Keynoting MLK Week? Mallory Must Choose– King’s Love or Farrakhan’s Hate

Tamika Mallory, a co-chair of 2017’s Million Women March — currently bedeviled by its organizers’ embrace of Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan — has been invited to deliver the keynote address the University of North Carolina Ashville’s celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Week.

Located in the western hills of North Carolina, UNC Asheville, established in 2012, is a satellite campus of UNC Charlottesville, its famous mother campus, with roots going back to the 1790s. It was there where Reverend King spoke in 1960 while Charlottesville was still segregated, as was the Charlottesville Inn where he gave a dinner speech but could not stay. It was there where Silent Sam, the bronzed Confederate war statue greeted him as he entered Hill Hall to address mostly African American students.

In 2019, Tamika Mallory’s invitation to speak raises questions about how much the UNC Asheville community remembers about MLK’s legacy and whether the younger generation is committed to it.

Just a few months ago the Women’s March co-chair attended  Louis Farrakhan’s annual Saviours’ Day Address in 2018 where the NOI leader said: [“The] powerful Jews are my enemy . . . [They are] responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men . . . Farrakhan has pulled the cover off the eyes of the Satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through. You good Jews better separate because the satanic ones will take you to hell with them because that’s where they are headed . . . [This] means condemning and unmasking evil and confronting devilish Zionists, powerful people in the Jewish community who use knowledge and influence in opposition to the commands of God. . . They are part of the Synagogue of Satan, which includes people of different races and religions, who deliberately engage in evil and promote immorality. . . ”

Farrakhan called the Jews “the mother and father of apartheid”.

When criticized, Mallory doubled down, likening her support of the anti-Jewish, anti-Israel, anti-America Farrakhan, to Martin Luther King’s disciples as well as the disciples of Jesus: “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. Ostracizing, ridicule and rejection is a painful part of the process . . . but faith is the substance of things!”

She has  also has implied that the creation of Israel—a UN member in good standing—is “a human rights crime.”

Most recently, Tablet magazine has documented, that even before the 2017 Million Women’s 2017 Mallory had agreed with another March organizer, that Farrakhan’s hateful, mendacious, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, alleging that Jewish merchants “dominated” the slave trade with Africa was the truth.

Is a woman holding these monstrous, toxic beliefs someone the UNC Asheville community really wants to honor to keynote MLK Week?

Consider and contrast was the 27-year-old Rev. King himself said in 1956: “There is something in the very nature of the universe which is on the side of Israel in its struggle with every Egypt.” In 1959, King made his only trip to the Middle East. Barred by Jordan from visiting the Old City, he was nevertheless indelibly affected by Jerusalem.

In 1968, not long before he was assassinated, Reverend King responded this way  to a hostile question from an audience: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism.” Interviewed by the editor of Conservative Judaism on March 25, 1968, just ten days before his assassination in Memphis, King declared: I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can almost be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security.”

Reverend King was a great believer in free speech for everyone — including Tamika Mallory. But he would not have honored her words or associations.

This post was coauthered by Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Dr. Harold Brackman, a historian and author who serves as a consultant to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

About the Author
Rabbi Abraham Cooper is Associate Dean and Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Global Social Action
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