SIO60: An Objective Look at Linda Sarsour

… to the degree that’s possible on the internet these days…

When Dave Rubin tweeted that we need to stop giving money to the ACLU and Sam Harris retweeted it, simply because they wrote a profile on Linda Sarsour, I decided I needed to look into this person. This is certainly a minefield… So here we go… my best effort at an objective look at Linda Sarsour.

Links: ACLU profile on SarsourWomen’s march missionSnopes on accusations against SarsourSarsour opinion pieceNY police Muslim spy unitJihad speech being taken out of contextWomen’s march Assata Shakur tweetSarsour 2011 tweet on AyaanSarsour response to being called out

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10 Comments on "SIO60: An Objective Look at Linda Sarsour"

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I have two quick points. 1. Knowing very little more than what was said in the episode about Assata Shakur, it seemed to me the reason for the tweet was provided in the follow up tweet, in which they elaborated on this woman’s work prior to the shooting incident (i.e., her work to empower women in the black liberation movement). While she is famous for being involved in that incident, as well as her subsequent escape and life in Cuba, she’s not defined by just that one action, and I get the sense they tweeted about her to acknowledge and… Read more »
Great idea for an episode! One thing about the “I will not assimilate” line. I know that phrase from Erdogan (but he is talking about the Turkish-German immigration which is a specific context) and there it was used to basically say that Muslim Turkish Germans are not really Germans and that Muslim Turks are Muslim Turks and any change of that is racist (by Germans) or treason (by Turkish people). If Sarsour used the phrase because of how Erdogan used it, I think it reflects very badly on her. But I feel in general, while the right overdoes it, your… Read more »

Lol… Generally killing a police office overshadows any good someone did prior. Kind of the risk you take when shooting a cop, Kyle.

Are there not plenty of other feminist activists who could be honored? It’s just really put of pocket to say happy birthday to a murderer, regardless of who they murder. Not a great look, and an obvious reach.

Not sure why someone would take issue with Thomas’s take on that.

I take your point, and I partially see where you’re coming from. It seems clear that this tweet was a provocative act, but I’m not convinced, as Thomas implied, that the only motivation for it was stupidity. Again, putting aside the cultural context of the moment (i.e., extra-judicial execution of black civil rights figures conducted by law enforcement, as noted by Thomas), and ignoring the ambiguous circumstances of the incident itself (i.e., what happened, who instigated, who did the shooting, etc?), even if we take it as granted that this woman willfully killed a police officer, can you see a… Read more »
Mike Samsa
“Lol… Generally killing a police office overshadows any good someone did prior. ” That’s potentially true but just keep in mind that the court determined that it was impossible for her to have killed the police officer. Her arms were paralysed from being shot multiple times when her arms were up, the officer testified that she did not have a gun and was not seen firing a gun, and no gun shot residue was found on her and her clothing. So her crime was that she was part of a group committing a felony, which means that legally she gets… Read more »
Sorry to post twice, but I just listened to Politically Reactive, and they raised some interesting points on this, if anyone’s interested. They interviewed Sarsour last episode, and recorded with Tapper before the tweets, so they recorded a new episode and addressed the topic somewhat with a cyber-sociology professor. One of the relevant points they mentioned was Sarsour including the alt-right comment in her response to Tapper’s criticism, and how it functioned not as an accusation about Tapper or a rebuttal to the argument, but to highlight the effect it can have for a mainstream, national news figure to echo… Read more »
Mike Samsa
Thanks for doing this episode, Thomas. I was in the same position as you where I didn’t know much about Sarsour, then had to try to make sense of all the hyperbolic criticisms of her. I’m not sure I fully agree with everything you said but I think I broadly reach the same conclusion – that she’s flawed but not as bad as the far right has painted her, and she’s done a lot of good work. At the beginning you mentioned her comments about assimilation and you were on the right track to speculate that she probably meant something… Read more »
Psycho Gecko
I figured I’d start off by saying thanks, Thomas, for the rundown. It was informative, and I’m glad you’re not the sort of person to shill for a convenient narrative. The tweet about Assata Shakur didn’t quite bother me as much as it seems to have bothered you. I agree it was pretty poor from a PR perspective, though. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt as far as her being framed, knowing that COINTELPRO pulled some pretty despicable stuff. But that would have been a situation where I’d say it’s a good time to bow to… Read more »
You mention that there doesn’t seem to be any good excuse for the Happy Birthday tweet, but if it did nothing more than to get you, and maybe others, to research Assata Shakur and learn about all of the horrifying actions of the FBI and police around the country during those times. Having grown up in the sixties and seventies, I remember the turmoil caused by people who only wanted to be treated as equals. And I can see much of that turmoil being fomented again, and again the worst aspects are being perpetrated by government agencies, and by the… Read more »

I’m gonna send a birthday tweet out for Ted bundy.

Sure he killed all those women, but he opened our eyes up to a certain type of serial killer, and also helped catch the green river killer!

Just ignore the murders on his birthday.