Friday, May 31, 2019

They Can't Be Trying, Because We Tried, and We're Amazing

There's a new women's organization out there -- Supermajority -- that's trying to succeed where the Women's March fragmented. And Linda Sarsour has some thoughts on them:
Sarsour says the Women’s March tried to be a space for all women, to be intersectional, but that “this never worked before” because when issues arose outside of gender equality, like racism or immigration, it made people uneasy.
“If another group wants to attempt it,” said Sarsour, “that must mean that they don’t want to have the hard conversations, because when we had the hard conversations, it was really uncomfortable and difficult for people.”
Is it just me, or does this come off as almost unbelievably petty?

Which isn't to say Sarsour doesn't feel good about her impact with the Women's March:
The formation of the Women’s March, said Sarsour, is a “very simple story.” After Donald Trump won the 2016 election, “white women started a Facebook page, and they called it the Million Women’s March.”
“These women started this Facebook page, but in order for this Facebook page to be translated into tangible, actual organizing, into actual marches, it required women of color leadership,” said Sarsour. “That’s when me, Carmen [Perez] and Tamika [Mallory] were called to come to the Women’s March. We were the only organizers, like actual seasoned organizers. Everyone else was a fashion entrepreneur. They worked in tech. They were yoga teachers. We had a woman who was a chef. Everyone had a different profession, and we were the ones that came in with the organizing background.”
The first Women’s March was a day after Trump’s inauguration. Sarsour and her co-chairs set out an agenda to harness the energy of the millions of women who took to the streets and turn it into political power. They, along with local, grassroots chapters, organized events to get women into office and voters to the polls.
“We watched the impact of activism of people who’ve never once went to a march, never called their member of Congress, all of a sudden engaging in activism at a level that we hadn’t seen in at least the last 20 years,” recounted Sarsour. “And then seeing in 2018 us winning back the House, putting over 110 women in Congress. I’m not saying that’s all Women’s March, but absolutely the Women’s March set the foundation for all of these things to happen.”
You know, I've long been content with my view on Sarsour, which is that while she doesn't deserve the frankly insane amount of attention and vitriol she receives from the American Jewish community, she's also just ... not that impressive. She's a decent rabble-rouser, but really more of a glory-hound -- everything is her her her. Thank goodness those fashion designers and yoga teachers had her to lead them! But there's not a lot going on past that.

The Washington Post just did a piece on the fractured friendship of Cory Booker and Shmuley Boteach and ... Boteach actually strikes me as a decent parallel to Sarsour. Boteach is a mediocrity who had his moment but now is seen mostly as a "he's still here?" sort of figure. He'll probably keep on getting media coverage because he has a natural knack for drawing attention to himself, but his time is past, and everyone knows it. And so too, I suspect, with Sarsour. She'll always have a cadre of folks who think she's the cat's meow, and her sheer status as a lightning rod will ensure that she can always get some amount of attention to herself (Sarsour exists in symbiotic relationship with her most inveterate haters, who also are marginal figures in the Jewish community that know the fastest way to get prime column placement if her name is in the title). But more and more, I think she'll be seen as of the past.

Who knows whether Supermajority will go anywhere. But I think Sarsour's star has faded, and she's going to be increasingly irrelevant from here on out. Just like Shmuley.

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