Head of the local Philadelphia NAACP chapter, Rodney Muhammad, is facing blowback for a Facebook post with a quote, pictures of celebrities recently under fire for anti-Semitic comments, and a widely used meme making fun of Jewish individuals.
The quote on the post read, “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize,” and a meme — called the Happy Merchant — was placed next to it. The picture exaggerated stereotypes and is widely used by racists across the internet to alienate Jewish people.
The celebrities featured were Ice Cube, DeSean Jackson and Nick Cannon — all recently in headlines for anti-Semitic postings and comments. Cannon was fired from his network for comments on his podcast.
Muhammad is a local Nation of Islam leader and frequent vocal supporter of Louis Farrakhan, who has called Jews “bloodsuckers” and “termites,” according to the Times of Israel.
The blowback has been fierce. The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia called for Muhammad to be removed “immediately” in a statement and that he “intentionally initiated the spread of anti-Semitism on his Facebook page. This vile behavior from a civic leader is incredibly dangerous for Jewish communities across the world.”
The Anti-Defamation League has characterized the image as a hate symbol. Also noted, the quote is misattributed to Voltaire when it really came from an American neo-Nazi.
Muhammad responded to the criticism saying “to be real honest with you, I didn’t even pay attention to the picture.” He said he was unaware the image was disrespectful towards Jewish people and took it down.
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Multiple states launch lawsuit against Biden’s student-loan forgiveness plan
Breaking Thursday, the states of Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, and South Carolina joined together to file a lawsuit against President Biden’s administration in order to stop the student loan-forgiveness program from taking effect.
“In addition to being economically unwise and downright unfair, the Biden Administration’s Mass Debt Cancellation is yet another example in a long line of unlawful regulatory actions,” argued the plaintiffs in their filing.
The attorneys general spearheading the legal challenge also submit that “no statute permits President Biden to unilaterally relieve millions of individuals from their obligation to pay loans they voluntarily assumed.”
Biden, however, has argued that he is able to unilaterally cancel student debt to mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, writes National Review, a Department of Education memo released by his administration asserts that the HEROES Act, which passed in 2003 and allows the secretary of education to provide student-debt relief “in connection with a war or other military operation or national emergency,” provides the legal basis for the cancellation.
But, National Review notes that the plaintiffs point out that Biden declared in a recent 60 Minutes interview that “the pandemic is over.”
The legal brief also adds:
“The [HEROES] Act requires ED [Education Department] to tailor any waiver or modification as necessary to address the actual financial harm suffered by a borrower due to the relevant military operation or emergency… This relief comes to every borrower regardless of whether her income rose or fell during the pandemic or whether she is in a better position today as to her student loans than before the pandemic.”
Moreover, they argue that the HEROES Act was designed to allow the secretary to provide relief in individual cases with proper justification.
The first lawsuit against Biden’s executive order came Tuesday from the Pacific Legal Foundation:
“The administration has created new problems for borrowers in at least six states that tax loan cancellation as income. People like Plaintiff Frank Garrison will actually be worse off because of the cancellation. Indeed, Mr. Garrison will face immediate tax liability from the state of Indiana because of the automatic cancellation of a portion of his debt,” wrote PLF in their own brief.
The state-led lawsuit was filed in a federal district court in Missouri, and asks that the court “temporarily restrain and preliminarily and permanently enjoin implementation and enforcement of the Mass Debt Cancellation,” and declare that it “violates the separation of powers established by the U.S. Constitution,” as well as the Administrative Procedure Act.
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