Sunday, December 28, 2008

Republican Shocked

No comment is necessary here.
WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Republican National Committee said Saturday he was "shocked and appalled" that one of his potential successors had sent committee members a CD this Christmas featuring a 2007 parody song called "Barack the Magic Negro."

In spite of RNC Chairman Robert M. "Mike" Duncan's sharply negative reaction, former Tennessee GOP leader Chip Saltsman said that party leaders should stand up to criticism over distributing a CD with the song. He earlier defended the tune as one of several "lighthearted political parodies" that have aired on Rush Limbaugh's radio show. GOP chairman 'shocked' that Obama parody sent out

I really do think that the ability to identify irony is what distinguishes the left and right in our country. This article has the term "conservative comedian" in it. Can you imagine what that is?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No comment is necessary here."

Why don't you decide whether to make a comment or not?

Either explain your thoughts or don't bother to put up a post.

December 28, 2008 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don´t like black people.

December 29, 2008 12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why is that?

December 29, 2008 12:23 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

With the GOP down in the polls and practically shut out by blacks on election day, Saltsman, who was Huckabee's campaign manager, decides its a good idea to troll for votes to become the next GOP Chairman by using the old GOP standby, the southern strategy. Obviously the GOP needs someone with fresh ideas, like how to attract minorities to their party rather than repel them. Some GOP members like Rush Limbaugh find the "parody" funny but Saltsman's southern strategy video is not funny at all. Duncan is right to criticize it. Other GOP leaders should criticize it as well.

December 29, 2008 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd agree that Republicans need to find ways to appeal to minorities, especially blacks.

One glaring problem has been the failure of explaining how Democrats have supported teacher unions and opposed school choice and charter schools to the detriment of the future of millions of inner city children.

There are other avenues for appeal such as the fact that blacks tend to be more socially conservative on issues like gay marriage and abortion.

Still, from the post Jim made and the link he put up and Bea's post, I still don't understand what the objection to this video is. I know the term "negro" is passe' but I haven't seen the video so I don't know what the context is. I think the link said something about the theme being white guilt which is not necessarily an irrelevant topic.

But since Jim and Bea seem to feel there is something wrong here, maybe they could explain.

December 29, 2008 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
I so want this guy to be head of the RNC. How do I vote for him? I think he is the perfect person to head a group which had significant losses in 2006 and 2008- and which had a terrible showing among Hispanics,Asians and African-Americans in the last election.
Hey, anon- if you can't figure out what is wrong with Chip's gift without an explanation- you should support this guy too.

December 29, 2008 10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cop-out, Andrea

you can't explain what's wrong with the video or you would

I haven't seen it and won't bother to unless I hear some specifics

I suspect that with Obama's election, blacks will eventually become less monolithic politically, which will no fun for Democrats

btw, I've always wanted to ask you:

How does standing in the rain help people?

Couldn't you do as much by going on a fast and starving yourself?

I think you should give it a try!

December 29, 2008 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea-not anon
You look at the video, MN anon. I did- I know why it is wrong. I also found out that I cannot sway the Md GOP to support this guy- so near and dear to your heart. Md GOP is supporting Mike Steele.

I am so far beyond your silliness, MN anon- your remarks make people at Freeper seem intelligent.

December 29, 2008 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I did- I know why it is wrong."

I see.

It must be so offensive that the English can't even describe the problem.

"this guy- so near and dear to your heart"

Who? Do I know this person who is "near and dear to my heart"?

"I am so far beyond your silliness"

You have a point. You have opened whole new genres of silliness.

After all, who can be sillier than Andreary?!

December 29, 2008 3:47 PM  
Blogger Emproph said...

The outgoing chair of the RNC, Mike Duncan, said he's “shocked and appalled” by the lyrics, adding: "The 2008 election was a wake-up call for Republicans to reach out and bring more people into our party." The song, Duncan said, "clearly does not move us in the right direction."

Duncan added that chair candidate Chip Saltsman should have consulted with RNC’s funky town headquarters before making the recording, and condemned his conservative colleagues for being so insensitive to the African American community. “Only a porch monkey would think that song was funny,” he said.

December 29, 2008 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, good

someone new to the conversation

improv, can you tell us what is wrong with the song? how is it "insensitive"?

December 29, 2008 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, guys. I tried to look at this video but it has been pulled from youtube for some type of policy violations.

I did find some interesting discussion in the LA Times about this concept of the "magic negro". I'd never hear of it before. Here it is. Hopefully, it doesn't violate TTF's TOS:

"It's clear that Obama also is running for an equally important unelected office, in the province of the popular imagination — the "Magic Negro."

