News & Politics

Now Do Linda Sarsour: Chelsea Clinton Calls Out Louis Farrakhan's Anti-Semitism

Chelsea Clinton is seen during a panel discussion at the "Fast Forward" Women's Innovation Forum in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY, USA on September 23, 2017 (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones)(Sipa via AP Images)

Although Twitter passed on rendering judgment over Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan’s tweet comparing Jews to termites (no, seriously, he did that), some Democrats did not defer — including, notably, former first daughter Chelsea Clinton.

Chelsea called him out with a direct retweet, not a screenshot, and what’s more, called out others who did not call him out (presumably including the Twitter muckety-mucks).

“The responsive laughter makes my skin crawl,” said Chelsea, referring to the crowd in the video. “For everyone who rightly condemned President Trump’s rhetoric when he spoke about immigrants ‘infesting our country,’ this rhetoric should be equally unacceptable to you.”

First let’s acknowledge, as PJM’s Paula Bolyard did on Twitter, that this is “a start.” Which is to say, good for Chelsea. It was the right thing to say and do. Kudos and so on.

But then, we should also take special note of how she has made a comparison to other rhetoric and suggested that people maintain consistency. That’s a very interesting point because there is a great deal of inconsistency still at work here. Not just in general, but specifically in Chelsea Clinton’s case, regarding Farrakhan.

There is an activist left-wing group, the so-called Women’s March, that purports to be focused on the advancement of women. You may remember the march in 2017, which took place the day after Trump was inaugurated. But if not, here’s someone tweeting about it, to refresh your memory.

That group is co-chaired by Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, and Carmen Perez — all of whom have defended Farrakhan in the past. For example, Tamika Mallory attended a virulently anti-Semitic speech by Farrakhan and then refused to denounce him, or the speech, despite being called on it. In fact, Mallory indulged in some Jew-bashing herself.

You don’t have to take my right-wing word for it, ask CNN’s Jake Tapper or left-wing LGBT magazine The Advocate. They’ll tell you the same.

Co-chair Linda Sarsour jumped in on that in defense of Farrakhan and Mallory, but it wasn’t her first foray into that territory. By a long shot.

Sarsour is a pro-Palestine activist and outspoken “anti-Zionist,” as some like to put it. She refers to Israel as “the oppressors” of Palestinians and Muslims, and warned American Muslims at this year’s Islamic Society of North America conference against “humanizing the oppressors.” You know, Jews.

Sarsour has a long list of condemnation-worthy greatest hits, including saying she wished she could take anti-female genital mutilation activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s vagina away, arguing that anti-Semitism isn’t nearly as serious as other forms of racism or discrimination, touting her involvement with the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and more.

And it’s not just the Women’s March that Sarsour, a leader in the “intersectional feminist” movement, has participated in. For example, Sarsour was a speaker at the “Today, I Am a Muslim Too” rally in New York City last year. That event had many speakers, including hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and, well…

Intersectional is an interesting word. Chelsea Clinton intersects a lot with Linda Sarsour, who — again, not taking my word for it, but members of the liberal media linked above — has a habit of not just defending Louis Farrakhan but attending his events and even speaking at them. So on the list of people with whom Sarsour has shared the stage you find both Chelsea Clinton and Louis Farrakhan.

The Women’s March has four directors, and the three above are what Tablet Magazine writer Yair Rosenberg calls “Farrakhan groupies,” a characterization with which the Anti-Defamation League president agreed.

At the New York Daily News, self-described “New York liberal,” bestselling author and Salon and The Nation contributor Susan Shapiro wrote of the Women’s March trio: “Mallory, Perez and Sarsour have invented a brand of ‘intersectionality’ that includes the Nation of Islam, and thus excludes Jewish people.”

Chelsea Clinton’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky, is Jewish.

It’s a big step to condemn Farrakhan’s remarks, even though it seems like it would be an obvious thing to do, and it’s fine and correct to praise Chelsea Clinton for speaking up. But Louis Farrakhan isn’t just a guy on Twitter. He is deeply involved in Democrat politics (Chelsea’s parents, for example, recently shared a stage with him at Aretha Franklin’s funeral. And don’t even get us started on his ties to accused domestic abuser Keith Ellison) and the three biggest names in feminism are his groupies. For a self-avowed feminist like Chelsea, perhaps this single condemnation shouldn’t stand alone.

You’ve criticized Farrakhan, Chelsea Clinton. Good. Thank you. Now do Linda Sarsour.