Al-Qu'aida No.2 Invokes Malcolm X's House Negro Quip About Obama
Left: Al-Zawahiri likened Obama to a "house slave," contrasting him with 1960s African American revolutionary leader Malcolm X.
TRANSCRIPT: English Translation of Zawahiri Message per al-Sahab, the "al-Qu'aida" video production company.
In the Name of Allah, and all Praise is due to Allah, and Prayers and Peace on the Messenger of Allah and on his family, Companions and allies.
Muslim brothers everywhere: Peace be upon you and the Mercy of Allah and His blessings. As for what comes after:
Barack Obama has won the presidency of the United States of America, and on this occasion, I would like to send several messages.
First, a message of congratulations to the Muslim Ummah on the American people's admission of defeat in Iraq. Although the evidence of America's defeat in Iraq appeared years ago, Bush and his administration continued to be stubborn and deny the brilliant midday sun. If Bush has achieved anything, it is in his transfer of America's disaster and predicament to his successor. But the American people, by electing Obama, declared its anxiety and apprehension about the future towards which the policy of the likes of Bush is leading it, and so it decided to support someone calling for withdrawal from Iraq.
The second of these messages is to the new president of the United States. I tell him: you have reached the position of president, and a heavy legacy of failure and crimes awaits you. A failure in Iraq to which you have admitted, and a failure in Afghanistan to which the commanders of your army have admitted. The other thing to which I want to bring your attention is that what you've announced about how you're going to reach an understanding with Iran and pull your troops out of Iraq to send them to Afghanistan is a policy which was destined for failure before it was born. It appears that you don't know anything about the Muslim Ummah and its history, and the fate of the traitors who cooperated with the invaders against it, and don't know anything about the history of Afghanistan and its free and defiant Muslim people. And if you still want to be stubborn about America's failure in Afghanistan, then remember the fate of Bush and Pervez Musharraf, and the fate of the Soviets and British before them. And be aware that the dogs of Afghanistan have found the flesh of your soldiers to be delicious, so send thousands after thousands to them.
As for the crimes of America which await you, it appears that you continue to be captive to the same criminal American mentality towards the world and towards the Muslims. The Muslim Ummah received with extreme bitterness your hypocritical statements to and stances towards Israel, which confirmed to the Ummah that you have chosen a stance of hostility to Islam and Muslims.
You represent the direct opposite of honorable black Americans like Malik al-Shabazz, or Malcolm X (may Allah have mercy on him). You were born to a Muslim father, but you chose to stand in the ranks of the enemies of the Muslims, and pray the prayer of the Jews, although you claim to be Christian, in order to climb the rungs of leadership in America. And so you promised to back Israel, and you threatened to strike the tribal regions in Pakistan, and to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan, in order for the crimes of the American Crusade in it to continue. And last Monday, your aircraft killed 40 Afghan Muslims at a wedding party in Kandahar. As for Malik al-Shabazz (may Allah have mercy on him), he was born to a black pastor killed by white bigots, but Allah favored him with guidance to Islam, and so he prided himself on his fraternity with the Muslims, and he condemned the crimes of the Crusader West against the weak and oppressed, and he declared his support for peoples resisting American occupation, and he spoke about the worldwide revolution against the Western power structure.
That's why it wasn't strange that Malik al-Shabazz (may Allah have mercy on him) was killed, while you have climbed the rungs of the presidency to take over the leadership of the greatest criminal force in the history of mankind and the leadership of the most violent Crusade ever against the Muslims.
And in you and in Colin Powell, Rice and your likes, the words of Malcolm X (may Allah have mercy on him) concerning "House Negroes" are confirmed.
You also must appreciate, as you take over the presidency of America during its Crusade against Islam and Muslims, that you are neither facing individuals nor organizations, but are facing a Jihadi awakening and renaissance which is shaking the pillars of the entire Islamic world; and this is the fact which you and your government and country refuse to recognize and pretend not to see.
As for the third message, it is to the Muslim Ummah. I tell it: America, the criminal, trespassing Crusader, continues to be the same as ever, so we must continue to harm it, in order for it to come to its senses, because its criminal, expansionist Crusader project in your lands has only been neutralized by the sacrifices of your sons, the Mujahideen. This, then, is the path, so stick to it.
As for the fourth message, it is to the lions of Islam, the Mujahideen. I tell them: may Allah reward you in the best way for your historic heroics, which have ruined America's plans and rendered its projects ineffective. So be firm and resolute. Your enemy's stagger has begun, so don't stop hitting him.
And I say to my brothers the Mujahideen in Iraq in general and the Islamic State of Iraq in particular, and to its Amir, the towering mountain Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi: your enemy has admitted defeat, and the forthcoming stage is expected to be dominated by conspiracies and betrayals in order to cover the American withdrawal, so you must persevere, for victory is in an hour of perseverance.
