Dear white women: the Women's March leaves no one behind, including you

Megan Izen


I've been watching this unbridled use of white privilege unfold over the last weeks in horror. I'm appalled by fellow white women, and as a queer woman, as an (atheist) Jew, attack the leaders of the most powerful movement in our lifetime in my name. In the name of protecting Jews, combatting homophobia, they are trying to divide rather than unify when we face the daily threat of the global movement towards fascism that will destroy our planet if not stopped.

These women are bolstering antisemitism and homophobia with their baseless and vicious attacks on people who I have personally witnessed putting their lives and bodies on the line to protect us all. I wrote a message to one of them whose name I only learned yesterday because she tried to take credit for the literal blood, sweat and tears of people like Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Bob Bland. The message I sent included this basic message plus a reminder that historically, movements for social change have been fought for and won by women of color who repeatedly get thrown under the bus by people with more power (mostly white women).

To fight fascism, we can not allow anything or anyone to divide us. We must stay the course with each other and the true leaders of our movement.

Here's an excerpt from Linda's response to the current 'controversy:'

> This is not a letter in defense of Minister Farrakhan. He can do that for himself. We have been CRYSTAL CLEAR in BOTH of our statements that we REJECT antisemitism and all forms of racism. We have been CLEAR that Minister Farrakhan has said hateful and hurtful things and that he does not align with our Unity Principles of the Women's March that were created by Women of Color. Minister Farrakhan will tell you himself that he does not belong to nor adhere to our progressive movement or yours.

> We are trained in Kingian nonviolence, the ideology of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that at its core calls us to attack the forces of evil not those doing evil. We believe in redemption for people of color who have been discarded, denounced and condemned for centuries in this country. People who engage in acts or behaviors or hold beliefs based on their own historical trauma. It's why we are not ashamed to work with formerly incarcerated individuals who have committed crimes that for some in society would have determined and decided to give them death. We have been slandered for working with criminals - but we are committed to a movement that leaves no one behind. Some folks who claim to be in the resistance or represent the resistance have no ideology or theory of change and have no understanding of the nuance that comes with organizing with communities of color because they have not done the work - and I pray that they do meet, build and learn because it will transform how they show up so they can help and not harm.

To educate yourself further, please read her entire letter here.