Saturday, January 3, 2009

Barack The Magic Negro

If you're not familiar with this song, you either didn't follow politics that closely during the presidential election or you just don't have any older and/or racist conservative relatives with email accounts. From Wikipedia:

"Barack the Magic Negro" is a satirical song by Paul Shanklin, which appeared on his 2008 album We Hate the USA. The song is a parody sung to the tune of "Puff, the Magic Dragon". The lyrics of "Barack the Magic Negro" refer to President-elect of the United States Barack Obama (who at the time the song was written, was a candidate in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries) as an example of the stock character of the magical negro for whom White American voters would vote in order to assuage white guilt. The word negro by itself was once a neutral term for people of Black African descent, and now is often considered an ethnic slur.[1][2][3] The song was first aired on the Rush Limbaugh Show in 2007, prompting criticism of the show's host, the conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh. A year later, Chip Saltsman, a candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, sent out CDs containing the song, prompting a widespread negative reaction.

Limbaugh's use of the tune on his radio show is no surprise: the unrepentant drug addict was forced to resign from ESPN for making racist comments about Donovan McNabb back in 2003. But Saltsman's publicly sending the CDs to so many in his party as Christmas presents shortly before vying for the chairmanship of the RNC was just plain stupid: did he think that too many black people voted Republican in the last election?

And now even FOX News has jumped on the racist throwback bandwagon by allowing one of their brain donor viewers to do the same on New Year's Eve; check the ticker strip at the bottom of the screen:

For a political party that just lost a national election to a candidate who had the overwhelming support of the black community, these guys seem like they're permanently tone deaf on this issue. When you combine these idiotic gaffes with the rise of the Palin-ites as a sizable committed arm of the party, I'm really looking forward to watching the evolution/implosion of the Republicans over the next couple of years.


Van Zan said...

Implosion followed by evolution, methinks. The Republican party will come good in time, partly by repudiating the dumbass reactionary element... which will then still need to be watched, because they won't have just vanished.

That's just my optimistic and ever-wary view.

JBW said...

I would tend to agree with you, VZ. I think we're going to see a battle for the heart of the party between the true fiscal conservatives with a Libertarian bent and the socially intrusive religious acolytes who still see Bush as a genius and Palin as his heir apparent. From that morass we'll either see a conservative rebirth or a religious narrowing of vision. As I wrote, I'm curious to see how it plays out.

Anonymous said...

I never thought Limbaugh's comments were all that racist...