A serious question about the state of intersectional feminism

Emily Shire at the Daily Beast notes that the celebrity hijab-wearer and activist Linda Sarsour called Jake Tapper of CNN part of the alt-right.

The woman widely considered the face of January’s Women’s March and the larger intersectional resistance movement against the Trump administration took aim at a journalist from the news network the President has all but declared war on because Tapper raised a serious question about the state of intersectional feminism.

Monday afternoon, he retweeted a message from the Women’s March celebrating the birthday of the “revolutionary” Assata Shakur. The warm illustration of Shakur against a pink-to-purple background didn’t mention her conviction for murdering state trooper Werner Foerster when he pulled over a car with Shakur and two other members of the Black Liberation Army. Shakur escaped prison and fled to Cuba, which granted her asylum. As The Daily Beast’s Michael Daly noted in a 2014 report,  “The FBI continued to consider her [Shakur] so dangerous that it offered the $1 million reward in 2005 and put her on the Most Wanted Terrorists List” in 2013.

So Tapper called out the Women’s March and specifically mentioned Sarsour and the Chicago Dyke March — the group that proudly expelled marchers for carrying flags with Stars of David in a gesture that many (including me) have criticized as blatantly anti-Semitic — for throwing their support behind Shakur: “Shakur is a cop-killer fugitive in Cuba. This, ugly sentiments from @lsarsour & @dykemarchchi …Any progressives out there condemning this?”

Sarsour tweeted back that Tapper “joins the ranks of the alt-right to target me online. Welcome to the party.”

That’s a bad and stupid thing for her to say. It’s not alt-right for progressives to take issue with, for instance, celebrating a convicted murderer. [Updating to add: But see Steamshovelmama @ 6 for reasons to think the conviction is unsafe.]

It’s always pissed me off that Sarsour was the face of the Women’s March…hijab and all. Hijab is not in any way progressive or a symbol of left-wing values.

This is the left’s version of Trump’s favorite bogeyman, “fake news.” Sarsour, like Trump, cheaply and falsely defames those who raise legitimate concerns or report non-favorable information about her.

There is a real alt-right, and people do share fake news,  sometimes with violent ramifications (the Comet Ping Pong pizza shooting is proof of that). This is something else.

Sarsour challenged Tapper to “please share my ‘ugly’ sentiments? Unapologetically Muslim? Unapologetically Palestinian? Pro-immigrant? Pro-justice? Shame.” Tapper responded by reminding the internet that Sarsour had attacked anti-female genital mutilation activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, saying she wished she could “take [her] vagina away” and that she didn’t “deserve to be [a] wom[a]n.”

Very social justice, much progressive.

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