This so-called civil rights activist promoted the most vile forms of anti-Semitism. A perfunctory apology doesn’t undo the damage he caused. The NAACP must remove him now!
NAACP Philadelphia Chapter President Rodney Muhammad recently shared on social media a grotesque anti-Semitic caricature showing a massive Jewish hand crushing the masses.
The image included “The Happy Merchant” character, which is pervasive in propaganda disseminated by neo-Nazis and other anti-Semitic groups.
Next to the image was the following quote erroneously attributed to the French philosopher Voltaire: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” The quote appeared under photos of three individuals at the center of recent anti-Semitism scandals: Ice Cube, Desean Jackson, and Nick Cannon.
In reality, the quote belongs to “American neo-Nazi, Holocaust denier and white supremacist Kevin Strom,” JNS reported.
In response, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia demanded Muhammad be removed from his position with the NAACP, widely recognized as one of the U.S.’ top civil rights groups.
“When contacted by a reporter, Muhammad deleted the post, initially claiming that he didn’t recall sharing it. He eventually acknowledged the meme, but noted that he didn’t know that the image was anti-Semitic,” reported JNS, quoting local PBS affiliate WHYY.
Initially, Muhammad refused to apologize, instead claiming that people in his community are “being silenced” with anti-Semitism accusations, adding, “They use it as a trick … [if] you criticize [Jews] like that … it’s anti-Semitism.”
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan praised Muhammad, who is a public supporter of the infamous hate-preacher and a member of his sect. Farrakhan is widely viewed as one of the most prominent anti-Semites in the U.S., referring to Jews as “satanic” and praising Adolf Hitler as a “great man.”
On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro called for Muhammad’s firing.
On Thursday, Muhammad claimed he is not anti-Semitic and issued a statement saying he “regret[s] the insult, pain and offense it caused to all, particularly those of the Jewish community.”
Muhammad added, “I am not nor are any of our members anti-Semitic.”
In reality, Muhammad is a associated with the Nation of Islam, which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of its “theology of innate black superiority over whites and [its] deeply racist, antisemitic … rhetoric.”
While Muhammad’s apology was in order, he is not a musician, entertainer, or professional athlete for whom the excuse of “lack of awareness” might provide cover.
Muhammad is ostensibly a civil rights activist, and his employer should be held to a higher standard of accountability when one of its leaders promotes hatred of another minority group.
For Muhammad, who is associated with the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam organization, “sorry” just doesn’t it cut it.
Tell the NAACP to fire Rodney Muhammad for promoting anti-Semitism!
Send a respectful message to one of the following recipients, or use the following template: “Dear Sir, I am writing to request the removal of NAACP Philadelphia Chapter President Rodney Muhammad who recently promoted anti-Semitic propaganda. While I appreciate his apology, a civil rights organization should have a zero tolerance policy for leaders who promote hatred of other minority groups.”
1. Send a message to NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson by emailing him at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Send a message on Facebook to the NAACP Vice President for Civic Engagement Jamal Watkins by clicking here.
3. Send a message to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf by clicking here.