PHILADELPHIA, PA– Many, including Governor Tom Wolf, are calling for NAACP leader Rodney Muhammad, 68 to resign from his position amid a controversy that began when he shared an anti-Semitic meme on Facebook over the weekend.
According to Philly Voice, Muhammad posted a cartoon depicting a caricature of a Jewish man holding down a mass of people, with a shiny ring on one finger.
The image, which included images of DeSean Jackson, Ice Cube, and Nick Cannon, all of whom recently faced their own backlash for sharing or endorsing anti-Semitic views, was also accompanied by a quote that read:
“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”
The anti-Semitic Facebook post by Philadelphia NAACP President Rodney Muhammad is vile and reprehensible. His excuse and explanations are insulting. Where is the outrage of the NAACP?
— Abraham Foxman (@FoxmanAbraham) July 27, 2020
Muhammad, who has led the NAACP Philadelphia chapter since 2014, removed the controversial post when confronted by a Billy Penn reporter.
Initially, he said that he did not remember sharing the post in the first place. However, he later acknowledged the meme, but said he did not realize the image he included in the post was offensive to Jewish people.
He said in a comment:
“To be honest with you, I didn’t even pay attention to the picture.”
In the post, the caricature of the Jewish man was wearing a yarmulke and he was pressing a large, bejeweled hand down on a faceless mass of people.
Accordingly, similar caricatures trace back to before the Holocaust and were often used to depict Jews as a force of greed and oppression.
Allegedly, the quote that was used in the meme has been falsely attributed to the French philosopher, Francois Voltaire.
However, the true source of the often misattributed quote is Kevin Storm, an American neo-Nazi, Holocaust denier, and white supremacist. Back in 2008, Storm was convicted on child pornography charges.
Rodney Muhammad, the President of the Philadelphia NAACP, posted an deeply offensive and anti-semitic image on Facebook.
He deserves no place of leadership in the Philadelphia area. He should resign. https://t.co/l5kY0TVew6
— Blake 🍎🧢Jews For Humanity (@YangJews) July 25, 2020
Muhammad, a civil rights leader, originally from Chicago has previously stood behind Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakahn when he, himself faced criticism for repeated anti-Semitic comments. On Monday, Muhammad issued a statement through the national NAACP:
“Earlier this week, I shared a post on social media in an attempt to start a dialogue around criticism and understanding.”
The statement continued:
“I later learned that not only was the quote I used mis-attributed to the philosopher Francois Voltaire, but in fact, the quote and image had been used previously by white supremacists.
I immediately removed both the quote and the offensive images. It was never my intention to offend anyone or cause hurt.”
He concluded by saying:
“I stand with all members of the Jewish faith in the fight for social justice and I intend to use this opportunity for thoughtful conversations with both the Black and Jewish communities.”
Muhammad’s apology did not do much to change people’s minds about having him resign from his position. On Tuesday, the Jewish Federation held a virtual meeting bringing together Black and Jewish leaders to discuss the incident.
Disturbed and disgusted by the vile hatred coming from Rodney Muhammad, Pres. of Philadelphia NAACP. The historic ties between Black and Jewish communities, our ongoing work together and the partnerships we are building for the future demand our best against hate. This is not it. https://t.co/1MeppN2rJi
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) July 26, 2020
After the discussion, the organization called on the national NAACP to immediately remove Muhammad from his position. They said in a statement:
“Hate speech and the repulsive, purposeful spread of anti-Semitic imagery and messages can never be tolerated. It is important, now more than ever, for Jewish and Black communities to unite and work together to combat racism and bigotry in all their forms.”
Additionally, the Pennsylvania State Conference of the NAACP strongly condemned Muhammad’s post, but said that it is up to the national organization to take any action against him.
The anti-Semitic meme shared by Philadelphia NAACP president Minister Rodney Muhammad is vile.
Sharing this type of racist content is unacceptable—especially from a civic leader.
I’m joining the call for Minister Muhammad to resign. Hate has no place in Pennsylvania.
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) July 28, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf has called for Muhammad’s resignation as well as Attorney General Josh Shapiro who said he spoke with Muhammad, but did not receive an apology. Shapiro said:
“His response to me was offensive and we are all still waiting for that apology. He has undermined the progress we need to make together to combat anti-Semitism and structural racism that has been baked into our society through generations.”
Additionally, State Rep. Joanna McClinton and state Senators, Anthony Williams and Steven Santarsiero called for Muhammad’s resignation. Williams said:
“If we are all equal before the eyes of God regardless of our religious affiliations or orientation, then there is no manner of human dignity that would support that illustration.”
Some are looking for an apology, but not necessarily a resignation from Muhammad. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who in the past has employed Muhammad as a paid consultant for his re-election campaign, called for an apology, but stopped short of demanding a resignation. Kenney said:
“Our city and nation need healing and unity now, not the sort of division and hatred that this post creates. I call on Minister Muhammad to apologize to our Jewish community and to all those who fight every day for religious and racial tolerance.”
“I know Minister Muhammad to be a bridge builder and I hope he is up to the task of rebuilding the bridges that his unfortunate post has now damaged.”
As of this writing, there has been no indication from Muhammad or the national NAACP that he would be leaving his position.
