On January 11, 2019, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) urged the University of North Carolina-Asheville to rescind its invitation to Tamika Mallory to be the keynote speaker at the university’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration beginning on January 19. In a letter to Chancellor Nancy J. Cable and Interim Provost Karin Peterson, the ZOA detailed Mallory’s expressions and tolerance of anti-Semitism, including her enthusiasm for Louis Farrakhan, a vicious anti-Semite, homophobe and misogynist who has described Adolph Hitler as “a very great man” and compared Jews to termites. In 2017, Mallory posted a photo of herself with Farrakhan, both of them smiling and Farrakhan’s arm around her, with a message referring to Farrakhan as the “GOAT” – an acronym for the Greatest of All Time.
Chancellor Cable and Provost Peterson have not responded to the ZOA’s letter and Mallory is still scheduled to be the keynote speaker – even though yesterday, Mallory once again refused the opportunity to publicly condemn Farrakhan and his anti-Semitism when she was expressly asked about it in an interview on television’s “The View.”
Here is Mallory’s exchange with “View” co-host Meghan McCain:
Mallory: “I don’t agree with many of Minister Farrakhan’s statements.”
McCain: “Specifically about Jewish people?”
Mallory: “As I said, I don’t agree with many of Minister Farrakhan’s statements.”
McCain: “Do you condemn them?”
Mallory: “I don’t agree with these statements . . .”
McCain: “You won’t condemn it.”
Mallory: “No, no, no, to be very clear, it’s not my language, it’s not the way that I speak.”
Given Mallory’s continuing refusal to distance herself and condemn Farrakhan’s hatred toward Jews, ZOA National President Morton A. Klein implored UNC-Asheville to rescind Mallory’s speaking invitation: “Chancellor Cable and Provost Peterson, you have all the evidence you could possibly need to conclude that Tamika Mallory is a disgraceful and insulting choice to deliver the keynote address at the university’s upcoming celebration of Dr. Marin Luther King Jr.
“Dr. King was an ardent Zionist and a dear friend to the Jewish people. Mallory has shown us that she’s the opposite. Given Mallory’s continuing refusal to condemn Louis Farrakhan’s Jew-hatred, it degrades Dr. King’s legacy and sends a horrible and destructive message to your university community to honor her. Choose someone who truly embraces Dr. King’s beliefs and values, including his abhorrence of anti-Semitism and love for Israel.”