The obligatory “Barack the Magic Negro controversy” post

posted at 3:03 pm on December 29, 2008 by Allahpundit

Tapper reminds us of the song’s genesis in a lefty LA Times op-ed about conventions of authenticity, which the lyrics parody, and The One’s good humor in laughing it off when asked about it last year (“I don’t mind folks poking fun at me”). Which leaves us with a tediously predictable debate: If the song’s not clearly racist, should Chip Saltsman be scolded for circulating it? Some righties say yes, since we know what the media will do with it and how that’ll affect voter perceptions of the GOP; others say no, that they’ll be damned before they let the left set the parameters for what’s politically correct. Count me in the former group with Geraghty and John Avlon. There are perhaps principles so important that it’s worth risking the party’s viability to defend them — strong borders, an end to bailoutmania — but the use of an archaic term like “Negro” that’s disfavored by blacks doesn’t strike me as one of them. If you disagree and think the real principle here is resisting an ever-expanding Orwellian universe of “unacceptable” terms, fair enough. But be prepared to divert party resources from other business to try to convince blacks that they shouldn’t feel uneasy about words that cause them unease.

All while trying to expand the tent, of course.

Avlon:

Saltsman presumably did not intend to offend by mailing out the parody CD by Paul Shanklin with songs that first aired during the campaign on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show. A look at the lyrics shows that the song’s real target is the Al Sharpton-sound-alike singer who feels that Obama has usurped his rightful place as the protest leader of African-American politics. But now that Obama has been elected the president of all Americans, and Saltsman is attempting to run for leader of the opposition party, the song—whose title comes from a Los Angeles Times column—could not help but become a lightning rod. The failure to anticipate the outrage points to the blinders that exist in racially homogenous Republican backrooms. Conservatives who take good ol’ boy pride in being politically incorrect are either unaware or don’t care that they come off as being somewhere between indifferent and hostile to the full diversity of American life…

Obama won in large part because he appealed to the better angels of our nature, and himself looks like America in the 21st century. Republicans need to respond with something better than cynicism or sarcasm. They need to rediscover their founding ideals, confront the ghosts of their past, and present a party that looks like America to regain credibility as The Party of Lincoln.

Most candidates for RNC chair have gone the pragmatic route, as has Newt Gingrich. But Ken Blackwell, leveraging his own Absolute Moral Authority, cannily absolved Saltsman. If this “scandal” gets big enough, I wonder if the RNC won’t try to defuse it by making him chair. Exit invitation: Vote it out!



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Comment pages: 1 2

While I find the song (parody) funny, were I in a position of power and influence I would leave the parodies to the entertainers and remain above that fray.

Not a brilliant sales/marketing move and God knows Republicans/Conservatives absolutely suck at both as it is.

watson007 on December 29, 2008 at 8:28 PM

Is the controversy more about the truth in the satire or the use of the word Negro?

Please, explain to me how this song is offensive to those who are being perceived as being offended.

Either way, it is sad that there are those who will not utilize any type of honest research and get all squishy and wrongfully apologetic when the PC Keystone Kops get all riled up.

I call this white guilt not because it is a guilt of conscience but because people stigmatized with moral crimes–here racism and imperialism–lack moral authority and so act guiltily whether they feel guilt or not.

geckomon on December 29, 2008 at 8:32 PM

Stop being afraid of logic and your own knowledge, my fellow citizens of European heritage.

baldilocks on December 29, 2008 at 4:48 PM

In addition to “logic and your own knowledge”, or just by itself, just use common sense. Also, be sincere. I work with people of all backgrounds, you name them…never a problem. They kid with me, I kid with them. However, there are the professional settings, there are the moments, the places, the tone, the humor, the examples, and most of all the intent. If you’re a bigot people will know, no matter the classification.

Don’t be one, don’t practice it, and don’t excuse it, no matter the party, or the source.

baldi and TRC, we are related and I’m not black.

Entelechy on December 29, 2008 at 8:49 PM

benny shakar on December 29, 2008 at 8:06 PM

If all you’re looking to do is start a fight . . .

Ryan Gandy on December 29, 2008 at 8:52 PM

My message to whiney libs…

-What’s good for the conservative goose is good for the liberal gander.

-What goes around comes around.

-If you can’t handle to heat, stay out the kitchen.

-The pot calling the kettle black (no racism intended)

And besides all that, the song is funnier that hell!

katy on December 29, 2008 at 8:52 PM

but the use of an archaic term like “Negro” that’s disfavored by blacks doesn’t strike me as one of them.

What about the United Negro College Fund?

jgapinoy on December 29, 2008 at 9:06 PM

Barack the Magic Marxist
Lives in D.C.
Don’t call him black, don’t call him white,
Just call him Red Chinese!
He’s gonna raise your taxes
and break your business too
if you don’t like our bud Barack
The KGB finds you!

O

Barack the Magic Marxist
Lives in D.C.
Don’t call him black, don’t clal him white
just call him Red Chinese!

BKennedy on December 29, 2008 at 9:15 PM

I deeply regret naming my rap group Negroez With Attitude.