As ‘the Squad’ continues to attack Israel, anti-semitic attacks are skyrocketing across New York.
December 28, 2019 – BROOKLYN, NY- No doubt emboldened in part by New York’s new soft on crime criminal justice initiatives, the occurrence of anti-Semitic attacks across New York City have spiked.
During the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, there have been at least six reports of anti-Semitic crimes across certain neighborhoods and houses of worship in Brooklyn.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has never met a criminal he didn’t like, nonetheless spoke out against the increase in hate crimes.
“Anyone who terrorizes our Jewish community WILL face justice,” he said in a Twitter post.
He also said that he will have more police officers dispatched to the neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park.
“Anti-Semitism is an attack on the values of our city—and we will confront it head-on.”
The holiday of Hanukkah began last Sunday. On Monday, a 65-year-old man had reported to the NYPD that he had been punched and kicked by a man who allegedly screamed, “Fuck you, Jew,” in midtown Manhattan.
The suspect in that case, 28-year-old Steven Jorge from Miami, FL was arrested and charged with assault as a hate crime. The victim was treated at the scene and didn’t immediately go to the hospital.
Dov Hikind, a former New York state assemblyman is the founder of Americans Against Antisemitism. He told CNN that the victim was an Orthodox Jew and said that the family had reached out to him on Monday night.
For his part, Hikind has been extremely critical of de Blasio’s response to other anti-Semitic incidents that have been occurring in New York.
“I’ve talked to the mayor. He doesn’t know what to do,” Hikind said. “We’ve presented a plan to the mayor. Right now, anti-Semitism, it’s not being dealt with. ‘You condemn, you move on, you condemn the next one.’ I wanted the mayor to declare a state of emergency because of these hate crimes.”
According to statistics from the NYPD, anti-Semitic incidents are the most common hate crimes reported in the city, comprising 53.7% of all reported hate crimes this year in the period from January to September.
Most of the anti-Semitic crimes do not involve assault, but rather vandalism, with graffiti or swastikas being painted on places such as synagogues, according to Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, who made the comments in September.
Later on, the same night as the assault on the elderly man, another man reported that teenagers had struck his 6-year-old son and another boy in the lobby of a Williamsburg apartment building. That incident is also being investigated as a potential anti-Semitic hate crime.
Next, on Tuesday morning, a 25-year-old man was walking through the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.
He said that people started yelling anti-Semitic slurs at him before fleeing. In the same neighborhood later that day, a 56-year-old man told police that a group of people approached him while he was walking and that one punched him without provocation.
Lastly on Friday morning, again in Crown Heights, three women said that they were slapped in the face and head by another woman on a street corner.
The woman, Tiffany Harris, was arrested on hate-crime harassment charges. She was no doubt back on the streets before the ink on the police report was dry. Such is Andrew Cuomo’s New York.
The most flagrant case of anti-Semitism actually occurred across the Hudson River from New York City in Jersey City earlier this month.
A Kosher market was targeted in what police have said was an anti-Semitic terrorist attack, which left a Jersey City police officer dead, as well as three civilians in the market.
Last month, a 30-year-old man was brutally attacked in Monsey, NY, a quiet town located in Rockland County, north of New York City.
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The victim was repeatedly stabbed and beaten early in the morning on Nov 20 as he was walking to morning prayers at his synagogue. The victim underwent surgery and is expected to survive. We were unable to confirm whether an arrest has been made in this case, which is being investigated as an anti-Semitic hate crime.
Meanwhile, about 250 miles northwest of New York City at Syracuse University, a series of racist and anti-Semitic incidents have plagued the school.
The racist incidents included graffiti, verbal harassment and threatening emails, have spurred calls on campus to have officials step down or make changes. Four students have been suspended in response to the racist incidents.
Also, a faculty member received threatening, anti-Semitic emails which has gotten the attention of the FBI. In addition, a swastika was drawn into a snowbank near a student dorm. No reason has been given for the increase of racist and anti-Semitic incidents at Syracuse.
While authorities in New York do not have a theory behind the rise in anti-Semitism in the city, it is impossible not to discount the rhetoric emanating from “leaders” such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib—who have made no secret their contempt for Israel, and by extension Jews.
At a town hall back in March, both Tlaib and Omar made clearly anti-Semitic comments which drew sharp rebukes from several members of Congress. For her part, Ocasio-Cortez, who represents part of Brooklyn in Congress, made the following comment when asked about Israel:
“I also think that what people are starting to see, at least, in the occupation of Palestine is just an increasing crisis of humanitarian condition.”
AOC’s comment is ignorant on its face. Since “Palestine” is not and never has been a nation-state and was merely a label assigned to that region by Romans, her comment holds no water. The claim that Israel is “occupying” Palestine is BS and is typical of anti-Semitic garbage spewed by left-wing Israel haters in the US.
More recently, Ocasio-Cortez backed far-left Labour Party prime minister candidate Jeremy Corbyn in the British election. Corbyn has been repeatedly accused of being an anti-Semite.
Corbyn has made numerous remarks that can be considered anti-Semitic and has shown open support for Palestinians and open disdain for Israel. Over 87% of Jewish residents of Britain believe Corbyn is anti-Semitic.
Birds of a feather hang together.
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