Women's March organizers Tamika Mallory and Bob Bland appeared on ABC's "The View" on Monday where they denied accusations their organization has discriminated against Jewish and pro-life women, and the former defended her association with Louis Farrakhan.
Mallory and other march leaders have come under fire for their support for Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader, and for accusations that they excluded Jewish women from organizing events. Mallory posted an Instagram photo of herself alongside Farrakhan in February 2018, calling him "the G.O.A.T," standing for "greatest of all time."
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"I didn’t call him the greatest of all time because of his rhetoric I called him the greatest of all time because of what he’s done in black communities," she said on Monday.
Mallory continued defending her support for Farrakhan by pointing to other charitable work she has done.
"I also go into prisons where there are people who have been convicted of heinous acts, and I am trying to help people to move from wherever they are today and build that unity to bring them to a place where we can live in a more fair and equitable society," she said. "And I think that that work is not easy for everyone to understand, but it's certainly work that I'm committed to."
The exchange became heated when "The View" co-host Meghan McCain asked Mallory and Bland about accusations of anti-Semitism leveled at the Women's March in a Tablet magazine report from December.
"Those allegations are not true," Bland said. "That is not how that meeting happened."
"The journalist I spoke to was lying?" McCain asked.
"The people that the journalist spoke to did not tell the truth, period. full stop," Bland said. "And I think it's important for us to understand, and I'll be very clear in this room that the Women's March unequivocally condemns anti-Semitism, bigotry, transphobia–"
Tamika Mallory and fellow march organizer Carmen Perez "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," Tablet reported.
McCain also asked if the Women's March condemned Farrakhan's remarks, calling Jewish people "termites," among other slurs.
"Yes, we have repeated in statement after statement this year—which are available directly on our website for anyone to read—we condemn any statements of hate, and we've actually been working so hard over the last two years to fight this type of hate over and over again," Bland said. "We're committed to repairing any harm because we understand that the Jewish community is feeling hurt right now."
McCain persisted, asking Mallory is she could condemn Farrakhan for his remarks.
"We did not make those remarks," Mallory said.
"But you're associating with a man who does publicly," McCain said.
"What I will say to you is that I don't agree with many of minister Farrakhan's statements," Mallory said.
"Specifically about Jewish people?" McCain asked.
"As I said, I don't agree with many of minister Farrakhan's statements," Mallory said.
"Do you condemn them?" McCain repeated.
"I don't agree with these statements," Mallory said. "At the end of the day—"
"But won't you condemn them?" McCain asked.
Mallory replied that she does not want to be judged through the words of men.
"I think it's very clear over the 20 years of my own personal activism, my own personal track record of who I am, that I should never be judged through the lens of a man," she said. "That is actually not what this women's movement is supposed to be about."
McCain asked if the march leaders would welcome conservative and pro-life women at this year's march, citing reports that they had been excluded in 2018.
Bland said the march was "open to all," including pro-life and conservative women.
"I actually have pro-life women in my family who, as a result of the Women's March, have been engaging in what we call courageous conversations with me, over the last two years, that have helped expand all of our understanding," Bland said. "We welcome pro-life women. We welcome conservative women to the Women's March. The Women's March is open to all."