Head of Philadelphia NAACP reproduces vile anti-Semitic trope, refuses to apologize

Rodney Muhammad is president of the Philadelphia branch of the NAACP, though he might not be for long.  After his latest bit of bigotry, though, I am not calling for him to be fired—an apology would be nice, though—but many are.

According to several stories, including two in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Muhammad tweeted a trope that simply cannot be interpreted as anything other than blatant anti-Semitism. Most news sites won’t reproduce his tweet, as it shows an image associated with the most virulent strains of Jew-hating, but it was reproduced on the Times of Israel:


The hook-nosed Jew rubbing his hands is, of course, a staple of anti-Semitism.  The quote supposedly from Voltaire is not from Voltaire but, according to MediaIte, are likely the words of white supremacist Kevin Strom. The hand that’s crushing people is of course that of the hand-rubbing Jew, conveniently adorned with a diamond pinky ring. All of it expresses the view of Jews as rich oppressors who pull the strings of Western society.

As for the three people pictured at the top, the Inquirer identifies them as DeSean Jackson, a wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, rapper Ice Cube, and comedian Nick Cannon, all of whom have recently been criticized for anti-Semitic statements (the links go to their statements).

Both black and Jewish leaders are outraged by the post (which has been removed), with some calling for Minister Muhammad to be fired (he’s with the Nation of Islam, the Black Muslims). Muhammed issued a statement that was a notapology, and apparently is standing his ground. As the Inquirer reports:

Muhammad could not be reached for comment Saturday, but in a brief exchange Friday with the website Billy Penn, which broke the story, he said he didn’t realize the image was offensive

“To be real honest with you, I didn’t even pay attention to the picture,” he reportedly said. Muhammad said he wanted to show support for rapper Ice Cube, football player Jackson, and comedian Cannon. All have been recently criticized for anti-Semitic public pronouncements and social media posts. Jackson and Cannon have apologized; Ice Cube has not.

Muhammad later released a statement Friday that said: “I was not familiar with the image at the bottom of the post. I was responding to the individuals not able to speak out. I have worked with many in the city over the years. I would be happy to have a discussion with other leaders to better understand our history.

The national office of the NAACP in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.

He didn’t pay attention to the picture, even though the post was meant to support three men who have been accused of anti-Semitism?  You’d have to be a fool to believe that.

and in the other Inquirer story:

Muhammad, in an interview Friday, said he paid no attention to the image in his post. He has not apologized for sharing it.


“If the image of that man on that sleeve is offensive, then you’re opening me up to a sensibility,” he said. “I’m not going to share it anymore.”


Muhammad insisted that his point was about conversations being shut down through censorship.


“History has shown us that there have been ruthless totalitarian regimes that have shut down voice and opinion,” he said. “That certainly can’t build a healthy society.”

Not offensive? He didn’t realize that? That’s about as disingenuous as you can get. And as far as ruthless totalitarian regimes that crush dissent go, show me one run by Jews!

There are two lessons here. The first is the sadly increasing tendency of some African-Americans to make statements that are not even cryptically anti-Semitic. I’m not sure where this is coming from, but of course we know in the case of Muhammad, who’s a Black Muslim minister. Many Black Muslims—especially their leader Louis Farrakhan—are unashamedly anti-Semitic. But I don’t think accounts for the three other parties above, only two of whom have apologized.

What makes this ineffably sad is that Jews and African-Americans used to be partners in the struggle for civil rights. The NAACP was founded not as a black organization, but as an interracial one whose goal was to advance black civil liberties and equality.  In fact, one of the founders of the organization, Henry Moscowitz, was Jewish, as was one of its Presidents, Kivie Kaplan. Two of the three freedom riders murdered in Mississippi, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, were white Jews, while their partner, James Chaney, was black. Now this close alliance between underdogs is being fractured.

And I think you have to admit that Muhammad here is guilty of bigotry (I’d say “racism”, but Jews aren’t really a race). But assuming this is equivalent to racism, it shows the vacuity of asserting that blacks can’t be racist because “racism equals power plus prejudice”, and blacks are seen as powerless.  If what Muhammad said wasn’t racist, does that make it okay? Even black leaders don’t think so!