And I tell my brothers, the lions of Islam in Somalia: rejoice in victory and conquest. America is gathering its wounds in Iraq, and Ethiopia is looking for a way out, and for this reason, the stage of conspiracies and machinations has begun. So hold tightly to the truth for which you have given your lives, and don't put down your weapons before the Mujahid state of Islam and Tawheed has been set up in Somalia.
And I tell all Mujahideen everywhere: the Hubal of the age has begun to falter and recede, and Allah has granted you success and honored you by making you the most important cause of that, so be resolute on the path of Jihad until you meet your Lord while He is pleased with you.
And my fifth message is to all the world's weak and oppressed. I tell them: America has put on a new face, but its heart full of hate, mind drowning in greed, and spirit which spreads evil, murder, repression and despotism continue to be the same as always. And the Mujahideen of Islam, by the grace of Allah, continue to be the spearhead of the resistance against it to restrain it from injustice, aggression and arrogance.
As for my final message, it is to the American people. I tell it: you incurred defeat and losses from the foolish actions of Bush and his gang, and at the same time, Shaykh Usama bin Ladin (may Allah preserve him) sent you a message to withdraw from the lands of the Muslims and refrain from stealing their treasures and interfering in their affairs. So choose for yourself whatever you like, and bear the consequences of your choice, and as you judge, you will be judged.
And our final prayer is that all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and may Allah send prayers and peace on our Master Muhammad and his family and Companions.
In the wake of the video controversy has arisen claiming that al-Zawahiri used a racist slur against Obama, calling him a "house Negro." While Al-Zawahiri referred to a parable Malcolm X made, which distinguished the house-Negro's attachment to her white masters from the field-Negro's vehement epugnance to these same masters. There existed a system of gradated privileges alloted to each group, which conferred their allegiance to the slave system.
Nevertheless, there was no such racist epithet from al-Zawahiri. In Zawahiri’s speech, he said:
Ralph Nader Asks Whether Obama Will Be An Uncle Sam Or An Uncle Tom
In Arabic, al-Zawahiri used the term “Abeed al-Bayt,” which translates as “House Slave.” In the video itself and in the transcription, the words “house slaves” were in quotation marks suggesting a vernacular usage and emphasis. The lack of intent to racially malign Obama becomes the more evident in al-Zawahiri’s speech since al-Sahab Media immediately showed a few clips of Malcolm X explaining the “House Negroes” phenomenon. Therefore, the remark must be viewed in its proper context and not be extrapolated into some benign anti-racism agenda.
Malcolm X: The House Negro vs The Field Negro
"There were two kind of slaves. There were the house Negro and the field Negro. The house Negro, lived in the house, with master. She dressed pretty good. He ate good, because she ate master's food, what he left. The house Negro lived in the attic or the basement, but still lived near her master, and he loved her master, more than the master loved himself. The house Negro would give her life to save the master's house quicker than the master would.
The house Negro, if the master said "we got a good house here" the house Negro says "yeah, we got a good house here." Whenever the master said we, the house Negro would say we. That's how you can tell a house Negro. If the master's house caught on fire, the house Negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would. If the master got sick, the house Negro would say "What's the matter, boss, we sick?" We sick!
The house Negro identified himself with his master, more than the master identified with himself. And if you came to the house Negro and said "Let's run away, Let's escape, Let's separate;" the house Negro would look at you and say "Man, you crazy. What you mean separate? Where is there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes than these? Where can I eat better food than this?" There was that house Negro.
In those days, he was called a house nigger. And that's what we call him today, because we still have some house niggers running around here. This modern house Negro loves his master. He wants to live near him. He'll pay three times as much as the house is worth just to live near his master; and then brag about "I'm the only Negro out here. I'm the only one on my job. I'm the only one in this school." You're nothing but a house Megro!
And if someone were to come to you right now and say "let's separate," you respond in the same way that the house Negro said on the plantation. "What you mean separate? From America? This good white land? Where you gonna get a better job than you get here? I mean, this is what you say! "I di-I ain't left nothing in Africa." That's what you say. "Why, you left your mind in Africa."
On that same plantation, there was the field Negro. The field Negroes, those were the masses. There was always more negroes in the field as there were in the house. There, a Negro in the field caught hell. He ate leftovers. In the house, they ate high up on the hog. The Negro in the field didn't get nothing but what was left in the insides of the hog. They call them chit'lins nowadays. In those days, they called them what they were, guts! That's what you were, a gut-eater. And some of you are still gut-eaters.
The field Negro was beaten, from morning until night. He lived in a shack or in a hut. He wore cast-off clothes. He hated his master. I say, he hated his master. He was intelligent. That house Negro loved his master. But that field Negro, remember, they were in the majority, and they hated their master. When the house caught on fire, he didn't try to put it out, that field Negro prayed for a wind -- for a breeze. When the master got sick, the field Negro prayed that he died. If someone were tp come to the field Negro and say "Let's separate, let's run." He didn't say "Where we going?" She said "any place is better than here." We got field negros in America today.
I'm a field Negro. The masses are the field Negroes. When they see this man's house on fire, we don't hear these Negroes talking about "our Government is in trouble." They say "the Government is in trouble." Imagine a Negro, saying "our Government." I even heard one say "our astronauts." They won't even let him near the plant, and "our astronauts!" "Our neighbors!" That's a Negro that's out of his mind. That's a Negro that's out of his mind! Just because the slave master in that day, used Tom, to keep the field Negroes in check. The same old slavemaster today has Negroes who are nothing but modern Uncle Toms. 20th century Uncle Toms to keep you and me in check. Keep us under control. Keep us passive and peaceful. And nonviolent. That's Tom making you nonviolent.
It's like when you go to the dentist and the man is going to take your tooth. You're going to fight him when he starts pulling. So they squirt some stuff in your jaw called novocaine, to make you think they're not doing anything to you. So you sit there and because you got all that novocaine in your jaw, you suffer peacefully. Hahaha.
There's nothing in our book, the Qur’ān, as you call it, Koran, that teaches us to suffer peacefully. Our religion teaches us to be intelligent. Be peaceful. Be courteous. Obey the law. Respect everyone. But if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery! That's a good religion. In fact, that's that old-time religion. That's the one that ma and pa used to talk about. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and a head for a head and a life for a life. That's a good religion. And doesn't anybody, no one resist that kind of religion being taught but a wolf who intends to make you his meal.
This is the way it is with the white man in America. He's a wolf and you're his sheep. Anytime a shepherd, a pastor, teaches you and me not to run from the white man, and at the same time teaches us don't fight the white man, he's a traitor, to you and me. Don't lay down our lives all by itself, no, preserve your lives. It's the best thing you got. And if you got to give it up, let it be "Even Steven."
Malcolm X - Field Negro vs House Negro
Although available at various venues, I did not include the al-Zawahiri video because Al Qu'aida does not need any more publicity. The MSM is already doing a thorough job in their promotion. However, I wanted to point out that Obama is being sheltered in an omnipotent racial cocoon. If anything comes along that could be remotely construed as racist or intones "race relations" the media pounds a message of racial neutrality into our heads ad nauseam. As if issues of class, gender and race suddenly disappeared at 11.00 PM, EST, November 4, 2008, with the forecasted election of Barack Hussein Obama. President-elect Obama has said as much himself. "I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions," he said, according to the source.
And since the MSM announced Barack Obama's election commentators have continued to characterize his victory as a new era, The idea is that Obama is a symbol for the culmination of America’s racial progress. The Obama Messiah will change and cleanse America of its original sin of racism. I wonder if that change will include a change of sentiment toward folk in the urban areas and other heavily African American communities?
The African American illegitimacy rate remains at 70 percent. African Americans performed worse on the SAT in 2000 than in 1990. Fifty-five percent of all federal prisoners compose African American inmates, though they are only 13 percent of the population. Moreover, the majority of African Americans remain at the margins of the American success story.
America is not beyond race if it celebrates a man’s race. The best possible America would be one that would be completely indifferent to color. It would be a place where all races could be proud while conferring no privileges to one over another. Obama would not gain or lose support because of his complexion or be celebrated, defended or hated for it.
Race, sex, and class identity are real issues in American life, let us not deny this. And they were magnified at times during this election in an attempt to sway voters. In actuality, it is not Obama who enjoys this symbolism. Rather, it is the racial history of America that makes him into a liberating symbol. Therefore, Obama is merely used as a mechanism, a sort of scapegoat for hundreds of years of socio-economic policy.
It is also interesting that both Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri addressed the United States by drawing on radical American ideologies to make their point. Bin Laden invoked Global warming, Corporate greed, Taxes, and an Anti War message while, al-Zawahiri founds part of his message on a Black Nationalist ideology; which African Americans have turned away from since the 1990s. Malcolm X also rejected the thrust of racial politics in the latter part of his civil rights agitation. Malcolm left the Nation of Islam to join the Muslim Umma and sought to bridge the varying struggles for justice and equality regardless of race.
It would seem however that Bin Laden's analyses of American currents were on course because Americans rallied around those issues to elect Obama. In a similar vein al-Zawahiri correctly judged the force of racial politics in its American context even though, the racial dynamic has mutated into new forms. Indeed, there exists a new process of slavery. It is apparent that "Al Qu' aida" is an ardent student of American history and its civics--even while hiding deep within 'their caves.'