Southern Poverty Law Center Quietly Joins the Roster of Big Groups Walking Away from the Women’s March

From The Daily Beast:

The SPLC calls the Nation of Islam a hate group. The leaders of the Women’s March kept praising its leader.

Jackie Kucinich

The Southern Poverty Law Center will not partner with the Women’s March this year, The Daily Beast has confirmed.

Jen Fuson, a spokeswoman for the SPLC, said “other projects were a priority,” but added they would continue to be involved in marches at the local level in areas where they have offices.

The third annual march, to be held on January 19, comes amid criticism of the March leadership’s past affiliation with and failure to fully denounce Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, as well as other allegations of anti-semitism from its former organizers. The SPLC has designated the Nation of Islam as a hate group. Asked whether the Farrakhan connection played a part in the decision not to partner with them, Fuson reiterated that the group had other priorities.

EMILY’s List, a political action committee that aims to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights, is also absent from the Women’s March list of 2019 partners. A spokeswoman for EMILY’s List did not immediately return a request for comment.  The National Council of Jewish Women told The New York Jewish Week Wednesday they would not be a partner in this year’s march.

A spokeswoman for the Women’s March did not immediately return a call for comment.

The SPLC’s quiet move away from the Women’s March is in stark contrast to its press release two years ago,

“As an official partner of the march, the Southern Poverty Law Center stands in solidarity with its organizers’ vision — that ‘women’s rights are human rights’ — and with the march’s mission to bring together communities ‘insulted, demonized and threatened by the rhetoric of the past election cycle,’ the SPLC said in January of 2017, calling itself “dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Through our core issues, we work to protect the rights of the working poor, LGBT, and undocumented immigrant women whom the Women’s March on Washington seeks to unite.”

In November, Alyssa Milano and Debra Messing said they would no longer support the national march after the failure to denounce Farrakhan. March leaders in cities around the country have also disaffiliated in recent months, citing the Farrakhan issue as well as the failure of the national chapter to provide promised financial and logistical support

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New San Francisco Community Space Sees Protests Because Owner Is A ‘Zionist’

From The Forward:

Aiden Pink
December 27, 2018

Manny’s, a new business in San Francisco’s Mission District, is part cafe, part bookstore, part political event hall. Owner Manny Yekutiel, a 29-year-old rising star in the world of liberal political organizing, calls it a “civic social gathering space.”

It’s hosted incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, activists with Black Lives Matter — and on the sidewalk outside, protesters upset because Yekutiel is a “Zionist gentrifer.”

“Zionists out of the Mission!” one marcher yelled on Wednesday, Dec. 26, as about 20 members of the Lucy Parsons Project and allied groups gathered outside Manny’s.

he self-described “radical black queer direction action group,” named for an early 20th century Latina anarcho-communist labor organizer, has protested at Manny’s every Wednesday this month, and says it will continue protesting every Wednesday until Manny’s is “shut down.” The Project only has about 300 Twitter followers, but among the protest’s supporters is a local rapper, Equipto, with 14,500 followers.

This reporter tweeted at the Lucy Parsons Project on Thursday asking for an interview and was promptly blocked. (The group tweeted on Dec. 21, “We Proudly Block all Zionists.”)

The Bay Area is known for its left-wing politics and history of political activism on a range of issues — including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Jewish Voice for Peace was founded in Oakland. Groups for and against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement have advertised on area buses. The president of San Francisco State University has repeatedly apologized for anti-Semitic statements made by pro-BDS students and faculty. Local activists have for years protested at stores selling Israeli products like Ahava creams or SodaStream seltzer-makers.

And the Mission District, with its burrito shops and local Latino landmarks abutting pricey townhouses, is Ground Zero for various San Francisco-specific tensions, like gentrification fueled by the region’s tech boom.

None of the events at Manny’s have concerned the Middle East. Instead, the protesters are targeting Yekutiel for his personal support for the existence of the Jewish state.

The Lucy Parsons Project claims that Yekutiel is furthering gentrification in their neighborhood and criticized him for posting things like “Happy 70th Birthday Israel!” and “I am so proud of Israel and its people” on his personal Facebook page. They also wrote that he is “pinkwashing and blackfacing his gentrification and Zionism” by bringing in minority and LGBT guest speakers. (Yekutiel is also gay.)

