Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|REP. MCKINNEY'S LETTER TO PRINCE ALWALEED|
|10/15/01 at 15:08:34|
|REP. MCKINNEY'S LETTER TO PRINCE ALWALEED|
>October 12, 2001
>His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed bin Talal
>Embassy of Saudi Arabia
>601 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
>Washington, DC 20037
>Dear Prince Alwaleed bin Talal:
>I would like to take just a moment to thank you for your recent
>demonstration of empathy with those suffering from the devastating and
>heinous September 11 attacks on the United States Pentagon and the World
>Trade Center. I would especially like to thank you for your most generous
>offer of $10 million to assist those Americans in need as a result of those
>I was disappointed that Mayor Giuliani chose to decline your generous offer
>and instead criticize you for your observations of events in the Middle
>East. Whether he agreed with you or not I think he should have recognized
>your right to speak and make observations about a part of the world which
>you know so well. I think Mayor Giuliani would do well to listen to the
>words of one of our greatest Americans, former Senator Robert Kennedy. In
>1968 he said that America "is a great nation and a strong people. Any who
>seek to comfort rather than to speak plainly, reassure rather than
>instruct, promise satisfaction rather than reveal frustration--they deny
>that greatness and drain that strength. For today as it was in the
>beginning, it is the truth that makes us free." I believe Senator Robert
>Kennedy's remarks remain as inspirational and true today as when he first
>spoke them over 30 years ago.
>Let me say that there are a growing number of people in the United States
>who recognize, like you, that US policy in the Middle East needs serious
>examination. Indeed, on the same day that you made your remarks about US
>policy in the Middle East, the Chairman of the House International
>Relations Committee, The Honorable Henry Hyde, spoke on National Public
>Radio and said, "There's no question in my mind that the
>Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most important issue in dispute, and
>has generated a lot of the animosity towards us because of our unwavering
>support for Israel, which will remain in place."
>At the same time, CNN played an interview with former National Security
>Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski who stated that America must "deal with some of
>the issues that animate the hostility" against us, like "the treatment of
>the population of Iraq" and that "the Israelis are stronger, so they're
>naturally inflicting much more casualties than the Palestinians on the
>Israelis and that produces frustration and rage."
>Your Royal Highness, many of us here in the United States have long been
>concerned about reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch
>that reveal a pattern of excessive, and often indiscriminate, use of lethal
>force by Israeli security forces in situations where Palestinian
>demonstrators were unarmed and posed no threat of death or serious injury
>to the security forces or to others. Israeli peace organizations like
>B'Tselem accuse the Israeli Defense Forces of violating the most
>fundamental rules of international law in committing atrocities against
>The Israeli Gush Shalom boldly states that "Israeli occupation of the West
>Bank and Gaza Strip is the root cause of the violence and hatred. As long
>as the occupation continues, bloodshed will continue and
>increase." Indeed, Your Royal Highness, all people of good conscience
>understand that this kind of mistreatment breeds a hotbed of anger and
>despair that destabilizes peace in the Middle East and elsewhere. Until we
>confront the realities of events in the Middle East our nation and the
>nations of the Middle East will be at risk.
>Your Royal Highness, there are many people in America who desperately need
>your generosity. People who have been locked out, marginalized from
>America's mainstream. All of those people are poor and too many of them
>are people of color. A black baby boy born in Harlem today has less chance
>of reaching age 65 than a baby born in Bangladesh. Your Royal Highness,
>the state of black America is not good.
>It is painfully visible in Washington D.C., where, just a few hundred yards
>from the White House, one can find black man after black man huddled in bus
>shelters, doorways, over subway ventilation shafts, sleeping on the street,
>thrown away like trash. Ironically, many of them are Vietnam veterans who,
>having served this nation with distinction in Vietnam, now find themselves
>without adequate care and accommodation. Unfortunately, this same scene is
>repeated in each and every one of our major cities here in the United
>I am ashamed to say that my home city of Atlanta is no exception. Just last
>night my son was out with members of Atlanta's Muslim community who, for
>years, have been feeding Atlanta's homeless. Sadly, no one in mainstream
>Atlanta knows about the tireless and generous work of the local Muslim
>community. But the poor know, and I guess at one level that's all that
>matters. But on a broader view mainstream America should know.
>The Justice Department admits that blacks are more likely than whites to be
>pulled over by police, imprisoned, and put to death. And, though blacks
>and whites have about the same rate of drug use, blacks are more likely to
>be arrested than whites and are more likely to receive longer prison
>sentences than whites. Incredibly, 80% of people in prison in the United
>States are people of color.
>Twenty-six black men were executed last year, some probably innocent;
>America began 2001 by executing a retarded black woman.
>Government studies on health disparities confirm that blacks are less
>likely to receive surgery, transplants, and prescription drugs than whites.
>Physicians are less likely to prescribe appropriate treatment for blacks
>than for whites and black scientists, physicians, and institutions are shut
>out of the funding stream to prevent all this.
>I serve in Congress where the Black Caucus is shrinking. Yet, sections of
>the Voting Rights Act will soon expire, and quite frankly, after crippling
>Court decisions, there is not much left of affirmative action to mend.
>In the FBI's own words, its counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) had as
>a goal, "to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize"
>the activities of black organizations and to prevent black "leaders from
>And instead of real leaders, COINTELPRO offers us hand-picked "court
>priests" who are more loyal to the plan than to the people. Court priests
>who preach peace, peace when there is no peace.
>As you can see, the statistics are very grim for Black America. Although
>your offer was not accepted by Mayor Giuliani, I would like to ask you to
>consider assisting Americans who are in dire need right now. I believe we
>can guide your generosity to help improve the state of Black America and
>build better lives. My office can provide you with a list of charities who
>labor under the most difficult circumstances to try and improve the lives
>of the people they serve. I hope you will consider reaching out to our
>charities and to our people who are in need. Please do not hesitate to
>contact me with any questions you may have.
>Member of Congress
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