Bigotry is bigotry, and harmful to both individuals and society at large. And bigotry is bigotry no matter whose mouth it comes out of.

h/t: GInger K


  1. Posted August 1, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    All I can say is that we live in a sick, sick world, and it is getting worse and worse everyday.

    • phar84
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      S Pinker probably wouldn’t agree.
      They used to say these things and not apologize or backpedal.

      • Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        Well, I speak my own mind, and don’t really worry about who agree or doesn’t agree. 🙂

        • Florent
          Posted August 2, 2020 at 4:39 am | Permalink

          Well, if your opinion is wrong, and some others try to correct it (even potentially to uplift your mood), you shouldn’t dismiss theirs so readily.

      • Historian
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Pinker has now conceded that at least for now, the world is not as great as it was a few short months ago. In an interview with the New Statesman he stated:
        “No, we were better off a year ago, we were better off four or five months ago,” he conceded when we spoke recently over Zoom. “Because the pandemic has obviously made life worse.” Pinker, 65, noted “the near-certainty that this will stop or even reverse some of the decline in extreme poverty in developing countries, at least temporarily.”

        • phar84
          Posted August 2, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          I was responding to a commenter who said it is “getting worse and worse everyday”.

  2. Posted August 1, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Truly disgusting. Ironic, though, that a black person mistakenly quotes a white supremacist in support of his bigotry against jews.

    • jezgrove
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      In the discussion below the WEIT post “Is colorblind casting” problematic?” a couple of days ago, reader Daedalus Lex said, “Btw, I would love to see a black person play David Duke”. I think we’ve just found the ideal casting choice!

  3. BJ
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    “…with some calling for Minister Muhammad to be fired (he’s with the National [sic] of Islam, the Black Muslims)”

    If he was already a member of the Nation of Islam, then everybody already knew of his antisemitic views and allowed him to lead the chapter anyway. Even the SPLC lists the Nation of Islam as a “hate group.” I normally wouldn’t rely on the SPLC for accurate information, but my point here is that when even the SPLC labels a large black advocacy group as a “hate group,” you know it’s pretty damn hateful. And the Nation of Islam’s teachings don’t just support antisemitism, but also homophobia, misogyny, and a litany of conspiracy theories (many related to Jews).

    And all one has to do is look up Desean Jackson, Ice Cube, Nick Cannon, Marquise Goodwin, Malik Jackson, and various NFL and NBA players(both current and former) along with the keyword “antisemitic” to see what these people said, liked, and defended in this past month, with no reporting on the TV news and very little national coverage (did you see this covered anywhere?). It all started with Desean Jackson, who kicked it off by posting on Instagram a photograph of a quote attributed to Adolph Hitler (he never actually said it) about Jewish world domination, “extorting America,” and which concluded with “Hitler was right.” I imagine it came from some Nation of Islam book: https://unitedwithisrael.org/nfl-player-posts-hitler-quote-praises-farrakhan-denies-hes-anti-semitic/

    So, widespread antisemtism in two sports leagues, at least three players on a single NFL team saying and supporting deeply antisemitic things, players from other leagues agreeing and/or defending it, commentators as popular as Shannon Sharpe saying that “the Minister” Farrakhan isn’t antisemitic and defending him and Jackson live on one of the biggest television networks…

    And how was Desean Jackson “punished”? Well, it was an “internal matter,” and, after over a week, it was reported that his team decided to fine him an undisclosed amount. Yeah, that’ll teach him. And all of this after Drew Brees was roundly trounced for saying people should stand up for the National Anthem, and Shannon Sharpe said Brees should retire because of the comments just a week before defending Desean Jackson.

  4. GBJames
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Nation of Islam has a long history of this kind of bigotry. Another case, I fear, of religion poisoning everything.

  5. boudiccadylis
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me if a person of one ethnicity dis’s a person of another ethnicity, regardless of skin tones, they are indulging in racism. Bigots and all.

    • GBJames
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      That pretty much removes an otherwise useful word from our vocabulary. If bigotry by French people against Croatians is racism then what word do we have for bigotry that is race based?

  6. Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand where bigotry against Jews from some black activists comes from. Its such an old form of bigotry as well. Does it stem from activists who adapt Islam, and thru that adapt this view about Jewish people?

