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Tamika Mallory talks anti-Semitism and why she doesn’t issue condemnations on the Breakfast Club

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Women’s March organizer Tamika Mallory was on the Breakfast Club yesterday speaking about the upcoming protest on Saturday, her appearance on the View earlier in the week and anti-Semitism. She covered more ground than in most interviews. This one ran just over 30 minutes.

Mallory spent a fair amount of her time underscoring the reality of anti-Semitism, which she has been accused of by proxy over her ties to Nation of Islam head, minister Louis Farrakhan. In her breakdown, she repeatedly stated anti-Semitism is a present menace in the U.S., and one that has ramifications on black people.

“Anti-semitism is a problem. It’s a real serious problem and it’s one that black folks particularly need to pay attention to because there are forces that want to be able to use anti-black racism and anti-Semitism within the Jewish and black communities to keep us apart because God forbid we pulled our power together and really, really starting working together,” she told interviewers Charlamagne tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee.

“The same white nationalism that Donald Trump stands for is that same white nationalism that seeks to oppress Jews and black people and that is why it is incredibly important for us to find ways for our communities to work together,” she continued.

“Because black and brown folks are so caught up in our own pain when you start trying to put anti-Semitism on us we reject that because we’re like, ‘hey first of all we’re not inherently anti-Semitic or homophobic,’” she said.

Speaking specifically of black Jews and Jews of color, Mallory lamented that those voices haven’t been given the same profile and platform as white Jews in the ongoing conversation.

“[Our] Jewish brother and sisters of color– they are erased as well from their own community and they will tell you that,” she said. “We have to be in relationship with one and another and make sure that black folks and Jews do not become the topic that there is a division between us because we just don’t have any more space for enemies.”

Mallory’s remarks broke through a lot of the sound bites out there where commenters have been disenchanted with her refusal to condemn Farrakhan as a person as opposed to condemning his rhetoric. She’s stated that “his language is not my language” in print interviews and again on the View, but has yet to issue a blanket rebuke. And so she has continuously been asked to be more forceful in her distancing.

She said has been told what words to use. “Condemn” or “denounce” were recommended, which she described as “infantilism where you become a child and people are going to tell you exactly which words to use to describe how you feel  about  someone in your own community, and that’s something that I reject.”

A follower of Martin Luther King Jr., Mallory noted the civil rights leaders met with both the founder of the Nation of Islam Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X.

“Guess what, I have not condemned the men who killed my son’s father. I have never denounced them, I have never talked about them in the condemnation context, because I am a person that believes that the person on both side of the gun, the shooter and the victim, they both deserve our love and attention,” she said.

“When I go to a prison and I sit and work with a guy who may have killed someone I’m not going to come out of there and denounce him. That ’s not who I am. What I will do is challenge him and say ‘Hey, I don’t agree with your behavior and want to help you move to a better place so we have a more fair and equitable society.’…That’s who I am and no one can make me different than that.”

When asked if anyone else in the Women’s March leadership, particularly the white women, were ever asked to distance themselves from anyone (perhaps even relatives who voted for Donald Trump), Mallory shook her head no. Later referencing her appearance on the View on Monday where Megan McCain took her to task for refusing to disavow Farrakhan, Mallory alluded to a hypocrisy.

“Based upon the family that Megan McCain comes from, she is the last person that should be trying to tell people who they should and should not denounce.”

One point Mallory didn’t go into detail over but was nonetheless worth noting was the personal harassment she has lived with over the last year. Mallory said she and other leaders of the march have received death threats. “People are trying to contact my son’s school to interfere with his education based up on this. It’s not ok,” she said.

Allison Deger
About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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29 Responses

  1. annie
    annie
    January 18, 2019, 1:27 pm

    Tamika Mallory is a blessing to behold — such an inspirational person.

    that view interview was so gross, mcCain’s facial expressions, her voice, everything was so ugly i can’t find the words. i recommend watching it with the sound turned off, you don’t even have to hear it to see how much superiority and distain with which she spoke to Mallory. who thank goodness stuck to her guns. this demand for condemnation, who do these people think they are demanding condemnations? i love how tamika says “not my language”.

    i have expressed in these threads before that i reject the concept of demanding/forced condemnations. it’s so much bullshit. perfect you picked up her words on this in the title.

    thanks allison. i had watched this right after it came out the other day and loved the whole interview, thanks for bringing it here. thank heavens for Tamika Mallory. what a gift she has, beyond description.

