Everyone in the world is thrilled that America elected Barack Obama! There was dancing and American flag-waving on streets that more recently have been burning American flags (both abroad and in San Francisco). It looks like America will have a President who'll, you know, be diplomatic and respect international law and maybe not be so much of a terrible American stereotype! This is all bad news for terror network al-Qaeda, who rely on American aggression and foreign affairs incompetence to keep that anti-Western fervor up. So they quietly talked up a John McCain presidency on their message boards while publicly endorsing Barack Obama in order to pull the old reverse psychology trick they tried against Kerry. It didn't work! So now they're just calling Obama names. They released a stupid video, of course, in which Ayman al-Zawahiri calls Obama a "house negro" and quotes Malcolm X! They have some legitimate policy grievances with Obama, of course, because while the Bush strategy was to use the 9/11 attacks as a pretense to go ahead with a pre-planned invasion of non-al-Qaeda secular dictatorship Iraq, the Obama plan is to go back into Afghanistan—and Pakistan!—and kill all of them. (Bush thought this plan so clever he secretly instituted it himself at the very, very end of his presidency.) Still, even with the threat of ramping up that particular war, Obama is simply not a very good recruiting tool for Islamic Extremists! So they are kinda reduced to just needling the President-elect, with this Malcolm X talk. Obama, of course, has written at length of reading Malcolm X: "Only Malcolm X's autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me." Who knew al-Qaeda seconds-in-command were reading Dreams From My Father? But, of course, their invocation of Obama as a "house Negro" is a total misreading. As Malcolm said:
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 Negro.
And a pivotal part of Obama's story, of course, is his seeking out and finding a Black community, and creating a role for himself in that community. And Malcolm himself, as we all know, developed more nuanced views of race relations shortly before his untimely death, demanding black people have self-determination within their own communities and pulling back from strict separation from white people. He distanced himself from the Nation of Islam too, making these terrorists look even more foolish. It's almost as if al-Qaeda leaders don't have a complex understanding of the roots of black nationalism and the civil rights struggle and how it informs contemporary discussions of race! Anyways, Obama hasn't responded to the provocation but he's totally bombing some caves come January.