The Magic Negro is a figure of postmodern folk culture, coined by snarky 20th century sociologists, to explain a cultural figure who emerged in the wake of Brown vs. Board of Education. "He has no past, he simply appears one day to help the white protagonist," reads the description on Wikipedia.

He's there to assuage white "guilt" (i.e., the minimal discomfort they feel) over the role of slavery and racial segregation in American history, while replacing stereotypes of a dangerous, highly sexualized black man with a benign figure for whom interracial sexual congress holds no interest.

As might be expected, this figure is chiefly cinematic — embodied by such noted performers as Sidney Poitier, Morgan Freeman, Scatman Crothers, Michael Clarke Duncan, Will Smith and, most recently, Don Cheadle. And that's not to mention a certain basketball player whose very nickname is "Magic."

Poitier really poured on the "magic" in "Lilies of the Field" (for which he won a best actor Oscar) and "To Sir, With Love" (which, along with "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," made him a No. 1 box-office attraction). In these films, Poitier triumphs through yeoman service to his white benefactors. "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" is particularly striking in this regard, as it posits miscegenation without evoking sex. (Talk about magic!)

The same can't quite be said of Freeman in "Driving Miss Daisy," "Seven" and the seemingly endless series of films in which he plays ersatz paterfamilias to a white woman bedeviled by a serial killer. But at least he survives, unlike Crothers in "The Shining," in which psychic premonitions inspire him to rescue a white family he barely knows and get killed for his trouble. This heart-tug trope is parodied in Gus Van Sant's "Elephant." The film's sole black student at a Columbine-like high school arrives in the midst of a slaughter, helps a girl escape and is immediately gunned down. See what helping the white man gets you?

And what does the white man get out of the bargain? That's a question asked by John Guare in "Six Degrees of Separation," his brilliant retelling of the true saga of David Hampton — a young, personable gay con man who in the 1980s passed himself off as the son of none other than the real Sidney Poitier. Though he started small, using the ruse to get into Studio 54, Hampton discovered that countless gullible, well-heeled New Yorkers, vulnerable to the Magic Negro myth, were only too eager to believe in his baroque fantasy. (One of the few who wasn't fooled was Andy Warhol, who was astonished his underlings believed Hampton's whoppers. Clearly Warhol had no need for the accouterment of interracial "goodwill.")

But the same can't be said of most white Americans, whose desire for a noble, healing Negro hasn't faded. That's where Obama comes in: as Poitier's "real" fake son.

The senator's famously stem-winding stump speeches have been drawing huge crowds to hear him talk of uniting rather than dividing. A praiseworthy goal. Consequently, even the mild criticisms thrown his way have been waved away, "magically." He used to smoke, but now he doesn't; he racked up a bunch of delinquent parking tickets, but he paid them all back with an apology. And hey, is looking good in a bathing suit a bad thing?

The only mud that momentarily stuck was criticism (white and black alike) concerning Obama's alleged "inauthenticty," as compared to such sterling examples of "genuine" blackness as Al Sharpton and Snoop Dogg. Speaking as an African American whose last name has led to his racial "credentials" being challenged — often several times a day — I know how pesky this sort of thing can be.

Obama's fame right now has little to do with his political record or what he's written in his two (count 'em) books, or even what he's actually said in those stem-winders. It's the way he's said it that counts the most. It's his manner, which, as presidential hopeful Sen. Joe Biden ham-fistedly reminded us, is "articulate." His tone is always genial, his voice warm and unthreatening, and he hasn't called his opponents names (despite being baited by the media).

Like a comic-book superhero, Obama is there to help, out of the sheer goodness of a heart we need not know or understand. For as with all Magic Negroes, the less real he seems, the more desirable he becomes. If he were real, white America couldn't project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on him."

Any thoughts, guys?

December 29, 2008 4:20 PM  
Blogger Emproph said...

“improv, can you tell us what is wrong with the song? how is it "insensitive"?”

That depends, how do you describe “insensitive” to someone who has no feelings?

December 29, 2008 5:42 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

Interesting analysis, anonymous. But there is one thing you didn't think of.

Mr. Saltsman did not have that analysis in mind when he pushed that CD and neither did Limbaugh when he first pushed it.

December 29, 2008 10:47 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Any thoughts, guys?

Yes, I think David Ehrenstein's columns on Hollywood are better than his columns on politics. He's best when he sticks to what he knows and he's been reporting on celebrities since the 60's.

Why did you skip the first paragraph in your cut and paste?

