Gov. Wolf Calls for Philly NAACP Leader to Resign Over Anti-Semitic Post

In a tweet posted on Tuesday, Gov. Wolf described the meme as “vile” and called for Muhammad’s resignation. 

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What to Know

  • In a tweet posted Tuesday, Gov. Tom Wolf called on Philadelphia NAACP President Minister Rodney Muhammad to resign over an anti-Semitic meme he posted on his Facebook page.
  • Muhammad deleted the post and claimed he was trying to "start a dialogue" in the aftermath of three prominent African Americans who faced backlash over anti-Semitic comments or social media posts.
  • Besides Wolf, several local civil rights groups and lawmakers have called on Muhammad to either apologize or resign.

Governor Tom Wolf is calling for Philadelphia NAACP president Minister Rodney Muhammad to resign after he shared an anti-Semitic photo on his Facebook page. 

Last week, Muhammad posted a cartoon of an anti-Semitic caricature of a smiling Jewish man and a large hand pressing down on several people. The photos of rapper and actor Ice Cube, Philadelphia Eagles player DeSean Jackson and actor and television host Nick Cannon appear above the caricature. 

All three men are prominent African Americans who have faced recent backlash for making either anti-Semitic comments or sharing anti-Semitic social media posts.

The photo also includes the quote, “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” The quote is misattributed to the French writer and philosopher Voltaire and has been frequently used by white supremacists and Neo-Nazis. 

In a tweet posted on Tuesday, Gov. Wolf described the meme as “vile” and called for Muhammad’s resignation. 

Muhammad deleted the photo and in a statement posted by the NAACP on Monday, claimed he initially shared it, “in an attempt to start a dialogue about criticism and understanding.”

“I later learned that not only was the quote I used misattributed 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 any hurt,” Muhammad wrote. 

“The NAACP strongly condemns any offensive language or imagery and stands against all forms of hate speech and anti-Semitism.

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.”

Prior to Wolf's tweet, several lawmakers and civil rights groups called on Muhammad to either apologize or resign for the post.

In addition to being the Philadelphia NAACP president, Muhammad is also a minister in the Nation of Islam, an organization that has faced allegations of anti-Semitism throughout its 90-year history. 

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