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The Future Of The Women’s Movement : NPR

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we will head into the Barbershop. That is the place we invite fascinating individuals to speak about what’s within the information and what’s on their minds. And immediately, we needed to dig deeper into the topic of girls in management. And we have been fascinated by this as a result of the 116th Congress, which was sworn on this week – for those who even look on the protection, you may see that it’s an historic Congress. Document numbers of girls have been seated, together with the primary Muslim ladies, the primary Native American ladies, the primary lady who identifies as bisexual. I imply, the listing goes on.

And but, hassle indicators are rising. The Women’s March has turn into an annual protest since 2017, however it’s hit some snags. There are accusations of anti-Semitism within the nationwide management, and a few marches across the nation have been canceled due to inner disagreements or lack of funds. So, as we stated, we thought this may be a great time to speak about how ladies are enthusiastic about and taking management heading into 2019. With us now in our Washington, D.C., studios is Karen Finney. She was spokeswoman for the Clinton 2016 presidential marketing campaign. She’s now a political contributor at CNN.

Welcome, Karen. Thanks a lot for becoming a member of us as soon as once more.

KAREN FINNEY: Thanks.

MARTIN: With us from Dallas, Texas, is Future Herndon-De La Rosa. She was the founding father of New Wave Feminists, which describes itself as a pro-life feminist group.

Future, welcome again to you as nicely. Thanks a lot for becoming a member of us.

DESTINY HERNDON-DE LA ROSA: Thanks for having me.

LINDA SARSOUR: And final, however definitely not least, organizer and activist Linda Sarsour. She is likely one of the nationwide co-chairs of the Women’s March on Washington.

Linda, welcome to you as nicely.

SARSOUR: Thanks.

MARTIN: So, Karen, let me begin with you as a result of, as we talked about, there are a document variety of ladies seated within the new Congress – 127 ladies in contrast with 110 within the earlier Congress. Now, illustration by itself is an enormous deal. However is there any indication that having extra ladies goes to vary the best way Congress does its job?

FINNEY: Properly, I definitely hope so. I imply, you realize, there’s a substantial amount of analysis, definitely from the company aspect, that when you could have – that higher selections get made when there’s extra variety across the desk. And I feel we have got lots of ladies and numerous ladies. And so – and what meaning is they are going to deliver totally different views to decision-making. So I feel there’s not a method that it could’t have an effect, frankly.

And I feel one of many issues we’re seeing that I hope – I really feel like we’re beginning to see Nancy Pelosi and the management of the Democrat Celebration definitely making an attempt to do that. You recognize, it means – once I say the decision-making desk, that is actually the important thing factor. It is acquired to be, let’s usher in these numerous voices and faces once we’re making an attempt to make selections on technique of how we will pursue a bit of laws or what should be in a bit of laws. And positively, I feel the truth that ladies are – are typically extra collaborative leaders – we all know that well-known story from the price range deadlock, the place it was actually the Republican and Democratic ladies of the Senate who type of helped dealer a deal.

So I feel for those who simply take a look at the character of girls’s management, the character of the various experiences and backgrounds that these ladies are bringing to Congress and the alternatives that I feel they’ll have, notably beneath the management of Nancy Pelosi, to be a part of decision-making – like I stated, I do not see how we could not – it could not have a constructive influence.

MARTIN: Now, Linda, I’ll you now as a result of I famous that you simply definitely help elected management. You attended the swearing in ceremony for Rashida Tlaib on Thursday, the brand new congresswoman from Michigan. She’s additionally the primary Palestinian-American congressperson, one of many first Muslim ladies to be elected to Congress. However I discover myself sort of questioning, what do you see as your position as an activist now?

I used to be fascinated with how the election of, say, Barack Obama as the primary black president – I imply, he began as an outdoor activist, after which he determined to maneuver to elected workplace. What do you see as your position now that these limitations to teams who have not participated earlier than are falling?

SARSOUR: I am very pleased with Rashida’s win as the primary Palestinian-American lady in Congress. And I see my position proper now and as – have all the time seen my position as an outdoor activist who builds relationships with individuals on the within of presidency. And I – this is a chance for us not simply to be proud and have fun the Rashida, the Alex, the Ayanna Pressleys, the Ilhan Omars, the Jahana Hayes.

It is a chance for us to additionally maintain them accountable to our communities. It isn’t sufficient simply to elect individuals of colour and ladies of shade and progressives. We have to ensure that they’ve a piece plan and that they’re – proceed to align with the communities that helped get them to the place they’re at.

MARTIN: And, Future, actually, it is the identical query to you, is how do you see your position? I imply, I feel many individuals might keep in mind your story – that you simply based the group New Wave Feminists, which opposes abortion rights and the dying penalty. Then after the group turned an official companion for the primary Women’s March, New Wave Feminists have been faraway from the listing, however you continue to marched anyway. How do you see your position? I imply, you clearly agree with most of the march organizers on some points. You disagree with others. How do you see your position proper now?

HERNDON-DE LA ROSA: Completely. You already know, we did march again in 2017 and 2018. We plan on marching once more this yr. It is all the time been an exquisite expertise as a result of there are such a lot of platforms that we completely do agree on. You already know, the main target of our group is to battle injustice and ensure that all human beings will not be being humanized from the womb to the tomb. And so we plan on persevering with that message into this January with the march in D.C. and actually type of calling a number of the management with the ladies’s march to talk out extra.

You realize, there was that controversy with Louis Farrakhan, they usually have stated that they, you already know, don’t help anti-Semitism in any method. However I feel we would like it to go deeper than that. We would like them to truly denounce Louis Farrakhan himself.

