For Release: November 20, 2008
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11
Al Qaeda Leader's Anti-Obama Racial Slur Denounced by Black Conservatives
Hard Choices Ahead for President-Elect
Washington, D.C. - Members of the Project 21 black leadership network are denouncing the racial slur made against President-elect Barack Obama by al Qaeda deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, and hope al-Zawahiri's crude action is a sobering reminder for the President-elect and his supporters about the harsh attitudes of our nation's enemies.
"While no fan of Barack Obama, I am a proud American. I find this terrorist's remarks directed at our nation's incoming leader to be highly offensive," said Project 21 chairman Mychal Massie.
In a videotaped message posted on Islamist web sites on November 19, al-Zawahiri - al Qaeda's number-two leader -said about Obama: "In you and in Colin Powell, [Condoleezza] Rice and your likes, the words of Malcolm X... concerning house negroes are confirmed."
"These comments are indicative of the hate terrorists engender toward all Americans," said Project 21 member and Comal County, Texas Commissioner Greg Parker. "I do find it interesting that the President-elect is being seen by our nation's enemies in the same light as Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice."
Domestic critics of Bush Administration policies have in the past used similar terminology about black members of the Bush Administration. Former entertainer Harry Belafonte, for example, has called Powell and Rice "house slaves."
In the video, Al-Zawahiri used Obama's past comments against him, saying: "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. He said Obama appears "to be captive to the same criminal American mentality towards the world and towards Muslims," specifically citing Obama's earlier campaign rhetoric about unilaterally striking targets inside of Pakistan.
Projcet 21's Massie notes: "Liberals fail to grasp the reality that Muslim extremists such as al-Zawahiri hate them just as much as they hate the rest of America. At the very least, his crazed diatribe should prove this very point. I hope it jolts the incoming administration into reality. Being President isn't like playing senator or being a community organizer - it is about protecting the American people. That cannot be done without a strong military and the backbone to make decisions that might be unpopular among his friends."
"I do believe this video proves that the forces seeking to destroy the U.S. and democracies as a whole are watching and waiting," said Project 21's Commissioner Parker. "It is my hope that President-Elect Obama will continue to support our military and the counter-terrorism infrastructure that has kept us safe for the past seven years."
Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Project 21's website at www.project21.org/P21Index.html.