    • jezgrove
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      There’s no limit to the nonsense that people will espouse. The Black Hebrew Israelites being a possibly apt example here. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hebrew_Israelites

      • Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        There were black Jews (Mizrahi) living in the Middle East and Africa (predominantly Ethiopia)from Biblical times. I can’t find the source(s) for it now, but I’ve read about Jewish proselytizing throughout this area and elsewhere during the same time that Zoroastrians, Christians (and, probably, Muslims) were doing it many, many centuries ago. There are black Jews living in Israel now and they tend to be lumped in with the Sephardim.


        • Posted August 2, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

          Legendary and such, but isn’t Moses’ wife described as a Kushite?

    • savage
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      The main reason is in my opinion that Jews are viewed as white, and thus considered evil oppressors. The Nation of Islam absolutely does view whites as subhuman, and so do its admirers like Nick Cannon. In his case, the anti-white remarks were not even discussed in any news outlets I’m familiar with, whereas his antisemitism that I consider correlated with it was at least criticized.

      In general, African-Americans are not as progressive in their values (e.g. sexism or homophobia) as other Americans.

      The belief that the Jews ran the slave trade also plays some role.

      • Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        I’m going to informally bet that the last item might be a key to this problem.

      • AlTazim
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that is the root of the matter. There’s also the coincidental overlap in the geographic location of Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods (Haredi, etc) and mostly black neighborhoods dating back to the 80s, first in Queens and Brooklyn, now extending to places like Rockland County. The Orthodox have many independent institutions, like their own ambulance service and day schools, in part out of the necessity to comply with Halakha and in part out of mutual aid for the community’s general poverty, and these independent institutions tend to arouse the suspicion and ire of the often just-as-poor-if-not-moreso black communities in the area: Al Sharpton called the Hatzolah ambulance corps an “apartheid ambulance service” during the Crown Heights riot in the early 90s.

        It’s far too easy to imagine that such institutions are the product of some Jewish conspiracy to hoard things to themselves (which feeds very easily into the general NOI attitude that white people, which includes Jewish, deserve nothing that they have), than to engage with the Orthodox and understand why their institutions exist.

      • Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        “The belief that the Jews ran the slave trade also plays some role.”

        Black Africans were in the slave trade. Arab Muslims were in the slave trade. Europeans and Americans were in the slave trade. If the Nation of Islam hates Jews because of involvement with slavery, they will also have to hate Muslims for the same cause, as well as almost all other colors and nationalities of people.

        I had a WASP professor who, when he did the genealogy on his family, was shocked to learn that one of his ancestors had been in the shipping part of bringing slaves to America.

    • GBJames
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Among Black Muslims it isn’t hard to find a source for the bigotry. It is right there in the second part of their name.

      • philfinn7
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        What does that mean? All Muslims are bigots? All Muslims are anti-Semitic?

        • GBJames
          Posted August 1, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

          Did I say that? No. But religion poisons everything and if you don’t recognize anti semitism as a major theme of Islam you aren’t paying attention.

          • Fred
            Posted August 1, 2020 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

            I would agree that muslims, especially those in Islamic countries are pre-desposed to anti-semitic feelings, especially because of the Isreal/Palestine situation. And as for American muslims, one only has to look as far as Linda Sarsour, Ilhan Omar, or Farrakhan to see leaders who harbor anti-jewish sentiment. I honestly think being muslim pre-disposes you towards intolerance because Islam is such a very conservative and religously jingoistic ideology. To quote Sam Harris, Islam is “a motherlode of bad ideas.”

    • JoshP
      Posted August 13, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

      Jealousy is a possible answer. Economical and academic success of Jews, especially relative to that of the black community, can be explained in many ways, the most ego soothing one is that they must be villains.

      The same was probably true for many antisemitism throughout history and culminated in Germany a hundred years ago.

  7. savage
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    How common are these views among African-Americans? A 1998 ADL survey placed 34% of their survey participants in the most anti-semitic category, compared to 9% of whites. Another survey by the ADL, conducted in 2016, claimed that 23% of blacks were antisemitic as opposed to 14% of Americans in general. Does someone know better estimates?

  8. Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Funnily enough, Voltaire, who Muhammad thought he was quoting, was an anti-Semite too.

    • jezgrove
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. I guess we need to invoke something he genuinely wrote: “Aime la vérité, mais pardonne à l’erreur” (Love truth, but pardon error).

      • Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        Good. Most appropriate. Although repeated malicious knowing error, not so much.

