Since Tamika Mallory’s connection to, and adoration of, anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan is well known, her anti-Semitic attacks on Jews and Israel — and her recent refusal to address those concerns — are not surprising.
But she is also a disciple of Al Sharpton. Mallory joined the staff of Sharpton’s National Action Network when she was 15 and later became its youngest-ever executive director.
|Mallory with Sharpton in 2010. Politico. Credit: Colby Hamilton Fair Use.|
Like Farrakhan, Sharpton also has a history of inciting hatred.
- 1987 Sharpton pushed the Tawana Brawley hoax, where a 15-year-old black girl claimed she was abducted and raped by a group of white men. Sharpton deliberately singled out Dutchess County prosecutor Steve Pagones, a young prosecutor and accused him of racism and of having participated in the attack on Brawley. Pagones sued and won a $345,000 verdict for defamation against Sharpton, Alton H. Maddox and C. Vernon Mason. Sharpton refused to pay and Johnnie Cochran paid for him.
- In 1991: When a Hasidic Jewish driver in Crown Heights accidentally killed Gavin Cato, a 7-year-old black child, antisemitic riots erupted. At the funeral Sharpton blamed the “diamond merchants” (Jews) with “the blood of innocent babies” on their hands. Sharpton went further, mobilizing hundreds of demonstrators marching through the Jewish neighborhood, chanting, “No justice, no peace.” Rabbinical student, Yankel Rosenbaum, was surrounded by a mob shouting “Kill the Jews!” and was stabbed to death.But Sharpton’s comments go further than that. The Forward quotes comments by Sharpton that would rival Farrakhan in their racism and history revisionism:
The world will tell us he was killed by accident. Yes, it was a social accident…It’s an accident to allow an apartheid ambulance service in the middle of Crown Heights…Talk about how Oppenheimer in South Africa sends diamonds straight to Tel Aviv and deals with the diamond merchants right here in Crown Heights. The issue is not anti-Semitism; the issue is apartheid…All we want to say is what Jesus said: if you offend one of these little ones, you got to pay for it. No compromise, no meetings, no kaffe klatsch, no skinnin’ and grinnin’. Pay for your deeds…It’s no accident that we know we should not be run over. We are the royal family on the planet. We’re the original man. We gazed into the stars and wrote astrology. We had a conversation and that became philosophy. We are the ones who created mathematics. We’re not anybody to be left to die waiting on an ambulance. We are the alpha and omega of creation itself…We will win because we’re right. We will win because we’re strong. God is on our side. [emphasis added]
- In 1995, the United House of Prayer, a large black landlord in Harlem, raised the rent on Freddy’s Fashion Mart, owned by a white Jewish owner who was forced to raise the rent on his subtenant, a black-owned music store. Following the ensuing dispute, Sharpton got involved and raised tempers, warning “we will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business.” Sharpton’s organization, National Action Network, set up picket lines. Customers who entered the store were spat on, cursed and accused of being “traitors” and “Uncle Toms.” Going further, some protesters shouted,”Burn down the Jew store!” while simulating striking a match with Sharpton’s colleague Morris Powell saying “We’re going to see that this cracker suffers”. On December 8, one of the protestors entered Freddy’s, shot 4 of the employees and set the store on fire, killing 7 employees. [emphasis added]Like Farrakhan, Sharpton acted the demagogue, picking a target and focusing on it relentlessly, whether it was Pagones or the Jews. Sharpton fabricated accusations against Pagones and the Jews with no basis in reality — but the hatred deliberately generated by those accusations did its job, energizing his followers and victimizing his targets.
This is what we see now from Sharpton’s disciple, in the way Mallory thinks about both white people and Jews.
“Tamika told us that the problem was that there were five white women in the room and only three women of color, and that she didn’t trust white women. Especially white women from the South. At that point, I kind of tuned out because I was so used to hearing this type of talk from Tamika. But then I noticed the energy in the room changed. I suddenly realized that Tamika and Carmen were facing Vanessa [Wruble, another leader], who was sitting on a couch, and berating her — but it wasn’t about her being white. It was about her being Jewish. ‘Your people this, your people that.’… They even said to her ‘your people hold all the wealth.’ You could hear a pin drop. It was awful.” [emphasis added]
“I don’t agree with everything that Minister Farrakhan said about Jews or women or gay people,” said Mallory. “I study in a tradition, the Kingian nonviolent tradition. [emphasis added]
Actually, she agrees with Farrakhan quite a bit, claiming that “white Jews” contribute to white supremacy.
Mallory has openly expressed her distrust white women as well:
“We’re not really interested in hearing white women talk about how much they want to work with us, and how much they want to be allies, and how much they appreciate us, and all those great things. We don’t want to hear that, because we continue to see — in places like Alabama — and as we approach the State of the Union, we’re dealing with a megalomaniac as president of this country and white women are largely to blame for that. They are largely the cause of it. White women have been voting the wrong way.”
And on the other hand, contrary to her claim of following the Kingian tradition — Mallory seems to fall short. In 1968, Reverend King condemned the identity politics Mallory advocates:
The response of some of the so-called young militants does not represent the position of the vast majority of Negroes. There are some who are color-consumed and they see a kind of mystique in blackness or in being colored, and anything non-colored is condemned. We do not follow that course. [emphasis added]
Putting aside Martin Luther King’s well known positive feelings about Israel, we can only wish that Mallory was capable of emulating Reverend King’s refusal to sink to identity politics that fuel the hate and divisiveness we see today.