Is Barack Obama a house negro?
Is Barack Obama a house negro?
by Prairie Fire
In a recent 11 minute video, Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Al-Qaida leader, juxtaposed Barack Obama to Malcolm X:
“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.” (1)
Ayman al-Zawahiri alludes to Malcolm X’s famous description of house and field negroes. Malcolm X famously described house negroes as those who received benefits from their close relationship with their masters during era of slavery. “That house Negro loved his master.” He “identified himself with his master more than his master identified with himself.” “If the master’s house caught on fire, the house Negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would.” The field negro, by contrast, “ hated his master.” And, the “Negro in the field caught hell. He ate leftovers. In the house they ate high up on the hog… The field Negro was beaten from morning to night.” Malcolm X saw this same dynamic shaping Black society of his day, “Just as the slavemaster of that day used Tom, the house Negro, 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.” (2)
How accurate is Ayman al-Zawahiri’s description?
Barack Obama represents a setback for the independence of the Black Nation. Having someone who is perceived as Black at the head of American empire will further tie Black aspirations to the aspirations of empire. Barack Obama further ties the interests of Blacks to the interests of Whites. Barack Obama’s presidency plays a role in perpetuating the myth that America is basically good despite the errors of its past. His presidency further breaks down Black identity separate from the American identity. It encourages Blacks to stop thinking of themselves as separate, as Black. It encourages them to think of themselves as Americans, equal partners in making the American dream a reality. Blacks can be Americans too. Because of this, from the standpoint of Black Nation qua nation, Barack Obama is the ultimate Uncle Tom, the ultimate traitor to the Black Nation.
Yet Ayman al-Zawahiri’s description leaves out an important fact. In Malcolm X’s speech, he says that there “were always more Negroes in the field than there was Negroes in the house.” (3) Yet, today, this is not the case. Today, most Blacks benefit in an overall sense from their relationship with the United $nakes. Blacks benefit from the massive transfer of value from the Third World to the United $nakes. Blacks, like their White counterparts, earn super-wages that are only made possible by imperilaism. In other words, the majority of Blacks, like Whites, are exploiters of the Third World. Blacks partake in the fruits of American empire to such a degree that the vast majority of Blacks are “in the house.”
More and more, it looks as though there is less a future for the Black Nation as a nation. The majority of Blacks are house negroes who not only have moved into the master’s house, but are becoming masters themselves. Like Barack Obama, they are gaining more and more power within the United $nakes. Barack Obama represents real gains for the Black population as it becomes part of the greater American nation. And, because he represents real gains in power by the majority of Blacks, it is not fully accurate to call him an Uncle Tom.
Leading Light Communists should encourage national sentiment among the Black population. Leading Light Communists should sabotage empire as much as possible by slowing the integrationist trend that seeks to eliminate the Black Nation qua nation. However, Leading Light Communists do not spread illusions that the Black Nation is a reliable ally of the Third World. Ayman al-Zawahiri is right to try to stir up Black nationalism against Barack Obama. However, the results will be disappointing. Blacks are bought-in to empire.
Ayman al-Zawahiri is more correct than the First Worldist “left”
Ayman al-Zawahiri stated, Malcolm X “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.” (4) This is more than we can say for the First Worldist “left.” The First Worldist “left” rejects the united front against imperialism. The First Worldist “left” sees American workers as better allies than the Islamic resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan. In reality, the First Worldist “left” is social imperialist. The First Worldist “left” acts to extend the Western power structure.
Ayman al-Zawahiri states:
“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.” (5)
Ayman al-Zawahiri correctly tells the “weak and oppressed” to give up any illusions that Barack Obama represents positive change. As Leading Light Communists have stated, Barack Obama merely represents another face of empire. He is the face of a historically oppressed group, the face of the enslaved, on empire. Because of this, Barack Obama may represent a more effective version of empire than has been seen in the past.
4. http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/11/obama_insulted_by_al_qaeda_lea.html 5. ibid.