        • jezgrove
          Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

          “Although repeated malicious knowing error, not so much” : nicely put, and a good point.

  9. dd
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    A fracas is a great time to see whom the media protects (via silence) and whom it wishes admonished/cancelled.

    So, I went to Google and typed in “Rodney Muhammad” and look at who has taken notice, and more pointedly, who has not…


    • BJ
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      An excellent point, and made far more succinctly than I did above. For all the talk of “anti-racism” in the media and activist circles, it seems antisemitism is not only not on the docket, but tacitly tolerated.

      • jezgrove
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        The Labour Party in the UK is finally cleaning up its act on this front. Not before time. Of course, the party’s previous leader was someone else who managed to overlook an anti-Semitic picture in something he retweeted: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/28/antisemitism-open-your-eyes-jeremy-corbyn-labour

        How did Corbyn not see how offensive that was?

        • Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          If only they’d have cleaned up their act and ousted Corbyn *before* the election.

          • jezgrove
            Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

            True, but it took him leading the party to its worst general election result since 1935 before many members realised he had to go: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-7529/

          • A C Harper
            Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

            It needed the election and the poor results for Labour to show that Corbyn (and the mindset of his cronies) was toxic for any party hoping to govern.

            I suspect making Labour respectable again (in floating voters’ eyes) will take years.

            • A C Harper
              Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

              @ jezgrove.


  10. Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    That’s just disgusting! That’s sick, wrong and hateful, and I don’t know why this guy could not see it.

  11. BJ
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    “And I think you have to admit that Muhammad here is guilty of bigotry (I’d say “racism”, but Jews aren’t really a race). ”

    I’m not necessarily agreeing or disagreeing, but what is the reasoning behind not classifying Jews as a “race “? It seems to me that our conception of race is based on shared genetics and physical characteristics. Jews (unless from converts) are certainly “genetically Jewish” and often share various physical characteristics and skin tones. A good and well-known example for the genetic similarities is the high incidence of the genetic mutation that causes Tay Sachs disease among Ashkenazi Jews. According to the NIH, 1 in 27 Jews in the US have this mitation, compared to 1 in 250 in the general population: https://www.genome.gov/Genetic-Disorders/Tay-Sachs-Disease

    That number is for the US, but I imagine the incidence is even higher in somewhere like Israel, where there is far less marriage between Jews and non-Jews, resulting in a greater likelihood that the mutation is passed on to children.

    • savage
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      A hundred years ago, it wouldn’t have been odd to call Jews a race as that word was used more liberally. But today, the term is only used to distinguish between far larger groups of people, e.g. Caucasians and Asians.

      • BJ
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        I definitely see that this is how many people perceive the word “race,” but it seems meaningless and even simply incorrect once you dig into it. Terms like “Caucasian” and “Asian” seem to refer to geography, not race. “Asian” can be anything from Korean to Pakistani to Malaysian. Even if you divide “Asian” it into East and West Asian, there are still vast differences, both genetically and in shared physical characteristics. Caucasian doesn’t make sense, as probably the majority of the people categorized as that descend from ancestors who were from places nowhere near the Caucuses and, again, the group has many different genetic makeups and shared physical characteristics depending on their lineages.

        So, if those definitions don’t make sense and “race” is indeed about any one of shared genetic profiles, physical characteristics, or lineage, the only reason Jews wouldn’t be considered a “race” is because there aren’t enough of them.

      • BJ
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Addendum: based on what I said in my last comment, the proper thing to do is get rid of the idea of race entirely. Not only its definitions unsound and varying from person to person, but it also only seems to divide people. It would be more accurate and more helpful to talk about shared ancestry or, even better, just accept that we’re all human beings and be done with it (I know, that will never happen, but it would be nice!). Although we’d still need working definitions for genetically similar groups for research purposes, like the research that led to Tay-Sachas Disease interventions, or that helped identify that people of Sub-Saharan African descent have a higher risk of sickle cell anemia, or to help identify how drugs affect different groups for proper dosaging, etc.

        • Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink


        • Fred
          Posted August 1, 2020 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

          I try to keep in mind that we are all the same species. I think what is important is our ideas and the content of our character. Sadly, what “race” people are seems to be getting more important, not less.

