The Women’s March founder is urging the group’s leadership to resign over anti-Semitism and anti-gay rhetoric, just days after Linda Sarsour suggested Jewish people have dual loyalties.
Teresa Shook, a retired lawyer who was behind the nationwide women’s march following the election of President Trump, published a statement on Monday urging the current leaders of the movement to step aside.
“In opposition to our Unity Principles, they have allowed anti-Semitism, anti- LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform by their refusal to separate themselves from groups that espouse these racist, hateful beliefs,” she wrote on Facebook.
She singled out the group’s board members Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez.
Under their leadership, the Women’s March was constantly under fire for allegiance with anti-Semitic groups and comments that some deemed anti-Semitic.
Just last week, Sarsour was condemned for saying the criticism against Minnesota Congresswoman-elect Ilhan Omar over her support for boycott of Israel is led by “folks who masquerade as progressives but always choose their allegiance to Israel over their commitment to democracy and free speech.”
Omar recently came out in support of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel, despite previously saying she doesn’t support it. She was also criticized for tweeting that “Israel has hypnotized the world.”
The American Jewish Committee, one of the oldest Jewish advocacy groups in America, accused Sarsour of anti-Semitism.
“Accusing Jews of dual loyalty is one of the oldest and most pernicious antisemitic tropes. No surprise to see it coming from @LSarsour. How long will progressive leaders continue to look the other way in the face of this hate?” the organization tweeted on Friday.
The progressive group’s continued alliance with the Nation of Islam and its leader Louis Farrakhan also drew scrutiny.
Mallory was accused of contributing to anti-Semitism after she was seen attending an event where Farrakhan said “the powerful Jew is my enemy.”
The Women’s March, as a group, defended Mallory and she herself said “I go into difficult spaces.” On social media, the activist said Farrakhan is the “GOAT,” meaning the “greatest of all time.”
Last year, Sarsour blamed “the Jewish media” for her and Farrakhan’s controversial reputation and pushed back against any accusations of anti-Semitism.
Actress and activist Alyssa Milano last month criticized Mallory and the Women’s March not disavowing Farrakhan in strong terms.
“Any time that there is any bigotry or anti-Semitism in that respect, it needs to be called out and addressed,” Milano told The Advocate, noting that she won’t speak at the next Women’s March if asked. “I’m disappointed in the leadership of the Women’s March that they haven’t done it adequately.”
The current leaders of the group fired back against the founder of the movement, saying her attack was done “irresponsibly,” but admitted the wrongdoing.
“We are imperfect. We don’t know everything and we have caused harm,” the leaders of the group wrote on Facebook.
“At times we have responded with hurt. But we are committed to learning. We will continue to work through the good and the bad, the impact and the harm — of building an intersectional movement that our daughters, and our daughters’ daughters can be proud of,” they added.