Rodney Muhammad is president of the NAACP’s Philadelphia chapter and says the recent chaos and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia reminds him of 1908’s deadly race riots in Springfield, Illinois — which prompted the creation of the NAACP.
“The racial hatred that they saw then, that they committed themselves to eradicating, I have to wonder if those 60 people – what would they think to see us in 2017 and to see the same thing going on.”
He says seeing the video of people being plowed down in the streets is gut-wrenching.
“You are resurrecting some of the old hatreds in Virginia in the beginning that were part of the inception of this country,” he said.
Muhammad says this is a time when political leaders are needed the most.
“It’s not just outrage about what happened in Virginia, but there’s outrage about the president’s resistance to really respond to this,” Muhammad said. “This is one of those moments in American life, and the president had a chance and he squandered it.”