Obama the 'Magic Negro'
The Illinois senator lends himself to white America's idealized, less-than-real black man.
By David Ehrenstein, L.A.-based DAVID EHRENSTEIN writes about Hollywood and politics.
March 19, 2007

AS EVERY CARBON-BASED life form on this planet surely knows, Barack Obama, the junior Democratic senator from Illinois, is running for president. Since making his announcement, there has been no end of commentary about him in all quarters — musing over his charisma and the prospect he offers of being the first African American to be elected to the White House.

But it's clear that Obama also is running for an equally important unelected office..."

Wikipedia reports

Part of Saltsman's response to the controversy was that the song was actually a parody of Ehrenstein's "irresponsible" column itself, rather than a parody of Obama. Ehrenstein responded to the controversy in a post on his blog in late December.

So Huckabee's former manager Saltsman thinks the column on which the song was based -- that he included on a Christmas CD he distributed to GOP officials because he felt it would help him win their votes to become GOP Chairman -- was "irresponsible" to start with.

For the Anon who can't find a working version of the song at, (this copy was working this morning) lyrics like these are demeaning:

"Yeah, the guy from the L.A. paper
Said he makes guilty whites feel good
They’ll vote for him, and not for me
‘Cause he’s not from the hood.

See, real black men, like Snoop Dog,
Or me, or Farrakhan
Have talked the talk, and walked the walk.
Not come in late and won!

Oh, Barack the Magic Negro, lives in D.C.
The L.A. Times, they called him that
‘Cause he’s black, but not authentically.

(repeat Refrain)

Some say Barack’s "articulate"
And bright and new and "clean"
The media sure loves this guy,
A white interloper’s dream!

But, when you vote for president,
Watch out, and don’t be fooled!
Don’t vote the Magic Negro in
‘Cause... (music stops, Sharpton rants, music returns)

(background vocalists repeat refrain & finish song)

And if youtube still doesn't work for you, you can follow that last link to Rush, where you'll find he has an audio clip available for members of his site.

December 30, 2008 7:12 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Republicans risk their credibility when they push anything popularized by Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter.

December 30, 2008 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
Robert- I hope Ann and Rush continue along with people like Chip- the continued downfall of the GOP is in their slimey hands

December 30, 2008 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

It would be best, I think, to have a second party that appealed more to the center of American thought and society. I've read some studies that indicate that people tend to adopt the attitudes of the group they belong to; since the GOP has been hijacked by social conservatives and, to be honest, ill-disguised bigots, I think people who identify as conservative may feel they should think the same way. It ends up polarizing our society.

When the Whig party failed to address the most important issues, it faded away and the Republican party rose to prominence. I hope either that party become more representative of our people, or that another party be created which represents conservative, but not extreme, viewpoints.


December 30, 2008 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"For the Anon who can't find a working version of the song at, (this copy was working this morning) lyrics like these are demeaning:"

Well, thanks for posting the lyrics so we can have a discussion.

I don't know who you think is demeaned and how by this song.

It seems a black writer for the LA Times wrote a piece saying that Obama is not a typical black but represents a mythical "magic negro" who whites somehow believe will save them.

Then, a political satirist mocked this line of thought.

Well, I don't find the parody very funny but I'm not highly offended. I don't see how anyone could misconstrue it as demeaning or racist.

I do think the LA Times writer is erroneous although I can understand part of what he's talking about. Obama does talk more like Sidney Poitier or Colin Powell or Prince Charles than, say, Jesse Jackson or Alan Keyes. I guess there are some blacks who may think that whites will only accept as leaders blacks that have a certain manner and are "safe". These blacks would then not see Obama's election as a final step forward but only a partial one.

Still, the LA Times writer seems to go too far with his analysis and the satirist, while clumsy, seems justified in objecting to this line of reasoning.

All in all, "no comment necesary", unless, of course, you want to figure out what's going instead of making sweeping and inappropriate judgments.

December 30, 2008 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" Troll:
Of all the ludicrous statements you have made, this one: "Obama does talk more like Sidney Poitier or Colin Powell or Prince Charles than, say, Jesse Jackson or Alan Keyes. I guess there are some blacks who may think that whites will only accept as leaders blacks that have a certain manner and are "safe"." identifies you as the rabid racist you really are! You dare you purport to speak for blacks? How presumptuous of you.
"I don't find the parody very funny but I'm not highly offended." Of course you are not offended - you are not a black American citizen!
Kindly take your repulsive racism with you and, once and for all, leave this blog site.

December 31, 2008 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Until you've seen and heard the accompanying video in which various black public figures are made to appear like they are performing in minstrel shows, your analysis remains meaningless. You should know what you're talking about -- all of it -- otherwise you're just wasting everyone's time. The pictures and sound add a whole other layer of racism beyond what's in the text.

December 31, 2008 12:04 PM  

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