He grew up in Los Angeles, the son of an American Ashkenazi Jewish mother and an immigrant father whose family fled persecution from Afghanistan to Israel. “I’m proud of their story and proud to be Jewish in America,” he said. At Manny’s, there’s a mezuzah on the door.

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“Evangelical” Hate Group Wants Gays Removed From Anti-Lynching Bill

From NBC News:

Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver opposes including the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in a federal anti-lynching bill.

By Brooke Sopelsa
Jan. 9, 2019

The U.S. Senate last month unanimously passed a bill that would explicitly make lynching a federal crime. Not everyone, however, is pleased with passage of the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act.

Liberty Counsel, an evangelical nonprofit that opposes gay rights, and its chairman, Mat Staver, are taking issue with the bill’s inclusion of LGBTQ people.

“The old saying is once that camel gets the nose in the tent, you can’t stop them from coming the rest of the way in,” Staver said in an interview with conservative Christian news outlet OneNewsNow. “This is a way to slip it in under a so-called anti-lynching bill, and to then to sort of circle the wagon and then go for the juggler [sic] at some time in the future.”

Staver told OneNewsNow that his organization, which has been labeled an anti-LGBTQ “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is lobbying lawmakers in the House to have them remove the bill’s “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” language before taking a vote.

Similarly, the group encouraged Congress in November to remove language about “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” discrimination from a trade agreement with Mexico and Canada.

Liberty Counsel did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment.

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Competing women’s march efforts in New York City undercut by infighting, anti-Semitism scandal

From The New York Daily News:

New York Daily News
Jan 13, 2019

There will be not one, but two women’s march events in Manhattan next week.

Women’s March Inc. — the group behind the historic first march in D.C. in 2017 — is holding a rally in Foley Square from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to a city Parks Department permit granted Friday.

Meanwhile, the Women’s March Alliance – an unaffiliated local group that has spearheaded events in the city for the last two years — has also secured a permit for Saturday. And their march, near Columbus Circle, will also kick off 11 a.m.

The dueling events are a product of an ugly feud over what and who should be represented in the women’s marches.

The Alliance claims the leaders of Women’s March Inc. have tried to “bully” their way into the Columbus Circle march and trashed the group for a lack of diversity.

Katherine Siemionko, founder and president of the Women’s March Alliance, which developed into a nonprofit two years ago, says she had a less than pleasant conversation with Linda Sarsour, a Women’s March Inc. board member and Palestinian-American racial justice activist this October.

“Linda said ‘You put us on your leadership board or we’ll hold a counter march,'” Siemionko explained. “And I said, ‘I don’t put up with bullying.'”

Siemionko says that Sarsour also implied she wasn’t fit to organize a march for all women because she is white.

Sarsour declined to talk to the Daily News and a spokeswoman for Women’s March Inc. refuted Siemionko’s account of the conversation.

Since the first march two years ago, accusations of anti-Semitism and criticism over connections to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan have soured people’s views of Women’s March Inc.

Sarsour, along with her fellow board members Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez, attended a 2015 Washington, D.C., rally organized by Farrakhan, who has said “Hitler was a very great man” and argued Israel is structured “on injustice, thievery, lying and deceit and using the name of God to shield your dirty religion.”

Mallory has referred to Farrakhan as “the GOAT,” which stands for “Greatest of All Time,” in an Instagram post that included a photo of herself alongside him. She also attended the Nation of Islam’s Saviours’ Day event last February, along with Sarsour and Perez, where Farrakhan said Jewish people are “responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men.”

Both Women’s March Inc. and Mallory, who did not respond to a request for comment, have been criticized for being late to respond to the growing backlash and in Mallory’s case, for not properly condemning Farrakhan’s remarks.

Jewish online magazine Tablet last month detailed several other disturbing allegations, including that Mallory, in a November 2016 meeting with founding members of the Women’s March, implied that Jewish people exploit black and brown people. Mallory has denied it. Tablet also reported that Women’s March Inc.used members of the Nation of Islam’s security team, the Fruit of Islam, with Sarsour writing in a Facebook caption, “FOI Brothers, security for the movement.”

