The Magic Negro Song Controversy

I avoided blogging about this because I had to get past the title and actually read the news articles on this one. Apparently a republican candidate for party chairman Chip Saltsman has been criticized for distributing a CD with a song entitled “Barack the Magic Negro” shortly after Barack Obama won the Presidential election. Saltsman defended his actions to CNN stating:

“I think most people recognize political satire when they see it. I think RNC members understand that.”

First off, the issue is not that people are hearing the song and concluding that Obama is literally a magical entity or that they think Al Sharpton singing the song himself. Everybody knows it’s satire. That, however, does not get you off the hook. Second, when I first read about this incident I found the song on youtube and watched it to see what manner of satire it was. It turns out that, rather than being a satire of Barack Obama, it’s actually a satire of Al Sharpton as it depicts him singing a song that shows his resentment for Obama becoming the de facto black leader even though he’s not a “real like me”. The parody of Sharpton is terrible, portraying him singing with exaggerated black American phonetics and the worst part is it’s not funny at all.

I don’t mean that in the sense of ‘this is absolutely hilarious but for the sake of political correctness we must all declare it unfunny’, I mean there’s not a genuinely humorous line in it. Chip Saltsman evidently thought the song was hilarious and that leaves me with the uneasy conclusion that he must have found it delightful because someone finally referred to Barack Obama as a negro.

I’m willing to entertain the idea that I might be wrong so feel free to listen to the song yourself and tell where the humorous line is. As comedy goes I think this song is shit even without the racial epithet, and although etymologically ‘negro’ is a Spanish word that means black, make no mistake, in contemporary American society negro is a put down word that harkens back to a time when America was more racially stratified and is most often used now as an attempt to put black people “in their place”. While not admirable, that mindset is not terribly important if you’re an unfunny political satirist or a divisive political commentator, but if you’re vying to lead a political party that aspires to be relevant to the American people in years to come it is incredibly important.

The Republican party already has an image problem among minority voters as it is and if you think that doesn’t matter than you haven’t been paying attention. And I’m not gonna say anything all sappy and leftist about how you have to seek to be “inclusive” (whatever that means) and that you have to be all touchy-feely and understanding about people from different backgrounds and I’m definitely not going to say that you should fake it. I’m saying that the republican party has ideals that can appeal to all sorts of people regardless of race and gender but if you want to effectively represent that then you have to live it. That includes not hurting your party by doing things that make you come across like a racist asshole. Behavior like Saltsman’s is boorish and stupid at best and it gives the party a white eye. HAHAHHAHAHAHA ok I couldn’t help it I had to say that.

** None of this is intended as a defense of the ass-clown Al Sharpton

5 Responses to “The Magic Negro Song Controversy”

  1. Phelps says:

    the worst part is it’s not funny at all.

    The unforgivable sin.

    You are listed as MIA in the guild now on WoW. Are you coming back?

  2. mexi says:

    Eventually I shall begin playing again. Don’t trade me to the Detroit Lions!!!

  3. R says:

    So the “magical negro” is originally a literary device (Wikipedia told me so) and has been applied to such modern titles as “Bagger Vance,” “The Matrix,” “Bruce Almighty,” etc.. seemingly not because it was the writers’ intent to be racist, but just because it “fits the mold.”

    But! Just because something might incidentally align itself with something originally racist doesn’t mean that the intent for racism is there. I.e., just because you see a Mexican crawling out of the Rio Grande doesn’t mean you have a right to call him a wetback.

    That said, the release of something allegedly “teh funneh,” when, in fact, it is not at all, naturally lends to teh Mexigogue’s logical conclusion: that the motive was racist.

  4. Aaron says:

    This is just that oxycontin inhaling government mouth piece Rush Limbaugh’s blather.

    If you fall for this, you probably refuse to believe the fact that Rush Limbaugh takes enough oxy every day to kill a horse.

    Periodically he goes in for detox and they have to put his brain in a drug induced coma to keep him alive during withdrawals.

    Then he comes out and says to send black crack addicts to the penitentiary. THIS is the guy that publicized that song.

  5. Phelps says:

    Actually, Rush wasn’t big on teh War on Some Drugs even before he got caught. His one complaint was that they weren’t sending enough white guys to jail and were wasting too many resources doing huge showy busts in poor neighborhoods. His idea was that if you bust a few rich white guys, it would actually do something.

    Which is really funny if you think about it.

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