Women’s March official says group has ‘ignited political imagination of women’

The Chief Operating Officer of the Women’s March said Friday that the national movement has helped “ignite the political imagination of women” across the country, following a historic number of women elected to Congress in November.

“I think what has been so exciting about what has happened is that we have ignited the political imagination of women who now see a different way forward and see themselves in the civic discourse,” Rachel Carmona told Hill.TV’s Jamal Simmons and Buck Sexton on “Rising.”

In November, the national Women’s March celebrated the record number of women elected to Congress, believing that their movement inspired many of those candidates to run.

Women, particularly Democratic women, played a pivotal role in the 2018 midterm election cycle.

More than 100 women were elected into the 116th Congress, marking one of the most diverse Congressional classes in U.S. history. This includes a number of women of color and members of the LGBTQ community.

But the future of the Women's March has come into question following accusations of anti-Semitism among some of the group’s leadership.

Women’s March co-founder, Tamika Mallory, has been linked to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has a history of making anti-Semitic remarks. Mallory once called the religious leader “the GOAT,” or greatest of all time.

During a speech in February in which he praised Mallory, the Nation of Islam leader said that “powerful Jews are my enemy.” But, when confronted about Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic rhetoric during an interview on “The View,” Mallory expressed reluctance to condemn him unequivocally.

“As I said, I don’t agree with many of Minister Farrakhan’s statements,” Mallory told conservative co-host Meghan McCain.

“You won’t condemn it,” McCain said.

“To be very clear, it’s not the way that I speak, it is not how I organize,” Mallory said, adding that her track record as an activist “should never be judged through the lens of a man.”

Several celebrities and Democratic leaders have started distance themselves from the national movement.

Former Democratic National Committee Chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzFeminine hygiene products to be available to House lawmakers using congressional funds Dems accused of MeToo hypocrisy in Virginia President should use his address to rally Americans to our nation’s real needs MORE (D-Fla.), has become one of the the most outspoken critics of the group.

In an op-ed for USA Today, Wasserman Schultz outlined her reasons for not participating in the Women’s March on Washington, arguing that she cannot associate with a movement that doesn't "completely repudiate anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry."

“While I still firmly believe in its values and mission, I cannot associate with the national march’s leaders and principles, which refuse to completely repudiate anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry,” she wrote.

Despite recent criticism regarding the group’s ties to anti-Semitic leaders, the group insists that the women’s wave is coming and they’re ready to “sweep the world forward.”

—Tess Bonn