Monday, May 6, 2019

Linda Sarsour at 2015 Farrakhan's 'Justice Or Else' Rally: "I'm Tired of People Asking What The 'Else' Is"

    In 2015, Linda Sarsour, self-described civil-rights activist and "every Islamophobe’s worst nightmare" spoke at Louis Farrakhan's "Justice or Else" rally in Washington DC on the 20th anniversary of Farrakhan's Million Man March.
    Referencing the title of the rally, Sarsour said, "I'm tired of people asking us what the 'else' is. You would not have to ask that question if we already had justice." The video of Sarsour's speech is available on C-Span [1:42:18].

    Sarsour, a founder of the Women's March, was introduced by Tamika Mallory, also a founder of the Women's March and the emcee of the Justice or Else event, and was preceded by Rep. Danny Davis, a Farrakhan supporter who continues to serve in Congress, and Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's longtime pastor with whom Obama publicly split during Obama's 2008 run for president.

   During her speech, Sarsour said:
We are one, sisters and brothers, and our liberation is bound up together. The same people who justify the massacre of Palestinian people and called it collateral damage are the same people who justify the murder of black young men and women. The same people who want to deport millions of undocumented immigrants are the same people who hate Muslims and want to take our right to worship freely in this country. That common enemy, sisters and brothers, is white supremacy. Let's call it what it is. We're not here to make people feel comfortable. I'm tired of people asking us what the 'else' is. You would not have to ask that question if we already had justice. We are angry, sisters and brothers. [emphasis added]
    Farrakhan himself has never been explicit about the 'else' either, but in an interview leading up to the rally, he gave some hints:
 A prescription for us is, those who kill us and seem to get away with it, we cannot allow it to continue. We must rise up and kill those who kill us outside of the law of justice and when they feel death like we feel death, when they feel pain at the burying of their dead like we feel it, then maybe we can sit down to a table and act like civilized people. [emphasis added]
   Sarsour herself made some remarks more recently regarding violence versus non-violence in the context the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
I am trained in kingian non-violence. I choose non-violence as a powerful means to change. BUT i don’t have to choose or justify violence to understand where it comes from when oppressed people see no way out. We have to be critical thinkers, advocate & present solutions.
    Sarsour continued:
Until we see both the Palestinian and Israeli people as equals than we will continue to see this cycle of violence. Don’t act surprised. Demand justice for Palestinians & let’s begin discussing peace. There’ll be no peace without justice.