When it comes to being kicked out of some pretty fancy parties, I have an enviable track record.
“What are you doing having a Black Muslim call my office,” HUD Secretary Patricia Roberts Harris demanded of Louis Martin, Editorial Director of The Chicago Daily Defender, after he sent me to Washington to cover the Jimmy Carter White House in 1977. But I was never thin-skinned about having a name which evokes a strong racial and religious identity. I didn’t just get kicked out, I was never invited to some pretty fancy parties in this town, I’ll have you know.
A past president of the National Press Club once tried to get me declared ineligible for Club membership because I am a correspondent for The Final Call newspaper, published by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. I’ve been kicked out of some pretty fancy parties, but the Club Speaker’s Committee and my friends in the Club would have none of it. The former President was rebuked.
So, I thought I would have common cause when Sen. Barack Hussein Obama came to town in 2005, became the Democratic nominee, now the president-elect, and stands to become the 44th President of the United States in 40 days or so. He used to refer to himself as a “skinny kid with a funny name.” Yeah. I’m feeling you Brother. I’ve been kicked out of some pretty fancy parties myself.
But, maybe I was wrong.
Maybe President-elect Barack Obama is just like all the rest of those folks in high office: judgmental, xenophobic. “Change” that, Mr. President!
But why should he? They called him everything but a child of God during the campaign. Lied and said he was a Muslim. So, he tried to stay as far away as he possibly could from all things Islamic. It got so, nobody wanted to be identified with “them.”
The Obama campaign quickly accepted the resignation of otherwise squeaky-clean Chicago lawyer Mazen Asbahi, its coordinator of Muslim outreach, back in August. His sin? He served for three whole weeks on a committee with another, very suspicious Muslim. There were also “questions” about his involvement in an Islamic investment fund and various Islamic groups: Certain Muslims need not apply Mr. Asbahi. You know what I mean! Yeah, brother, I’ve been kicked out of some pretty fancy parties myself.
Then there were the two women with the Islamic head scarves moved from their seats at a rally so they wouldn’t be seen in a picture. The candidate called himself to apologize. Ray Charles could see that was wrong.
Just recently, the Obama campaign got a little squeamish after its new director of Muslim outreach attended and made remarks at an event in September which was attended by Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society. and Nihad Awad, with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
What are Mahdi Bray’s sins? He’s African American–a “Black Muslim” if you will (not affiliated with the Nation of Islam however), and he has a background of leadership in the Civil Rights movement. Scary huh?
Add to that, the fact that NBC news reported “he has a history of defending terrorists.” Mahdi Bray’s critics point to a video of him at a rally in 2000, for example, in which he can be seen pumping his fist in the air in support of the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. Stunning. Wow. Someone still watches all those old anti-war rally videos? Simply shocking. But he doesn’t pal around with Nation of Islam leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan. He doesn’t pal around with Sudanese military leaders, so how disreputable a Muslim can Mahdi Bray be?
Does that man have a Green Card? Does he have a U.S. passport? Has he ever had his taxes audited? There must be something Civilization can do to defend itself from a Muslim like Mahdi Bray, who reportedly said in a 2004 interview, that the Israeli assassination of a Hamas spiritual leader was an “unlawful, cowardly and dangerous act of state-sponsored terrorism.”
I thought the freedom of speech was protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution? Unless, I guess, you’re a Certain Kind of Muslim. I guess you’re on your own, Mahdi. Never mind the White House briefings you attended during the Clinton, and/or Bush administrations. You are officially Persona Non Grata. Do not rush to the mailbox every day looking for your engraved invitation to the President’s Personal Inaugural Grand Ball.
You ought to overstand. Certain Muslims need not apply. I overstand clearly.
But, if you’re anything like me, you can just shrug President-elect Barack Hussein Obama’s squeamish Muslim-thing off, and say: “I’ve been kicked out of fancier parties than this one.”