Alyssa Milano won’t speak at any 2019 Women’s March events unless organizers condemn Louis Farrakhan

Actor and political activist Alyssa Milano has called on Women's March organizers Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan for anti-Semitic remarks; Milano is pictured at a political forum in Los Angeles on October 21

Actor and political activist Alyssa Milano has called on Women's March organizers Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan for anti-Semitic remarks; Milano is pictured at a political forum in Los Angeles on October 21

Actor and political activist Alyssa Milano has called on Women’s March organizers Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan for anti-Semitic remarks; Milano is pictured at a political forum in Los Angeles on October 21

Actor and political activist Alyssa Milano has called on Women’s March organizers Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Milano has said she won’t speak at any upcoming Women’s March events if she’s asked so long as Sarsour and Mallory are involved, if the two women don’t speak out against Farrakhan’s widely publicized anti-Semitic remarks.

Farrakhan, 85, most recently made comments comparing Jewish people to termites while speaking at a 23rd anniversary event for the 1995 Million Man March held in Detroit in October. 

‘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 told the Advocate in an interview published on October 30.

On October 27, less than two weeks following Farrakhan’s hateful rhetoric, 11 people were murdered and seven others injured during Shabbat morning services at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Before the mass shooting targeting people of Jewish faith, Mallory had repeatedly praised Farrakhan, publicizing her attendance at his events, and Sarsour had come to her defense after Mallory has been criticized for doing so.

The next Women’s March event is scheduled for January 19 and is being called #WomensWave, a reference to Democrats’ ‘blue wave’ in the November 6 midterm elections, in which the party took back control of the US House of Representatives.

Milano has said she won't speak at any upcoming Women's March events if she's asked so long as Sarsour and Mallory are involved, if the two women don't speak out against Farrakhan's widely publicized anti-Semitic remarks; Tamika Mallory, co-chair for the Women's March (left), and Linda Sarsour, co-chair for the Women's March (right), attend the Women's March One-Year Anniversary: Power To The Polls event in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 21

Milano has said she won't speak at any upcoming Women's March events if she's asked so long as Sarsour and Mallory are involved, if the two women don't speak out against Farrakhan's widely publicized anti-Semitic remarks; Tamika Mallory, co-chair for the Women's March (left), and Linda Sarsour, co-chair for the Women's March (right), attend the Women's March One-Year Anniversary: Power To The Polls event in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 21

Milano has said she won’t speak at any upcoming Women’s March events if she’s asked so long as Sarsour and Mallory are involved, if the two women don’t speak out against Farrakhan’s widely publicized anti-Semitic remarks; Tamika Mallory, co-chair for the Women’s March (left), and Linda Sarsour, co-chair for the Women’s March (right), attend the Women’s March One-Year Anniversary: Power To The Polls event in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 21

Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, 85, most recently made comments comparing Jewish people to termites while speaking at a 23rd anniversary event for the 1995 Million Man March held in Detroit in October; Farrakhan is shown here giving a speech at the Watergate Hotel, on November 16, 2017 in Washington, DC

Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, 85, most recently made comments comparing Jewish people to termites while speaking at a 23rd anniversary event for the 1995 Million Man March held in Detroit in October; Farrakhan is shown here giving a speech at the Watergate Hotel, on November 16, 2017 in Washington, DC

Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, 85, most recently made comments comparing Jewish people to termites while speaking at a 23rd anniversary event for the 1995 Million Man March held in Detroit in October; Farrakhan is shown here giving a speech at the Watergate Hotel, on November 16, 2017 in Washington, DC

Milano called out Mallory after she attended an event in February where Farrakhan said, ‘The powerful Jews are my enemy,’ according to CNN.

While at that event, Mallory received a shoutout from Farrakhan, and shared that she was there over social media. 

When Mallory was pressed on her attendance, Sarsour came to her defense in a lengthy Facebook post

‘I will not sit back while a strong, bold, unapologetic, committed Black woman who risks her life every day to speak truth to power and organize and mobilize movements is questioned, berated and abused,’ Sarsour wrote on March 2. 

‘We will not allow people to play double standards and hold us to standards that they would never hold themselves to. We can play the same game too and we know how but we choose to stay focused on the work ahead and the beloved communities we come from.

‘One thing we should all agree on is a woman should never be attacked, vilified and abused. A woman should be judged for her own words and her deeds. We should allow for complexities and nuance because making things clear cut is a cop out from the true transformative conversations and work that needs to be done. We should also always be open to checking our own misgivings and internal biases and racism that we hold that allows us to be silent in the moments when those amongst us who have put in the work and have always stood for all people are the targets of such venom.’