  2. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    January 18, 2019, 4:23 pm

    Tamika Mallory has told us that she called Farrakhan the Greatest of All Time based upon his actions but not his language. She has told us that she attended Saviors’ Day at the NOI, with the clear implication that she is not a follower, but merely a supporter.

    Farrakhan, I would say, is one of the top 4 black political leaders since the murder of MLK: Jesse Jackson, Obama, Farrakhan and Sharpton.

    Trying to think of an analogy of this attempt to separate between the man’s actions and language has not proved easy. (The man’s language is actually beneath contempt and is certainly repellent to Jews and should be repellent to all humans. Repellent, means something that repels, and embracing him for his actions is not exactly being repelled by his language.) Farrakhan is a leader of a small religious group which has played important roles in the past (the million man march) and continues to play an important role in support for African Americans who are over incarcerated by the US system. (I must also mention his supporting role in the assassination of Malcolm X.) As such to compare him to Trump, because Trump is the elected leader of the US, will fail automatically because of the power politics involved in leading a small religious group compared to being a businessman elected to the highest office of the land. To compare him to David Duke will fail, firstly because I am unaware of Duke helping his own community and also because I consider the Klan and the American Nazi party to be somehow inherently evil, whereas because of the history of oppression of the last “400 years”, a black leader is helping a community in need, whereas a David Duke is merely protecting a status quo that needs to be overturned.

    To summarize: It is natural for those who are repelled by Farrakhan to view those who are not repelled by Farrakhan as somehow lacking. I know why anyone of humanist impulses should be repelled by his words and I know why someone might choose to focus on his actions instead. I feel that the two points of view will of necessity clash.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      January 18, 2019, 7:59 pm

      @wondering jew

      The words and actions of the GoI should be repellant to any human. There is no redeeming factor.

      I am not remotely surprised you set the bar higher for others than you do for Israel, it’s supporters, and zionism.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 18, 2019, 11:42 pm

        I must conclude that you feel that Mallory is just as wrong as me, so you can only defend her by attacking me.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        January 19, 2019, 11:45 am

        @wondering jew

        Then you would confirm you are as bad at reaching conclusions as you are at applying a principle equally to various individuals or groups.

        I think the attacks on her are racist and spurious. One need only look at the the attackers.

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 18, 2019, 8:15 pm

      || wondering jew: … To summarize: It is natural for those who are repelled by Farrakhan to view those who are not repelled by Farrakhan as somehow lacking. … ||

      Similarly, it is natural for those who are repelled by all brands of supremacism to view those who are not repelled by their preferred brand of supremacism as somehow lacking.

    • Donald
      Donald
      January 19, 2019, 10:32 am

      A possible analogy is this—

      Mallory knows antisemitism is wrong and condemns it, but can’t bring herself to condemn Farrakhan because the NOI helped her people when nobody else would.

      Some Jews recognize that Israel’s expulsion and oppression of the Palestinians was and is wrong, but cannot bring themselves to condemn Israel in total because they think Israel was a refuge for some Jews when nobody else would take them in.

      One could argue about the facts there and I’m not qualified to get into the weeds on who would or wouldn’t take in Jews and why , but it is what people believe.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 20, 2019, 11:12 am

        @ Donald
        Yes, there’s at least a superficial analogy there, but is it “on all fours”? NOI never, to my knowledge, killed men, women, and children to provide safe haven for American blacks. Zionists Jews have done so, and still do so. Or am I wrong here?

      • Donald
        Donald
        January 20, 2019, 12:45 pm

        I don’t know if there has been any antisemitic violence because of Farrakhan’s statements. But it’s not a good idea to spread that sort of crap around.

        And to be clear, I’m not criticizing Mallory. I think her critics are taking cheap shots.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 20, 2019, 2:12 pm

        “I don’t know if there has been any antisemitic violence because of Farrakhan’s statements.”

        You’ve never heard of the Bowling Green pogrom?

  3. Keith
    Keith
    January 18, 2019, 7:49 pm

    TAMIKA MALLORY- “Anti-semitism is a problem. It’s a real serious problem and it’s one that black folks particularly need to pay attention to….”

    What an absolutely absurd assertion. Unless Tamika Mallory can substantiate this with some facts and figures which I am unaware of, I can only assume that this reflects the perceived need to be endlessly ingratiating to those with power. Those who traditionally provided the funding for Blacks when it served their purpose.

  4. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    January 18, 2019, 11:56 pm

    1. Hatred is a serious problem, even if its consequences are psychological, to the hater and the hated.

    2. Since Ms. Mallory is interested in building a coalition, then AS could be a serious obstacle to her coalition building.

    3. Though I don’t think that AS is a major problem in America today, I think consciousness of world history should alert the student of history that it has been a serious problem in the past.

    4. I think that any black who views white supremacism as their foe would be interested in studying the history of AS. The multifarious but intertwined nature of hatred aimed at blacks and at Jews may be a revelation to new students of this history and maybe some insight can be gained. But even if there is no immediate insight added by this increase in knowledge, my faith in knowledge is such that i must believe that progress can be achieved by increasing knowledge.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      January 19, 2019, 4:40 am

      wondering jew: “1. Hatred is a serious problem, even if its consequences are psychological, to the hater and the hated. ”

      Same goes for the unsubstantiated accusation of hatred which is nothing else than infantile opinion fascism based on pathological self-righteousness and the inabality to deal with dissent and criticism like a matured person.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 19, 2019, 5:00 pm

      “The multifarious but intertwined nature of hatred aimed at blacks and at Jews”

      Because chattel slavery, and 150 years of efforts of de jure segregation and civil rights denial is just like the social adjustment problems encountered by Jews in the US? Ho-kay.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 19, 2019, 5:31 pm

        Because the eugenics movement in the US influenced Europe. Because of the close affinity of the KKK and the American Nazis. Because race pride at the Olympics in 36 in Berlin focused on anti Jesse Owens. Because the attitudes of hatred that came from Europe morphed into new hatreds in the New World, but hatred is innately related to hatred. Because European white nationalism focused on the Jews in the period of 1800 to 1945 and American white nationalism is very related to its European version..

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 20, 2019, 12:27 pm
      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 20, 2019, 12:53 pm

        “Because European white nationalism focused on the Jews in the period of 1800 to 1945 and American white nationalism is very related to its European version.”

        And that is why Zionism is doing everything it can to appeal to “American white nationalism”, and reject any input (without passing your ridiculous purity test, which nobody does) from minorities, Jews critical of Israel, even progressives?

        You go ahead and stick with Trump Republicans.

  5. gamal
    gamal
    January 19, 2019, 7:17 am

    “When asked if anyone else in the Women’s March leadership, particularly the white women, were ever asked to distance themselves from anyone (perhaps even relatives who voted for Donald Trump), Mallory shook her head no. Later referencing her appearance on the View on Monday where Megan McCain took her to task for refusing to disavow Farrakhan, Mallory alluded to a hypocrisy”

    It is much worse than mere hypocrisy these strategies are used to maintain a system of racialised privilege both in the US and Israel and the world and to bully dissent without having to engage it.

    “…[E]very new conquest becomes the new basis of the proposed negotiation from strength, which ignores the injustice of the previous aggression. The aggression…must be condemned, not only because no state has the right to annex foreign territory, but because every expansion is an experiment to discover how much more aggression the world will tolerate….We are frequently told that we must sympathize with Israel because of the suffering of the Jews in Europe at the hands of the Nazis. I see in this suggestion no reason to perpetuate any suffering. What Israel is doing today cannot be condoned, and to invoke the horrors of the past to justify those of the present is gross hypocrisy.’[My emphasis].”

    Bertrand Russell as quoted by Greg Maybury from Finkelsteins site.

    The “Kosher Nostra” Nation

    https://dissidentvoice.org/2019/01/the-kosher-nostra-nation/#more-88318y Greg Maybury / January 17th, 2019

    Americans not in open and effective revolt against their own toweringly criminal regime are not a position to demand anything of anybody…hypocrisy is the least of it.

