Philadelphia Mayor Calls on Antisemitic Local NAACP President Rodney Muhammad to Resign
The mayor of Philadelphia has added his support to calls for Rodney Muhammad — the president of the city’s branch of the NAACP civil rights organization — to step down from his post over his antisemitic posts on social media.
In an email sent to the Philadelphia Tribune just before the weekend, Mayor Jim Kenney said that the board of the Philadelphia NAACP should oust Muhammad from his position.
“In my opinion, it’s time for the Board to move forward by installing new leadership to an organization that has long championed religious and racial tolerance for all Philadelphians,” said Kenney, whose political committee has paid Muhammad $95,000 in consulting fees in recent years.
Slamming Muhammad’s “offensive and hateful messages,” Kenney said he was “deeply disappointed” by Muhammad’s continued refusal to offer a sincere and transparent apology for a Facebook post that incorporated a Nazi-style caricature of a Jewish man.
“I am confident that the Board of Directors will act appropriately, in light of the posts themselves and Minister Muhammad’s refusal to date to acknowledge the pain and division that those messages have caused,” Kenney added.
Despite condemning Muhammad’s actions on social media in a statement last week, the national leadership of the NAACP has refrained from demanding Muhammad’s resignation.
The organization’s Pennsylvania State Conference will meet on Saturday, when Muhammad’s status is again expected to be considered. Muhammad, who has served as Philadelphia president since 2014, is also up for re-election to his post in November.
Various elected officials have called on Muhammad to step down or the Philadelphia chapter to oust him, including Governor Tom Wolf, State Attorney General Josh Shapiro and State Senator Anthony Williams.
Several groups, including the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and the Anti-Defamation League, have also urged Muhammad to resign.