Since the release of our open letter to the Women’s March National board, we have received valuable feedback that we were not as clear as we intended, and that lack of clarity has hurt some members of the community. We would like to briefly address those questions and concerns.
We released the statement in support of Zahra because we believe that the only way we succeed is by being open to having difficult conversations and engaging in learning and growth. The specific paragraph of our letter that has been called to attention is the one where we address the board and talk about how they have given into “the enemy”. To be clear, the “enemy” refers to right wing white supremacists who are tirelessly and continuously trying to intimidate and pit Muslim and Jewish communities against each other. We were not referring to Jewish people, who are in fact a part of the target of that hate and intimidation. The phrase “enemy” was intended to be directed toward white supremacists who don’t want to see progressive womxn and nonbinary people from all different religions, races, and walks of life achieve the justice we deserve. We realize that the phrase “enemy” has been weaponized against Jewish people, and that was not the intention of our statement. However, we realize intention does not amount to impact, and for this, we are sorry for any hurt that we have caused.
The events of the last week have been traumatizing on many levels, and for us to see a leader voted off the board without being given the chance to engage in the kind of conversations we are now having is the reason we reached out to the board in the first place. Growth does not happen without these conversations.
For our individual and communal safety we have made our letter private and removed it from the public eye, however we continue to support the intent of our letter. The reason we are even here is because at some point, someone extended grace to us. We are simply asking this courtesy and opportunity be extended to our sister, Zahra Billoo.