    • Keith
      Keith
      January 19, 2019, 4:02 pm

      GAMAL- “Americans not in open and effective revolt against their own toweringly criminal regime are not a position to demand anything of anybody…hypocrisy is the least of it.”

      And who are these most privileged of white people to judge and condemn American Blacks for racism? This gilded victimhood bespeaks of power, not suffering. And of funding with strings attached. Being uppity the gravest of sins.

      • gamal
        gamal
        January 19, 2019, 4:46 pm

        “This gilded victimhood bespeaks of power, not suffering”

        wow that’s the point isn’t it, not suffering but power.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 19, 2019, 5:03 pm

        “And who are these most privileged of white people to judge and condemn American Blacks for racism?”

        As goes the Right, so goes the all-rightniks. And after all, don’t we Jews have the same right to ‘victim’ status as any other white person?

      • Keith
        Keith
        January 19, 2019, 8:05 pm

        MOOSER- “And after all, don’t we Jews have the same right to ‘victim’ status as any other white person?”

        Individuals can become “victims” regardless of group identification, however, we are not talking about individuals, are we? We are talking about group psychology and how that relates to empirical reality. And when capitalism’s current royalty feels justified in sitting in judgement on one of America’s bonafide victim groups, that seems to me to be a form of oppression of the powerless by the powerful akin to the Lord of The Manor chastising the stable boy for insufficient servility. It is more than understandable if Blacks hold Whites accountable for their situation. I don’t blame them. Neither do I fancy myself some sort of victim of Black racism. And Black Muslims and their rhetoric don’t concern me. I am not a member of any group in which paranoia is a group unifier. Paranoia with a purpose.

        “I believe we should be frank: The world hates the Jews. The world has always and will continue to do so.” (David Mamet) https://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/book/the-wicked-son-anti-semitism-self-hatred-and-the-jews

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 20, 2019, 2:26 pm

        “Keith”, ever since the 60’s, allright, white, right. Read the “seminal essay” (per “WJ”) linked.

  6. Citizen
    Citizen
    January 20, 2019, 6:05 am

    Angela Davis: “Justice is indivisible.” That’s another way of talking about intersectionality, as well as directly saying Justice here requires also Justice over there.

  7. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    January 20, 2019, 12:00 pm

    Oh, enough already with this anti Semitism thing. If israel would start treating Palestinians as human beings instead of like garbage, there would be a lot less resentment towards Jews and israel.

  8. vhervey
    vhervey
    January 22, 2019, 12:31 pm

    Dr. John Henrik Clarke, known in the black community as “Master Teacher”, said that he believed that Minister Farrakhan created the climate that ensured the assassination of Malcolm X, but did not participate in Malcolm’s assassination. Dr Clarke, who was one of the foremost professors of African history, challenged anyone to provide proof of this “Black-Jewish Alliance.” He stated that it was only where Zionists in the Jewish community dictated what they wanted Blacks to do. He also said he liked Farrakhan, but agreed with little of what he espoused or did. Finally, Dr. Clarke often said that historically Black people have had NO friends, that everyone who came to African only came to do Black people harm, AND can count on NO ONE. I remember that the Rabbi in Israel said terrible things about us “kushis”, and although a few condemned his “statements”, Zionists never condemned the person. AND he was photographed with Kushner & his wife. NOW, let’s see if the Republicans will be asked EVERY TIME they’re on TV & Radio to “strongly condemn” Steve King, & “distance themselves” from Steve King. You can’t even get “our allies” to do that!

    • annie
      annie
      January 22, 2019, 3:17 pm

      I remember that the Rabbi in Israel said terrible things about us “kushis”, and although a few condemned his “statements”, Zionists never condemned the person. AND he was photographed with Kushner & his wife. NOW, let’s see if the Republicans will be asked EVERY TIME they’re on TV & Radio to “strongly condemn” Steve King, & “distance themselves” from Steve King.

      let’s see if the Kushners will be asked EVERY TIME they’re on TV & Radio to “strongly condemn” the Rabbi, & “distance themselves” from the Rabbi in Israel.

      Mallory is a queen.

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