Al-Qaida has released a new and sophisticated piece of propaganda, this time introducing race into their attack on America. Stylistically, this is advanced but whether or not they've miscalculated how the American public will react remains to be seen. Malcolm X's words remain potent, of course, but in my view the over-riding reality of a black man and his family in the White House trumps all else. My feeling is that al-Qaida have badly misfired here and this will only cause Americans to rally around the new president in ways they may have otherwise not.
The complete nearly 11 minute video may be seen here. Above is a 3 minute, edited version.
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) — Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader used a racial epithet to insult Barack Obama in a message posted Wednesday, using a demeaning racial term implying that the president-elect is a black American who does the bidding of whites.
The message appeared chiefly aimed at persuading Muslims and Arabs that Obama does not represent a change in U.S. policies. Ayman al-Zawahri said in the message, which appeared on militant Web sites, that Obama is "the direct opposite of honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X, the 1960s African-American rights leader.
In al-Qaida's first response to Obama's victory, al-Zawahri also called the president-elect — along with secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice — "house negroes."
Speaking in Arabic, al-Zawahri uses the term "abeed al-beit," which literally translates as "house slaves." But al-Qaida supplied English subtitles of his speech that included the translation as "house negroes."
The message also includes old footage of speeches by Malcolm X in which he explains the term, saying black slaves who worked in their white masters' house were more servile than those who worked in the fields. Malcolm X used the term to criticize black leaders he accused of not standing up to whites.