'The Left' Fails To Issue Offical Decree Denouncing Anti-Semitic Jerk Who Really Likes Trump.
Yesterday afternoon, Maggie Haberman did a Maggie Haberman and tweeted out an article from The New York Daily News calling for "the left" to officially denounce Louis Farrakhan, a person very few of us even give much thought to, except for when the Right goes all "WELL WHAT ABOUT LOUIS FARRAKHAN, HUH?"
Farrakhan's words matter, too: It's about time the left universally denounced his anti-Semitism - NY Daily News https://t.co/e97OQE4XGd— Maggie Haberman (@Maggie Haberman) 1541192450.0
It did not go over well.
i’m not sure anyone with any knowledge of the contours of black politics would label farrakhan a man of “the left”… https://t.co/01IFz483eu— b-boy bouiebaisse (@b-boy bouiebaisse) 1541207653.0
having a pretty rough night folks... I'm out at the club and no one here will denounce Louis Farrakhan 😔— Rob Rousseau (@Rob Rousseau) 1541211284.0
@maggieNYT Dear Maggie Haberman: Louis Farrakhan is— •Not a liberal •Not a liberal icon. •Not leader of the free w… https://t.co/0HBzGMvD22— Pièce de Résistance (@Pièce de Résistance) 1541243345.0
OK, @maggieNYT. I denounce the anti-Semitism of the President of the United States, Louis Farrakhan, who travels th… https://t.co/N3GfBzc3iR— Julius Goat 🦆(Read Pinned Tweet!) (@Julius Goat 🦆(Read Pinned Tweet!)) 1541204414.0
Many people were quick to point out that Farrakhan himself has had nothing but glowing words to say about Donald Trump, that he called Hillary Clinton Hitler, and that pretty much the only people going around praising him these days are on the Right.
The gist of the op-ed, written by Alexis Grenell, is that Farrakhan is a gross anti-Semite (he is!), and also that one lady, Tamika Mallory, a Women's March organizer, has praised him for things entirely unrelated to his anti-Semitism -- thus "both sides!" Apparently Mallory is the official spokesperson for The Left now, and the rest of us missed that newsletter:
Americans of all political stripes righty denounced the leader of the free world for making a moral equivalence between "very fine people on both sides." But while activists on the Left readily condemn the language that led to the attacks on Soros and in Pittsburgh, there's a disconnect when it comes to Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Just a few weeks ago, the long-time leader of the Nation of Islam posted a video on Twitter defending his decades of Jew-bashing by comparing people to insects, declaring, "I'm not anti-Semitic, I'm anti-termite." Back in March Tamika Mallory, one of the organizers of the Women's March, tried to square her praise for a man who regularly dehumanizes Jews as the root of all evil with fighting racism, writing, "I am the same woman who helped to build an intersectional movement that fights for the rights of all people and stands against hatred and discrimination of all forms."
Grenell also criticized Mallory and the Women's March for not commenting on Farrakhan's recent Twitter video:
Unsurprisingly, Mallory and the organization she founded had nothing to say about Farrakhan's most recent play for attention even as Republicans follow his lead by fearmongering against a globalist conspiracy for political gain.
Mallory and the Women's March are not alone in their failure to comment on that video. Millions of Americans of all political stripes didn't comment on it, on account of the fact that they had no idea he even made the video to begin with, because they are generally not paying any attention at all to Louis Farrakhan. I am, admittedly, one of those people. I have no idea what Louis Farrakhan is doing, pretty much ever.
This is not to say that there is not anti-Semitism on the Left. There is absolutely anti-Semitism on the Left. Sure, it's not the overt "Jews will not replace us!" anti-Semitism of the Right, it's not even Farrakhan's shit, but it's there and it is something that does need to be addressed, dealt with and universally condemned. It is, however, also not something that would magically go away were everyone who ever voted Democrat to stand up and officially "denounce" Louis Farrakhan. Who is, by the way, an extremely conservative person with extremely conservative views.
I will also say this. Farrakhan's views are beyond abhorrent, but what he and the Nation of Islam have done in black communities and in prisons is extremely necessary work -- work that not a lot of other people and groups are doing. It is not hard to understand why this makes a lot of people, people who disagree with absolutely everything the man stands for otherwise, feel conflicted. The way to make Farrakhan completely irrelevant isn't for people "on the left" to put out some official decree denouncing him, but for them to step up and do that work themselves.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse