African Press International (API)

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Advising on what to do with Michelle Obama tape

Posted by African Press International on November 30, 2008

Hi Chief,
I am just one opinion in a very large world……………….but here are my thoughts on the subject of the tapes and the Iman:
(1) Personal Safety for you, staff and all families of staff is #1 in my book. This comes before all else. Is the danger worth the risk to the families of API and the Iman. Only you, your staff and families can decide that. If the only way to keep everyone safe is to not release the tape at this time, then I would say don’t release the tape. Again, not my choice or anyone else’s choice except for of of you who are involved. My first posts were about the dangers involved in this whole thing. Other posters couldn’t understand what I was talking about. Many people do not understand the risks that have to be I say do what you need to do for you and your families.
(2) Michelle Obama came to you. She picked up the phone and called you. I think that really needs to be emphasized over and over. You were not out looking for a story. She tracked you down and found you. She initiated this whole situation.
(3) Any violence “resulting” from API tape release is not API’s fault. People have been threatening riots every step along the way. When I was working on the Hillary Clinton campaign way back in April, people were threatening violence………….threatening to burn down Colorado if Clinton got the nomination. The violent threats have been in the air a great deal longer than the API story.
I think people are really busy pointing fingers at who to blame, because they don’t want to look in the mirror. There is certainly plenty of blame to go around. I don’t think you should accept any blame thrown at you. You haven’t done anything wrong. You, if tapes released, are reporting a story…………….one that started because Michelle Obama called you…..not the other way around.
(4)Regarding timing of tape release–
Honestly Chief, I don’t think there is a perfect time or place. I think it is as it is. People have instilled this huge burden upon your shoulders. To me, that is just wrong. If you release the tapes, I would say do it on your own timeline, who care the day of the week or time. Do what best works for you.
(5) Finally Chief, in closing I would say one again that the vilolence threats have been going on long before the tapes even were made. We dealt with people who were hostile, scary and violent a long time before the tapes.I was called racist, a communist, etc….had pictures of dead Iraqi children smack in my face…………………etc……………just because I was working for and voting for Clinton. My computer has been attackedmany times.I sent you that article about the 14 year old girl who did an experiment to test tolerance in Chicago. What did she get? Death threats……If there were to be violence in the streets after the tape release then it would not be the fault of API. I think some people are just looking to get violent. They don’t need a tape or a document. They just want violence.
So Chief, as I have said before…………I encourage you to listen to your gut and soul and do what you need to do, regardless of anything people from the outside are throwing at you.Again I am just one person…………………….but I will fully support your decision, whatever it may be.
Resending you the Tolerance Test article.
Take care Chief and Peace to you.
From a good American reader


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