  12. jezgrove
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    “Two of the three freedom riders murdered in Mississippi, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, were white Jews, while their partner, James Chaney, was black. Now this close alliance between underdogs is being fractured.” It certainly is: according to Robin diAngelo’s White Fragility, white people can’t say “I marched in the sixties”, so clearly she believes that President Obama should only have awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Chaney and ignored the sacrifice made by Goodman and Schwerner.

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Whenever someone starts by saying “[t]o be real honest with you,” they almost always aren’t.

    It would be in the best interest of the NAACP were Rodney Muhammad to step aside as Philadelphia chapter president, not only due to his blatant anti-Semitism, but for of his incoherence and dissembling, too.

    (Not sure why an NoI member is an NAACP chapter president anyway, given that the two groups have historically worked at cross purposes.)

    • Tim Harris
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      He should surely be kicked out of the NAACP, not merely step down. I understand, I suppose, the desire not to look as though you are behaving in the manner of wokeish ‘cancel culture’, but not only is bigotry of this kind harmful to individuals and society at large, but the effect of such a person’s holding a fairly important position in the NAACP, and being allowed to continue to hold it after indulging in this sort of act, is to bring the institution rightly into disrepute, as happened with the British Labour Party, though Keir Starmer has, by his entirely proper sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey from his shadow Cabinet, made it clear that he is not willing to countenance anti-semitism in the party, as his predecessor was. I am all in favour of free speech, but to erect into an absolute principle, above all circumstance, seems to me to be, in all honesty, wrong and, forgive me for saying this, naive. It was, after all, Facebook’s tolerance of free speech that aided and abetted the genocidal activities of the Myanmar army against the Rohingya. There are other examples – the influence of American Evangelical Christians on the harsh laws against gay people passed in certain African nations.

      • Posted August 1, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        Of course it is far from my call and also none of my beezwax, but if this is a single thing he did, I would want him to apologize for real, reach out to Jewish organizations for dialogue and learning, and stay in his position. I don’t want to see a person be “cancelled” for a single miss-step. This is out of principle of being against cancel culture.
        Now, if he’s got a repeated history of this sort of thing, or if there are other issues going on too, then that can be different.

        • Tim Harris
          Posted August 1, 2020 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

          I rather doubt that this is a single ‘miss-step’. However, if he did offer a genuine apology, and not the sort of glib non-apology that Republicans like Yoho are so practiced at, and reach out to Jewish organisations for ‘dialogue and learning’, then I might perhaps begin to think a little differently, but the NAACP also needs offer an institutional apology and to make clear to its members that anti-Semitism is unacceptable and any future offenders will be dealt with very seriously indeed.

          I must say, if I may, that I find rather curious the reduction of this sort of ‘mis-step’ to the responsibility only of the individual offender, as though it involves and affects only himself (in this case) and not others or the reputation of an institution he belongs to, not to mention the polity as a whole.

        • AlTazim
          Posted August 1, 2020 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

          I don’t see how it’s possible to a) be a longtime member of the Nation of Islam, b) combine that many anti-Semitic canards in one image (including the grossly offensive cartoon straight out of Der Sturmer), and c) use that image when commenting about another person accused of anti-Semitism, and then claim that you didn’t know what you were doing. I’m fairly consistently in favor of three strikes and you’re out, fool me once…/twice…, etc, but I don’t think we’d have the same patience for a 50 year-old white guy who dresses up in a pointy hooded white robe and lights a cross on fire in front of the local NAACP chapter, then claims he was just reenacting an old Casper the Ghost cartoon and that he is protesting in favor of atheism.

  14. Dragon
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I can understand a white supremacist making up that line. Because in their minds, the people who lose their jobs for what they say are often the ones who spout racist BS. Like the woman, Amy Cooper, who called the police on the bird enthusiast in Central Park. Or the CEO of CrossFit. The Daily Beast has a list, if anyone wants to view it. Hence, a white supremacist is using that quote to say that Blacks actually are in power. They are effectively saying ‘pity the white cis Protestants who are the butt of jokes’. That makes some sense from their perverted sense of view.

    While Nick Cannon lost some of his jobs, I don’t think Ice Cube or DeSean lost anything. Note: Ice Cube discussed his perspective about the anti-Semitic comments on ‘The Beat’ (Ari Melber).

    So a Black person who quotes that line really hasn’t understood it at all.