MARTIN: Properly, Linda, what about that? I imply, we do not – I apologize to listeners who will not be acquainted with this complete controversy, however that in a nutshell is it – is that there are individuals who say they will not take part within the Women’s March as a result of they really feel that you’ve got not gone far sufficient to denounce Louis Farrakhan for feedback that he has made that many individuals say are usually not simply anti-Semitic however misogynist, anti-woman and so forth. And, you realize, and as briefly as you possibly can – I do know it is complicated – what do you say about that?

SARSOUR: It is truly not very complicated in any respect. Minister Farrakhan completely says anti-Semitic, misogynistic and homophobic remarks. And we’ve got unequivocally rejected all types of racism and hate together with anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and so forth. What individuals want to know – that’s the organizers of the Women’s March, these of us who’re seasoned organizers – we’re educated in Kingian (ph) nonviolence. And people are the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, and some of the essential teachings is go after the forces of evil, not these doing evil. And it is extremely complicated and sophisticated to denounce black – to ask a black lady to denounce a black man.

And, in truth, it is truly from these individuals calling themselves feminists – we’ve to actually step again and mirror that we’re being requested to answer and to apologize for one thing that we didn’t say, and that we’re being requested to answer one thing that a man says. We must be held chargeable for our actions and our phrases, and our actions have been very clear. We’ve constructed the boldest and most intersectional platform, together with one that’s pro-choice. And once we say pro-choice, it isn’t pro-abortion. It’s professional the lady – a lady’s proper to decide on whether or not or not she needs to maintain her youngster or doesn’t need to maintain her baby for a lot of, many causes, after which everyone knows what these causes are.

So we’re pleased with the group that we’re part of, which is a startup group. However we have solely been round for 2 years, and we’re nonetheless constructing. We’re additionally flawed leaders. We’re people who find themselves going to make errors, and this motion has to have room for us – restorative justice, redemption and permitting individuals to study and have the arduous conversations.

And considered one of our missions is to eradicate all types of hate. However as a way to do this, we should have brave conversations and understanding and truly perceive what’s actually anti-Semitism. And this for me has been a blessing as a result of it has allowed us to have these relationships and these conversations with Jewish leaders throughout the nation. And we’re very pleased with that work and pleased with the individuals who have referred to as us in as an alternative of calling us out.

MARTIN: So, Karen, let me ask you about this. How do you see this dialogue? As a result of I might see on the one hand lots of people who’re in conventional political organizations would see one thing like this as messy, proper? Now, Linda’s saying, look – that is truly a blessing as a result of…

SARSOUR: Yeah.

MARTIN: …This provides us an opportunity to truly have some onerous conversations. I used to be curious – as an individual who’s spent a lot of your grownup life making an attempt to get individuals elected, how do you see it?

FINNEY: (Laughter) Nicely, look – I am additionally somebody who considers herself an activist on the within as a result of, like I say, you understand, we have got to have extra ladies at these tables. You understand, I feel this is a vital dialog to have, however I feel there’s a few issues that I feel we have to do right here. I feel we have to separate out what is occurring with the Women’s March as a corporation and as an occasion from what is occurring with feminism and the ladies’s motion on this nation.

MARTIN: And what – how do you see that?

FINNEY: And the best way I see that’s that, as a motion, we have gotten a – intersectional with – you recognize, I occur to be biracial. I do not – some individuals would contemplate that intersectional. Level being (laughter), you understand, there’s plenty of labels we will use and phrases we will use. However the level is, we have to – we’re increasing as a motion of girls when it comes to how we struggle for our rights, the place we struggle for our rights and the rights that we’re preventing for. And I feel, you recognize, that progress is essential.

And when you – you understand, there are a selection of various teams, and we do have to have room for several types of teams who’ve totally different agendas. I feel, with regard to the march itself, you recognize, that may be a place the place I feel as a corporation, they get to say, this is who we’re. This is our platform. This is what we help. And other people can determine if that is proper for them or not.

MARTIN: Are you going?

FINNEY: I have never determined but, to be trustworthy.

MARTIN: Actually?

FINNEY: (Laughter) As a result of…

MARTIN: As a result of…

FINNEY: Solely as a result of it is the primary weekend in January, and I’ve – and I am nonetheless sort of getting again into, you recognize…

MARTIN: OK.

FINNEY: …My life.

MARTIN: All proper.

FINNEY: I simply received again from trip yesterday. However I feel it is actually necessary, although – there’s one factor that I feel is an important. Let’s not draw back from having these conversations…

MARTIN: OK.

FINNEY: …As a result of…

MARTIN: Sure.

FINNEY: Too typically, they get – you recognize, we get informed we will not as a result of, oh, that is racist, or it is this-ist (ph). And if we – you already know, the best problem our nation has goes to be our – is our variety and the way we study to stay collectively.

MARTIN: OK.

FINNEY: So I feel we have got to have these conversations.

MARTIN: All proper. And we’re – and I am sorry we do not have extra time for this one. Let’s get again collectively sooner or later and maintain speaking about this.

That is Karen Finney, longtime political advisor, political contributor at CNN, Linda Sarsour, nationwide co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington, Future Herndon-De La Rosa, the founding father of the group New Wave Feminists.

Thanks all a lot for beginning the dialog.

SARSOUR: Thanks.

HERNDON-DE LA ROSA: Thanks.

(SOUNDBITE OF GOLD PANDA’S “MARRIAGE”)

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