Opinion

Linda Sarsour Is Molding The Left In Her Own Image

Linda Sarsour Getty Images/Drew Angerer

Scott Greer Contributor

The most prominent movement dedicated to “resisting” the presidency of Donald Trump announced last week it considers a cop killer a hero.

The official Women’s March Twitter account wished convicted murder and unapologetic terrorist Assata Shakur a happy birthday. The tweet drew immediate backlash from conservatives, which prompted the group that counts as one of its leaders the rising left-wing star Linda Sarsour, to explain its decision to show support for someone as odious as Shakur.

Women’s March didn’t apologize for the tweet, didn’t condemn murders of police officers and didn’t swear off violence as a political tactic in its tweet storm in response to the outrage. All the group said was that it prefers non-violence and it primarily honors Shakur for fighting against sexism within her black power terror group, the Black Liberation Army.

What a noble endeavor.

The odious endorsement was met mostly with silence from the bigger news outlets and liberal pundits. But a lone exception to the case was CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who attacked Women’s March for praising a cop killer hiding from justice in Cuba.

That attack drew a sharp reply from Sarsour, who accused Tapper of joining the ranks of the Alt-Right with his criticism. That might be one of the silliest responses to a prominent voice calling them out for glorifying a terrorist. (RELATED: Linda Sarsour Says Jake Tapper Is A White Nationalist)

For one, Tapper, who leans left and is Jewish, is nowhere near the Alt-Right on the political spectrum. Secondly, just about every average American would have a problem with turning a murderous terrorist into a hero.

But this was the argument Sarsour chose, and it convinced several people to flood Tapper’s twitter feed with angry accusations of racism — because only a bigot would have a problem with Assata Shakur, apparently.

Last week’s controversy was only the latest of many uproars caused by Sarsour. Earlier in July, Sarsour raised eyebrows after she called for a jihad against President Donald Trump. Considering the term’s popular meaning in the West, it was bound to shock Americans that someone would deploy a term used to justify Islamic terror in an effort to rally against the leader of the country.

However, Sarsour counted many supporters among the punditocracy, and critics were shouted down with cries of Islamophobia. The activist herself blamed “conservative media” for the outrage and said she was only calling for speaking truth to power, not violence. (RELATED: Linda Sarsour Defends Her Use Of Jihad)

In March, Sarsour said one can not both be a feminist and a Zionist. Many Jewish feminists were offended by the declaration, and some wondered if that kind of rhetoric made her best suited to lead a women’s movement. But remain a feminist leader she did, with a few Zionist feminists coming to her defense.

Then, there are her past comments praising sharia law and demanding the vaginas of Islam critics Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Brigitte Gabriel be taken away. It’s odd for a feminist leader to be a fan of a system that oppresses women, but neither the celebration of sharia nor her vulgar criticism of political opponents has dimmed her star among liberals.

Nor has her ties to other murderous extremists done anything to dampen her support. Besides Shakur, Women’s March has also associated with Rasmea Odeh, a convicted Palestinian terrorist, and Donna Hylton, a political radical who participated in the torture and murder of a New York man in the 1980s.

Liberals, however, have largely ignored these repugnant ties and have been happy to dismiss Sarsour’s comments and stances as right-wing smears and nothing more.

The Women’s March leader’s surprising ability to overcome these controversies and associations that would have doomed someone in her position only a few years ago speaks volumes to the changing nature of the Left.

She has forced liberals to defend positions and ideas that they would have balked at supporting previously. Praising terrorists as heroes, check. Advocating for jihad and sharia, check. Having no problem with violence towards police, check. Being openly anti-Israel, check.

The reason that sensible liberals would have tried to keep their distance from these stances is due to how much they alienate regular Americans. It’s not a good campaign when you have to spend your whole time fielding questions on Assata Shakur.

Yet, three prominent Democratic senators — two of whom are possible contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 and who publicly expressed support for Sarsour and her cause — have shown no effort to disavow her. (RELATED: Dem Senators Decline To Condemn Women’s March For Supporting Terrorist)

There is the likelihood that Sarsour is able to get away with her radicalism due to the deep desire liberals have for a leader like her. A member of one of the minority communities Trump and those evil right-wingers look at suspiciously. A feminist who proudly wears her hijab — no matter the contradictions of that situation. A charismatic figure who can bring together white yuppies and minority radicals together for mass demonstration.

Sarsour offers these opportunities, and the Left doesn’t seem to want to give up on her leadership over a few radical ties. Besides, they don’t want a person of color accusing them of being racist like Jake Tapper was. The most terrifying thing for a white liberal is a respected minority accusing them of racism.

But the Left has a major problem by standing with Sarsour when it forces them to take a whole bunch of positions that are not going to play well at election time. It might not matter when yuppies are out LARPing resistance to care about Sarsour’s support for Shakur, but it is going to matter when Kamala Harris is running for president.

There are only so many people you can shame with “RACIST!” smears to get them to shut up about embracing a cop-killing terrorists. Most Americans don’t want Assata Shakur and Rasmea Odeh to be inspirational figures.

Does the Left disagree with that?

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