The Democratic National Committee is one of the largest groups to drop out as a sponsor for the 2019 Women's March, which is preparing for weekend rallies in Washington, D.C.
Allegations of Women's March Inc. supporting antisemitic views were confirmed when its leaders, co-presidents Tamika Mallory and Bob Bland, appeared on ABC's The View and refused to excoriate Louis Farrakhan.
Farrakhan is an African American nationalist and leader of the controversial religious group, Nation of Islam, and is known for expressing his animosity towards the Jewish community.
He often goes on public antisemitic rants and once compared the Jews to "termites."
Happy to see the @DNC is dropping its partnership with the women’s march and take a strong stand against anti-semit… https://t.co/JJxkDtadrc— Meghan McCain (@Meghan McCain)1547579300.0
The DNC unceremoniously pulled out from the sponsor list within 24 hours after the WMI leaders' nationally televised appearance, according to The Daily Beast.
Sabrina Singh, DNC deputy communications director, explained the reason for the committee's withdrawal.
"The DNC stands in solidarity with all those fighting for women's rights and holding the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers across the country accountable."
"Women are on the front lines of fighting back against this administration and are the core of our Democratic Party."
Mallory defended Farrakhan when the morning talk show co-host Sunny Hostin inquired about an Instagram photo of the WMI leader posing with the nationalist.
"Thank God this man is still alive and doing well. He is definitely the GOAT. Happy Birthday @louisfarrakhan!," Mallory wrote for the Instagram caption, invoking the acronym for "Greatest Of All Time."
"I didn't call him the greatest of all time because of his rhetoric," Mallory said. "I called him the greatest of all time because of what he's done in black communities."
View co-host Meghan McCain then asked:
"You're talking about women, you should be talking about all women, including Jewish women and conservative women. Do you condemn Farrakhan's remarks about Jewish people?"
But Mallory denied making any statements excluding the Jewish community.
"We didn't make those remarks. I don't agree with many of Minister Farrakhan's statements."
"Do you condemn them?" McCain persisted.
"I don't agree with these statements," Mallory said. "It's not my language, it's not the way that I speak, it's not how I organize... I should never be judged through the lens of a man."
The co-host confirmed:
"You won't condemn it."
.@MeghanMcCain pressed @TamikaDMallory to condemn Louis Farrakhan’s bigotry and Mallory deflected time and time aga… https://t.co/v9k0QVuwNH— AJC (@AJC)1547572594.0
@AJCGlobal @MeghanMcCain @TamikaDMallory @womensmarch As a former debater, the strategy Tamika mallory uses to get… https://t.co/YVQjpADGXp— Logan Hill (@Logan Hill)1547607122.0
@ClassicYou1 @AJCGlobal @MeghanMcCain @TamikaDMallory @womensmarch When specifically asked to condemn anti semitic… https://t.co/3jB6O8Mp8j— Logan Hill (@Logan Hill)1547613229.0
The first Women's March kicked off in 2017, a day after Donald Trump's presidential inauguration. An estimated 700,000 participants gathered in Washington in addition to 4 million, globally.
However, participation numbers diminished for the March's second year and Dana R. Fisher, a University of Maryland sociology professor, attributes it to WMI co-opting the campaign.
"The movement is not just one organization. It is extremely unfortunate there is this implosion going on. It's really distracting, and it's very possible it's going to distract from turnout."
Many people called out Mallory for her aligning with Farrakhan.
@HarrisonMac05 @AliciaMichele88 @ABCPolitics She said she doesn't agree with him, is that not condemning?— NJ Gooner (@NJ Gooner)1547621424.0
@SKafc3 @HarrisonMac05 @AliciaMichele88 @ABCPolitics No, it’s not. She can’t have it both ways. She can’t say she d… https://t.co/qlKkHNBZRT— Ira Motley (@Ira Motley)1547622066.0
@thedailybeast I am grateful for the DNC. Tamika Mallory is absolutely toxic. I will not support any Democrat who w… https://t.co/LdrakNy9eq— Russell Drew (@Russell Drew)1547592105.0
@thedailybeast @KyahppyDer I had been wondering for some time why the Women’s March hadn’t been receiving coverage… https://t.co/cFD5peQSZ6— Smocking Hot Trump-a-roni (@Smocking Hot Trump-a-roni)1547623398.0
@ABCPolitics “It’s just who I choose to associate with.” You are who you associate with. It’s a shame that Megan Mc… https://t.co/u86u9bRsTA— LegalizeWorldwide🌎 (@LegalizeWorldwide🌎)1547605200.0
@ABCPolitics It says this man blames Jews for "the horror of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, plantation slavery, Ji… https://t.co/lqJtfiPGLD— Nic (@Nic)1547590667.0
@ABCPolitics When you say nothing you are involved. When you refuse to condemn disgusting remarks you are just as b… https://t.co/Nc9iihliwg— Nic (@Nic)1547590805.0
But others who passionately believe in the movement urged others to continue fighting the good fight.
@thedailybeast The women I know who have attended both previous marches do not align specifically with the organize… https://t.co/j2Qa9Tw44X— Rose 🦉 (@Rose 🦉)1547613500.0
@thedailybeast When I joined, my sign said that gun violence is a women’s issue. It made some uncomfortable. That i… https://t.co/HJ6iIJIuFN— Rose 🦉 (@Rose 🦉)1547613667.0
@thedailybeast @COHummingbird I support DNC's withdrawal from sponsoring someone who won't condemn antisemitism. M… https://t.co/slpspnENPl— DaleWillResist📣 (@DaleWillResist📣)1547613363.0
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which officially designated Farrakhan's Nation of Islam as a hate group, have also dropped out as a sponsor for the 2019 Women's March.
SPLC spokeswoman Jen Fuson cited "other projects were a priority," but added they would still participate on a local level in cities where the nonprofit advocacy organization have offices.
The Daily Beast also indicated that less than 550 of the sponsors from the 2018 list are returning to participate for the March's third year.