  15. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I think he should be fired because he holds a leadership position and how can one hold such a position and be a bigot? In my mind, he isn’t suited to that position.

    • DaniDan
      Posted August 2, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      What about the article makes you think that he is a bigot?

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted August 2, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        What article. Look at the tweet. You don’t see anything bigoted with promoting the conspiracy theory that Jews secretly control the world – a known antisemitic trope OR the image of the hooked nosed Jew rubbing his hands together?

  16. jezgrove
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    “Jinx! You owe me a soda” as they say. Interestingly, soda water was invented by Joseph Priestley who discovered/rediscovered oxygen on this day in 1774.

    • jezgrove
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Oops, that was in reply to A C Harper at #9 above!

  17. AlTazim
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand why someone from the Nation of Islam was allowed to become the president, or have any kind of high ranking, of an NAACP chapter. Ever since Farrakhan took control of the NOI in the 80s, he’s been actively spreading the most extreme kinds of anti-Semitism and Jew hatred, the kind of things that Goebbels and Julius Streicher would have applauded. It’s been actively anti-Semitic for 30 years now, and I haven’t encountered a single NOI member or follower (they frequently have marches and gathering in cities) who doesn’t also buy into every conspiracy theory about “Jewish control”. If the NAACP wishes to maintain the sterling record it has had for 60+ years, they’d be wise to make sure that extremist groups aren’t infiltrating the organization.

    • Historian
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      The fact that so many members of the Nation of Islam has bought into this conspiracy theory is illustrative that an Age of Reason is nowhere on the horizon. The acceptance of conspiracy theories by large numbers of people is not new. Now, of course, social media makes their spread even easier. We live in a world in disarray that even before the pandemic was characterized by growing authoritarianism around the world. Regardless of what happens to the Abrahamic religions, a world governed by Enlightenment values is nowhere to be seen, and probably never will.

  18. pablo
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    The rise of anti-Semitism on the left is part of wokeness. Afro-centtic pseudohistory is becoming mainstream.

  19. Dionigi
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    I find this mildly amusing, having worked in Saudi Arabia for many years, the one thing I noticed about Saudi muslims was their oppression of dark skinned people in their country, even when they were muslims.

    • Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Without bringing in the religious element you mention, Hispanics from Mexico that I know tend to admire individuals who show more European characteristics than Native American. I know a family in which one son is darker, dark hair, dark skin, dark eyes. The other son has brown hair, lighter skin, blue eyes. Guess which one is the favorite? I’ve observed this in other Hispanic families in the U.S. And, this happens in Central and South America also. My guess is that the same distinctions are made in many other countries also.

  20. Posted August 1, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Rodney Muhammad, president of the Philadelphia branch of the NAACP and minister with the Nation of Islam, Black Muslims, had a bigoted article printed against Jews. However hateful, he had a right in this country to express that bigotry openly. And we have the right to react to it verbally and openly. I wish he would apologize, but I doubt that he believes he’s done anything wrong. I also would prefer that he not be in a leadership role with the NAACP, but that’s up to them. If he doesn’t represent the majority, they need to address the problem.

    It seems to me that “wokeness” (I don’t know about bigotry) and other unexpected attributes have cropped in other parts of the NAACP within the last few years and has been mentioned here.

    One would think that groups who’ve experienced bigotry firsthand and so violently would be less bigoted.
    Especially toward Jews since they have stood shoulder to shoulder with Blacks in the fight for justice and equality.

    • AlTazim
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Connecting your comment to Pablo’s, I have been a little distressed by how Afrocentric conspiracy theories and alternative histories from the 80s-90s, which many dismissed then as a byproduct of poverty, poor education, and a need for racial pride in the face of historical racism, have come into benign acceptance, if not full endorsement, by woke white liberals (often including highly educated people!) in the past half-decade.

    • Tim Harris
      Posted August 2, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      Really, does one have a ‘right’ to express such views, which are not only bigoted but dangerous, particularly at a time when, I quote from WBUR News, ‘The Anti-Defamation League says there were 2,107 hate crimes against Jewish people nationwide in 2019, according to the organization’s annual survey. That’s the highest the number since the ADL began tallying hate crimes in 1979.’?

      And ‘we have the right to react to it verbally and openly.’