The next Women's March event is scheduled for January 19 and is being called #WomensWave

The next Women's March event is scheduled for January 19 and is being called #WomensWave

The next Women’s March event is scheduled for January 19 and is being called #WomensWave

Milano called out Mallory after she attended an event in February where Farrakhan said, 'The powerful Jews are my enemy;' Milano is seen here at the office of Senator Susan M. Collins (Republican from Maine) during protests against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill on September 26 in Washington, DC

Milano called out Mallory after she attended an event in February where Farrakhan said, 'The powerful Jews are my enemy;' Milano is seen here at the office of Senator Susan M. Collins (Republican from Maine) during protests against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill on September 26 in Washington, DC

Milano called out Mallory after she attended an event in February where Farrakhan said, ‘The powerful Jews are my enemy;’ Milano is seen here at the office of Senator Susan M. Collins (Republican from Maine) during protests against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill on September 26 in Washington, DC

Sarsour then came to Mallory's defense in a lengthy Facebook post on March 2 (shown)

Sarsour then came to Mallory's defense in a lengthy Facebook post on March 2 (shown)

Sarsour then came to Mallory’s defense in a lengthy Facebook post on March 2 (shown)

‘I will not sit back while a strong, bold, unapologetic, committed Black woman who risks her life every day to speak truth to power and organize and mobilize movements is questioned, berated and abused,’ Sarsour (left) wrote about Mallory (right) on March 2

Eventually the Women’s March group condemned Farrakhan in March, in a statement that read in part:

‘Within the Women’s March movement, we are very conscious of the conversations that must be had across the intersections of race, religion and gender. We love and value our sister and co-President Tamika Mallory, who has played a key role in shaping these conversations. Neither she nor we shy away from the fact that intersectional movement building is difficult and often painful.

Minister Farrakhan’s statements about Jewish, queer and trans people are not aligned with the Women’s March Unit Principles, which were created by women of color leaders and are grounded in Kingian nonviolence. Women’s March is holding conversations with queer, trans, Jewish and Black members of both our team and larger movement to create space for understand and healing. 

Milano was not satisfied with this statement.

Eventually the Women's March group condemned Farrakhan in March, in a statement on March 6 that left Milano unsatisfied

Eventually the Women's March group condemned Farrakhan in March, in a statement on March 6 that left Milano unsatisfied

Eventually the Women’s March group condemned Farrakhan in March, in a statement on March 6 that left Milano unsatisfied

Then, a video of Farrakhan’s remarks on October 14 showed him saying: ‘So when they talk about Farrakhan, call me a hater, call me anti-Semite. Stop it. I’m anti-Termite. I don’t know nothing about hating somebody because of their religious preference’

Leading up to the comment comparing members of the Jewish community to insects, Farrakhan said:

‘In fact, to the members of the Jewish community that don’t like me, thank you very much for putting my name all over the planet because of your fear of what we represent, I can go anywhere in the world and they’ve heard of Farrakhan. Thank you very much. I’m not mad at you, because you’re so stupid.’ 

Prominent personalities, like Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, responded to Farrakhan's words in October with disgust

Prominent personalities, like Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, responded to Farrakhan's words in October with disgust

Prominent personalities, like Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, responded to Farrakhan’s words in October with disgust

Jonathan Greenblatt, who is the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, a group with the mission 'to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all,' spoke out against Farrakhan's words on Wednesday

Jonathan Greenblatt, who is the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, a group with the mission 'to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all,' spoke out against Farrakhan's words on Wednesday

Jonathan Greenblatt, who is the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, a group with the mission ‘to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all,’ spoke out against Farrakhan’s words on Wednesday

Well-known Jewish leader Rabbi Shmuley Boteach responded via Twitter on October 17.

‘Louis Farrakhan calling Jews termites is a virtual call to genocide. The Nazis regularly referred to Jews as roaches and pests who needed to be exterminated,’ Rabbi Shmuley wrote.

‘I call on African-American leaders like my close friend @CoryBooker to immediately condemn this vile and loathsome attack.’

Jonathan Greenblatt, who is the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, a group with the mission ‘to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all,’ tweeted on the same day:

‘Not sure what’s worse, Louis Farrakhan dehumanizing Jews & calling us termites or the crowd of people laughing & applauding his gross #antiSemitism — & public officials standing idly by. This is in line with Farrakhan’s long history of #antiSemitism. People need to speak out!’

Full transcript of the anti-Semitic video posted to Louis Farrakhan’s Facebook and Twitter accounts

‘Now, white folk don’t like Farrakhan. Some of them respect me. But those who have been our deceivers, they can’t stand me. I’m not mad with you. In fact, to the members of the Jewish community that don’t like me, thank you very much for putting my name all over the planet because of your fear of what we represent, I can go anywhere in the world and they’ve heard of Farrakhan. Thank you very much. I’m not mad at you, because you’re so stupid. Don’t you know my teacher, Elijah Muhammed, taught me one day: he said, “There once was a donkey that fell in a ditch, and everybody came along and picked up a stone and threw it at the donkey. They threw so many stones til the ditch got filled up, and the donkey walked out.” So my teacher said, “Brother, remember: every knock is a boost.” So when they talk about Farrakhan, call me a hater, call me anti-Semite. Stop it. I’m anti-Termite. I don’t know nothing about hating somebody because of their religious preference.’ 

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