shares she won't speak again at @womensmarch because of bigotry. She cites @lsarsour and @TamikaDMallory refusal to condemn anti-semite, misogynist, homophobe @LouisFarrakhan.https://t.co/QCRg4TOfoC
— Mikhael Smits (@mikhaelsmits) November 7, 2018
As John Sexton noted at Hot Air, Milano also recently denounced Bill Clinton during a discussion about the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh, saying “I don’t think Bill Clinton should have gotten that benefit of the doubt in hindsight. … we probably should have investigated the allegations against him as well.”
Although I typically disagree with Milano about policy and often disagree with her approach to politics, her recent comments have been impressive, and I hope she continues to be willing to speak up against her own side and call out its faults in such a productive manner.
Furthermore, Milano’s celebrity status will help to educate more people about the views of Farrakhan, as well as Sarsour and Mallory.
Millions of people have participated in Women’s Marches around the country since last year, but it’s unclear how many of them are casual participants who are simply marching against Donald Trump or against mistreatment of women as opposed to how many of them are fully aware of the March’s organizers.
For example, I was interested in participating in the Women’s March to protest mistreatment of women, but I ultimately chose not to after learning more about its organizers and after pro-life groups were uninvited. How many others would choose not to participate, or would choose another way to protest, if they knew? I believe the concept of the Women’s March is beneficial and necessary, but its organizers ultimately taint the concept and therefore push people away.
Milano publicly speaking out against Farrakhan, Sarsour, and Mallory will likely lead to more people becoming aware of their abhorrent views. March participants should refuse to accept such bigotry from the organizers, and the Women’s March itself would benefit from being disassociated from them.
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent those of any other individual or entity. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @sarahmquinlan.