Meghan McCain gets unlikely support for Women's March grilling on 'The View' but is also accused of 'white woman privilege'

Suzy ByrneEditor, Yahoo Entertainment
Yahoo TV

The co-presidents of the Women’s March appeared on The View Monday to discuss the controversy around the organization — and things got heated with co-host Meghan McCain.

Co-presidents Tamika Mallory and Bob Bland were grilled about anti-Semitism claims waged against the group ahead of its third annual march as well as Mallory’s ties to the controversial head of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, who also has a history of anti-Semitic views. McCain came ready for battle.

Women’s March co-presidents, from left, Tamika Mallory and Bob Bland appeared on “The View” Monday — and faced a grilling from Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain. (Photo: The View)
Women’s March co-presidents, from left, Tamika Mallory and Bob Bland appeared on “The View” Monday — and faced a grilling from Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain. (Photo: The View)
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After Mallory addressed why she has associated with Farrakhan (“Just because you go into a space with someone does not mean you agree with everything they say“) and dubbed him “GOAT” on social media (“I didn’t call him the ‘greatest of all time’ because of his rhetoric. I called him the greatest of all time because of what he’s done in black communities”), McCain jumped in. “Let me interject,” said the conservative co-host. “I would never be comfortable supporting someone who [said], ‘I am not anti-Semite, I am anti-termite.’ ‘It’s the wicked Jews, the false Jews, promoting lesbian, homosexuality,’” two quotes made by Farrakhan. McCain also cited a quote that she said allegedly came from Mallory and Women’s March co-founder Carmen Perez that “Jewish people have a history of exploiting black people,” as reported by Tablet magazine.

“A lot of people — and I include me in this — think you’re using your organization as anti-Semitism masked in activism and are using identity politics to shield yourself from critiques,” said McCain, who also criticized the women’s organization for making her — a woman who is conservative and “pro-life” — feel excluded from a march that is supposed to represent all women.

Bland denied that Tablet quote and said, “I’ll be very clear in this room — that the Women’s March unequivocally condemns anti-Semitism, bigotry.” She also said the group condemns Farrakhan’s remarks about Jewish people. “We have repeatedly — in statement after statement this year, which are available directly on our website for anyone to read — condemn any statements of hate, and we’ve actually been working so hard over the last two years to fight this type of hate over and over again. We’re committed to repairing any harm because we understand that the Jewish community is feeling hurt right now.”

McCain asked Mallory to condemn the statements, to which Mallory replied, “What I will say to you is that I don’t agree with many of minister Farrakhan’s statements.” She wouldn’t condemn them (“It’s not the way that I speak,” she replied), so McCain kept hammering away. However, Mallory refused to play ball, saying only, “It’s very clear over the 20 years of my own personal activism, my own personal track record who I am and that I should never be judged through the lens of a man.”

Both Bland and Mallory also said that they were comfortable sharing the stage at the march with a Trump supporter and someone who is anti-abortion, responding to McCain’s saying that there is no place for conservative women in the marches. “There’s no prerequisite for people coming to the March,” Mallory replied. Anything to the contrary is just “not true.”

While wrapping up, Mallory also answered a question — asked by Whoopi Goldberg — about stepping down from the organization amid the controversy. She said it’s not happening — presumably unless she’s forced out. She said, “I also deal with people who don’t want me to step down. So there’s both sides of that. There are people who actually support my leadership, and I am willing to lead until my term at Women’s March is up.” 

While the show aired — and after — the internet was buzzing with comments about McCain’s dogged questioning. Conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro praised her for “finally asking the questions nobody else in the media will.”

And she got plenty of other kudos — including from some who said they normally wouldn’t be aligned with her.

But some didn’t like McCain’s execution.

Some of the negative comments centered around race. (McCain is white, and Mallory is black.) One person wrote that McCain’s way of questioning was “the PRIME example of white woman privilege.” Another assertion was that Mallory had to be calm, otherwise she would be be labeled as an angry black woman.

This person had problems with both McCain and Mallory. The “optics of a blond hair, white woman holding Mallory to the fire on this is troubling.” However, it was also “deeply problematic” that Mallory wouldn’t completely disassociate herself from Farrakhan.

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