      This sounds, I’m afraid, rather like the rather vacuous ‘bothsidesism’ that allows the NYT to publish Tom Cotton’s screed calling for force to be used to put down mostly peaceful protests one day, and a bit of ‘wokeism’ the next.

      This ‘right’ also allows Fox News and other parts of the Murdoch empire, in the USA, the UK and Australia to spew forth lies and disinformation that will, if ultimately successful, deny any sort of free speech.

      Free speech depends on our having the political and legal institutions that uphold it – what do we do about the enemies of those institutions, who now include, it appears, most politicians of the Republican persuasion in the USA, for whom, parroting Reagan, government is the problem?

      I do not think John Stuart Mill envisaged such a situation. His idea of free speech was fundamentally that of a civilised debate between fair-minded people, informed citizens, who put forward their views in good faith and were willing to change those views if presented with good arguments. But what to do when people do not argue with good faith? Or when those who speak in bad faith come to power, or dangerously close to power? Look at what has been happening in Hungary and Poland in particular. And what to do when Facebook allows incitement to genocide in Myanmar? It is not a simple matter.

  21. savage
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to ask: Why are so many liberals bewildered when these incidents occur, given that African-Americans have been especially anti-Semitic since at least the 1960s? Jews bolstered the Civil Rights Movement, but what support did they receive in return? The idea of a mutually supportive alliance between these two oppressed groups seems to me wishful thinking. In several respects, e.g. income and educational achievement Jews and African-Americans are polar opposites.

    I promise that this is my last post in this thread.

  22. Posted August 1, 2020 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know enough about Black Muslims or any other color of Muslims to understand why they may be so bigoted towards Jews. In regards to Christian Blacks, they probably have learned to hate the Jews in the same way other colors of Christians have because the Jews purportedly were responsible for killing Jesus.

    In an article about Nick Cannon, there was a reference to “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” which I think he was reading. This “fabricated antisemitic text” has been used by the Russians, the Germans, Henry Ford, the
    Black Muslims. etc. This conspiracy theory fits in with other conspiracy theories about “…the Illuminati, Freemasons, the Priory of Sion…”, etc. Whenever things get bad, there seem always to be otherwise normally sane people who believe in and promote conspiracy theories.

  23. Posted August 2, 2020 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    WOW! That’s some Original Gangsta Old School family-sing-a-long antisemitism for you.
    I haven’t seen that since Farrakan.

    Now where’s that pinky ring? – I need to get back to help run the Zionist Occupational Government with my friend Mr. Soros. Oy Veh!



    • Posted August 2, 2020 at 3:21 am | Permalink

      David: If your response was to me and what I wrote about “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and other conspiracy theories, I hope you were laughing with me and not ridiculing. I used to have a father-in-law who believed in conspiracy theories and would get mad at me if I questioned him about it, or smirked unintentionally when I was much, much younger. It has been many years since I studied conspiracies, but there was a time when I read a lot about them in response to my father-in-law.

      Along with the historical conspiracy theories I mentioned, there were and, are, many more.
      Most recently: QAnon, the Democrats under the pizza parlor with the pedophiles (or whatever that was), all the tRump fake news about Covid-19 causing Americans to not stay in, or keep 6′ distance, wear masks, wash hands, etc. in fear of loss of rights. (Similar to anti-vaxxers.) Pursuing their individual freedoms at the expense of others, possibly causing illness and death. I would like to see them punished, perhaps incarcerated.

      It is, and historically has been, so easy to misdirect and rile up groups of people by feeding them conspiracy theories. It’s how and why the Jews were kicked out of France in the 1500s. It’s how the pogroms in Russia were begun and continued. It’s how Nazis ended up killing so many Jews, and others.

      R. English-Irish-Dutch-Welsh-Scots-German-French-a smidgeon Neanderthal-who knows what else-no pets-American.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 2, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      I’m bringing the donuts to the next lizard people meeting where the Jews are also invited. Donuts are something we both like.

  24. chrism
    Posted August 2, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Similar episode in the UK recently where a rapper posted a series of anti-semitic tweets. It took Twitter five days to hand him a week’s suspension, and after public outcry, to eventually ban him for good. The tolerance and even promotion of anti-semitism by the Labour Party has had far reaching effects among their supporters. An old friend of mine (he was once my best man!) who lives in London has been looking at places in Israel in preparation for getting out.

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