Friday, January 04, 2019

"[We] Did Not Make" the Women's March Embrace Antisemitism

I really, really like Carly Pildis' essay on how the Women's March can -- if it so chooses -- succeed and undo much of the damage it's done to Jewish and LGBT women.

In particular, I loved this section:
I did not make you go to Savior’s Day. I did not make you post on Instagram with a man that calls me a termite and my marriage a threat to black America. I did not make you attack the ADL and defame their anti-bias work. I did not make you say that feminism can’t include Zionism. I did not make you sit on a panel on anti-semitism while Jewish leaders were asking you not to. I did not make you say that anti-Semitism is not a systemic hatred. I did not make you go to Israel and call the founding of our homeland, our self-determination, our biblical dream, a crime against humanity. I did not make you march with Louis Farrakhan. I did not make you write that your Jewish critics were enemies of Jesus. I did not make you write cruel facebook posts that undercut your organizational message. Jewish women did not do this to you. The “right” did not do this to you, “The Jews” did not do this to you. You did this. You did all of this.
This this and everything this. So much of the frustration around, not the antisemitism itself, but the reaction of the Women's March to the controversy, centered on how it was portrayed as ginned up, a concoction, a plot that was crafted by enemies of progressivism and feminism in order to destroy the movement. So it is bracing and refreshing for Pildis to say, flatly, "we did not do this. You did this." I can't tell you how good it is to see that written in such an unflinching manner.

Personally, I'm mostly indifferent to the ultimate fate of the Woman's March. It wasn't my cup of tea to begin with -- which isn't a criticism, not everything has to be tea for me -- and to the extent it has become a vehicle for the specific careers of Sarsour, Mallory, Perez, and Bland, I have no particular stake in their continued prominence or power.

But for many other people, Pildis included, the Women's March does matter, a lot and so it does matter that there be a demarcated pathway by which the Women's March can accept responsibility and move forward.

Maybe they'll take it. Maybe they won't. But I can't say it's a bad thing that people are putting in the work to create it.

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