Jewish group asks head of Philadelphia NAACP to resign after anti-Semitic Facebook post

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The NAACP and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia have a long history of working together to combat racism and bigotry.

So, Jewish leaders say it was shocking to learn Rodney Muhammad, the president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the NAACP, had shared an anti-Semitic post on his Facebook page. They are now calling for his resignation.

"Disgusting, unbelievably wrong thing to do," said Steve Rosenberg, the chief operating officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

An image allegedly posted by Muhammad showed images of actor and rapper Ice Cube, Philadelphia Eagles star DeSean Jackson and TV host Nick Cannon - all three who have recently made anti-Semitic posts - and a man crushing people with his hand with the words: "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

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DeSean Jackson is apologizing for an anti-semitic social media post that's garnering outrage from the community.

"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 in every level."

The post and any reference to it have since been taken down.

Action News reached out to Muhammad, but did not hear back.

On the Facebook page of Billy Penn, the media outlet which brought the matter to light, said, "After sharing an anti-Semitic meme on Facebook, Philly NAACP President Rodney Muhammad said he was trying to show support for DeSean Jackson, and didn't realize the image was offensive."

"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.

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In Cannon's hour-plus podcast, he contends that Black people are the true Hebrews and that Jews have usurped their identity.

Rosenberg said the NAACP does great work across the country and it's hard to believe that Muhammad is their leader of the Philadelphia office.

"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.

On Saturday, Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke issued a statement, saying that he opposes offensive speech of any kind.

"I've seen the meme posted on social media. I oppose offensive speech of any kind directed at any ethnic, racial or religious group. We must come together as a people to solve the many issues magnified by COVID19 and the unrest over systemic racism in our country," he said.

Action News also reached out to the national office of the NAACP, but has not heard back.
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