Prominent leaders of Philadelphia‘s Jewish community called for the resignation of the president of the city’s NAACP chapter after he shared an antisemitic post on his Facebook page, local ABC News affiliate WPVI reported.
In a post that has since been deleted, the NAACP Philadelphia chapter’s president Rodney Muhammad allegedly shared an image of rapper Ice Cube, TV host Nick Cannon and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson and a man crushing people in his hand with the words: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”
The quote is often attributed to Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire, and is often used in antisemitic contexts. However, it is actually more commonly associated with Kevin Alfred Strom, an American white nationalist neo-Nazi.
The post was notable for including three African-American celebrities who have been embroiled in controversy in recent months due to expressing antisemitism online. Jackson had shared a quote attributed to Adolf Hitler, while Cannon and Ice Cube had propagated antisemitic conspiracy theories and expressed support for Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader who has been widely criticized for expressing antisemitic and homophobic beliefs.
Both Jackson and Cannon have apologized for their actions and admitted wrongdoing.
“Disgusting, unbelievably wrong thing to do,” said Steve Rosenberg, the chief operating officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, WPVI reported.
“A horribly disgusting image of DeSean Jackson and an image of a hook-nosed Jewish man pushing people down,” said Rosenberg. “To call the Jewish people oppressors with everything that we had to overcome over all these years is wrong on every level.”
In original reports, Muhammad had apologized for the post, saying he was simply trying to show support for Jackson and did not intend to be offensive.
However, the post and any reference to it have since been deleted.
“He did try to walk it back a little bit, but the apology was not really a very good one. Anybody would be able to look at that and see that it’s an offensive image,” said Rosenberg.
The post was very surprising for Rosenberg, as the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and the NAACP have a long history of working together.
“The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia has called for his resignation. This is one man’s actions. We’re not in any way condemning the NAACP. We are condemning Rodney Muhammad and his individual actions,” said Rosenberg, according to WPVI.
Also condemning Muhammad was the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), who released a statement urging the NAACP to fire or replace him due to newfound revelations about his social media.
According to ZOA, Muhammad’s latest action is only the latest of “examples of vile Jew-hatred, false accusations against the Jewish People, and endorsements of leading anti-Jewish figures and their speeches.”
The statement went on to describe Muhammad’s position as the minister of a Nation of Islam mosque in the city.
The Facebook page for the mosque also contains several controversial and inflammatory posts, including quotes and speeches by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has been accused of antisemitism and homophobia.
“Farrakhan and others who Rodney Muhammad promotes disseminate inflammatory and false conspiracy theories and try to delegitimize the Jewish people’s very identity and to call into question the Jewish religion and ethnicity – Jews’ very sense of peoplehood,” ZOA stated.
“It strains credulity that the NAACP can have as a local leader a man who is part of the leadership of the Nation of Islam, which for decades has attacked and spread falsehoods about Jews and Israel, whites, Christians and Catholics and the LGBTQ community.”
The statement then went on to point out that as of Monday at the time of writing, Muhammad’s Facebook timeline includes a video by Ilia Rashad Muhammad, who not only defended DeSean Jackson but also claimed that white Jews sought world domination.
“The statement involved the fact that white and Jewish world powers are largely maintained by keeping black people ignorant of our true identity of being the prophetic children of Israel, or God’s true chosen people,” the video states. “That’s not antisemitic, that’s a theological position that proves to be true, and that’s a truth that white Jewish scholars are afraid to discuss with us because it proves that they have been lying and deceiving the world about their identity and ours.”
It further stated: “The whole Jewish political state of Israel was founded and supported by white world powers based on the false idea that some Europeans are the chosen people of God. Now that’s white supremacy,” adding that, “They have oppressed ‘Palestinians’ and Africans and taken land in that region based on these false beliefs. Now isn’t that an egregious act of white Jewish world domination? It’s admitted that those European Jews are not indigenous to that land. But they call it antisemitic if black people cite these facts.”
“It is bewildering that up until now, the NAACP has tolerated this,” ZOA stated. “Now, amid a wave of anti-Jewish and pro-Farrakhan pronouncements by popular entertainers and current and retired athletes, and in light of Farrakhan’s July 4 address in which he called for Muslims to stone Jews and ‘knock out their brains,’ blamed Jews for there not being a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and accused Israel of the murder of George Floyd – the NAACP must act. Every decent person must demand this. There can be no more excuses.”
Aaron Reich contributed to this report.
The original article was published by the Jerusalem Post and can be viewed here.