House Negro, Please


Al-Qaeda is trying to taunt the president-elect, drive a wedge between post-racial transcendence and Malcom X, or both:

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.

It will be interesting indeed to watch how the outside world–and not just the Islamo-nutsandwiches–react to a half-black American president. Judging by Silvio Berlusconi's early example, we could be in for some comedy.