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Friday Night Fun and Culture: Queen

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American Psychological Association links ‘masculinity ideology’ to homophobia, misogyny

From NBC News:

For the first time in its 127-year history, the APA has issued guidelines to help psychologists specifically address the issues of men and boys.

By Tim Fitzsimons
Jan. 8, 2019

For the first time in its 127-year history, the American Psychological Association has issued guidelines to help psychologists specifically address the issues of men and boys — and the 36-page document features a warning.

“Traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict and negatively influence mental health and physical health,” the report warns.

The new “Guidelines for the Psychological Practice with Boys and Men” defines “masculinity ideology” as “a particular constellation of standards that have held sway over large segments of the population, including: anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence.” The report also links this ideology to homophobia, bullying and sexual harassment.

The new guidelines, highlighted in this month’s issue of Monitor on Psychology, which is published by the APA, linked this ideology to a series of stark statistics: Men commit approximately 90 percent of all homicides in the U.S., they are far more likely than women to be arrested and charged with intimate partner violence in the U.S., and they are four times more likely than women to die of suicide worldwide.

Jared Skillings, a psychologist and the APA’s chief of professional practice, told NBC News these new guidelines are intended to educate mental health professionals about the unique issues facing this patient population. The APA published a similar report about girls and women in 2007 and is expected to publish an updated version this year.

“Masculinity ideology,” Skillings said, was important to highlight because it “represents a set of characteristics that are unhealthy for men — men who are sexist or violent or don’t take care of themselves.”

The report addresses the “power” and “privilege” that males have when compared to their female counterparts, but it notes that this privilege can be a psychological double-edged sword.

“Men who benefit from their social power are also confined by system-level policies and practices as well as individual-level psychological resources necessary to maintain male privilege,” the guidelines state. “Thus, male privilege often comes with a cost in the form of adherence to sexist ideologies designed to maintain male power that also restrict men’s ability to function adaptively.”

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It’s Time to Walk Away From the Women’s March

From Hadassah Magazine:

January 2019

Politics makes strange bedfellows, forcing us to ally ourselves with people whose views on other matters we do not share. How should we determine with whom to join hands and whom to reject? Some people have proposed a quantitative scale: If we agree on 75 percent of issues, then we can work together. I think our barometer must also be qualitative. Some differences are so beyond the pale that, even if I agree with most of your objectives, there is no room for compromise. I cannot join you. Such is the case with the current leadership of the national Women’s March.

Many Jewish women enthusiastically participated in the January 2017 marches, the largest of which happened in Washington, D.C., but also occurred in cities across the United States and the world. They came in droves with their pussy hats, baby strollers, walkers, mates, children, grandchildren and witty signs. But things have soured since then, not with the march’s objectives, but with its leadership.

In the months following the march, it became clear that one of its main organizers, Linda Sarsour, was a virulent opponent of Zionism, having tweeted back in 2012: “Nothing is creepier than Zionism.” Embracing the canard that Zionism is racism, she laid down a challenge to women who “call themselves Zionists” and want to participate in racial justice events. They must choose, she argued in more tweets: “We will not change who we are to make anybody feel comfortable. If you ain’t all in, then this ain’t the movement for you.” In other words, it’s either progressivism or Zionism.

Sarsour and some of her colleagues’ allegiance to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is most disturbing. Sarsour and Tamika D. Mallory, one of the co-leaders of the Women’s March, kept silent when Farrakhan described “the powerful Jews” as “my enemy,” and “the mother and father of apartheid.” When Mallory was criticized for her failure to condemn Farrakhan’s statements, she tweeted: “If your leader does not have the same enemies as Jesus, they may not be THE leader! Study the Bible and u will find the similarities.” This reference to Jesus’ enemies (“the Jews”) had unmistakable antisemitic overtones.

In recent months, Farrakhan again has engaged in hateful rhetoric, declaring in a sermon that “Satanic Jews” have “infected the whole world with poison and deceit.” Denying he’s an antisemite, he said at another speech that he is “anti-termite.”

In the wake of these controversies, Women’s March leaders have belatedly issued statements insisting, “We will not tolerate anti-Semitism, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia and we condemn these expressions of hatred in all forms.” While they have disassociated themselves from antisemitism in general, they did not explicitly condemn Farrakhan’s statements.

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