Jim Treacher on December 29, 2008 at 9:55 PM

Jim Treacher on December 29, 2008 at 9:55 PM

you might’ve tried “Mulattos Without Humor”

JoeAvg on December 29, 2008 at 10:09 PM

You people ought to be more sensitive, or you’re in danger of losing the whopping 4% of the African-American vote you won in 2008!

benny shakar on December 29, 2008 at 10:16 PM

You obviously don’t understand. When we criticize the usage through parody… The parody is the one that inflames the media and the left. Not the original source, or the CONTEXT of such usage.

Some many useful idiots in this world…

James on December 29, 2008 at 7:45 PM

Hey moron, I don’t have a problem with the context of the parody. I have a problem with the lazy Republican cowards choosing THIS as their fight when they don’t have the b&lls to stand up for anything important. And being dumb enough to brag about the “right” to do it. It was an idiotic thing to do, just like your comment.

If those cowards want to expose the media’s (and the Left’s) bias/hypocrisy/lies/racism/stupidy, then confront it head on and stay the f&*k away from this juvenile BS. It was a loser from the start, any idiot would see how it would be play out, and only morons keep defending the “right” to do it (like anyone doesn’t understand such an elementary concept).

nottakingsides on December 29, 2008 at 10:31 PM

Big, woop!

Next . . .

seanrobins on December 29, 2008 at 10:39 PM

What, is Allah being paid by Media Matters here? I mean, come on…

The Dean on December 29, 2008 at 11:16 PM

Held off as long as I could….

It was Hussien who made much hay about how he doesn’t look like all the other President’s on the money (guess he forgot about Ben Franklin) and how he has a funny name, and that he’s (…gasps…) black.

It could have been worse, the song could have used the same word used by every rapper who has a recording contract and Jesse Jackson talking about every black person in America who Obama was “talking down to” and how JJ was going to “cut his n***s off”.

When JJ and the rappers are held accountable, then wake me up from my nap…. otherwise this just HAS to be a distraction.

See? I’ve been paying attention. I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night.

Hog Wild on December 29, 2008 at 11:34 PM

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-jenkins/the-gops-white-supremacy_b_153823.html

A great article on the subject. Why are open white supremacists allowed to be in the GOP? David Duke seems to still have influence…it’s creepy.

DeathToMediaHacks on December 30, 2008 at 12:23 AM

Why are open white supremacists allowed to be in the GOP?

Ask Robert Byrd.

Jim Treacher on December 30, 2008 at 12:35 AM

You people ought to be more sensitive, or you’re in danger of losing the whopping 4% of the African-American vote you won in 2008!

benny shakar on December 29, 2008 at 10:16 PM

Must you continue to exhibit willful ignorance when there is evidence already revealed and easily obtained.

geckomon on December 30, 2008 at 1:00 AM

Jim Treacher on December 30, 2008 at 12:35 AM

Of course, while Senator Byrd’s transgressions occurred over a half-century ago, the principles of “white supremacy” are a contemporary platform of the GOP.

Nice try though, jimbo.

benny shakar on December 30, 2008 at 1:08 AM

“benny shakar on December 30, 2008 at 1:08 AM”

show me ONE gop “principle” that mentions “white supremacy,” you ignorant, lying, twerp …

Buckaroo on December 30, 2008 at 2:54 AM

AMEN Hog Wild–amen. This little distraction is nothing more than the usual PC hypocricy. whassup wit ludicris, jayz, etc and their foul mysogyny and racism being on the Magic Negros Ipod?
get over it, It’s not nearly as insulting, and its damn funny
p.s. Why are open black racists given a seat at the democrats power table??

stu.b.con on December 30, 2008 at 7:59 AM

I, for one, am getting sick and tired of this! This parody was done by Rush Limbaugh, who is not even considered a journalist, “just an entertainer” – so what is wrong with using a parody??? Why is everything Rush says “the opinion of the Republicans” all of a sudden??? It was sure ok to parody Sarah Palin’s remark that she could almost see Russia from her back yard! That was making the rounds AROUND THE WORLD to show how stupid she was supposed to be! I heard comments about that statement from friends and relatives in Europe!!! That was certainly ok – same as it was not right for President Bush to exercise regularly (I think the media said at that time there were more important things for him to do…), but now, that we have an “Office of the President Elect” who exercises regularly, it is a wonderful thing! He is called an “Adonis” along with all the other messianic names! Give me a break!
I personally see nothing wrong with the song! It is GREAT! Shanklin did a wonderful job, as he has done with most the stuff I have heard! The fact that Saltsman sent it to people is great as well… Why is it that when the left fears someone, they have to slander and vilify them? Can they not get into an orderly discussion of the issues (sorry, just a rhetorical question!!!)? The answer, of course, is that they CANNOT discuss the issues because they don’t stand for ANYTHING other than bigger government, handing our presents, like Santa, to all the good little boy and girl Americans! We are becoming – or maybe already have become – a nation of whiners!!! I think it is high time we get the pitchforks out and storm the hill on which the castle sits! I live in Illinois, and we HAVE to do this here, to get some sort of government that WILL represent us! Good men and women who have been elected to do the people’s work in Illinois are quitting because they are tired of being run over by the Machine! We need to help them and vote the bums out who are running over us! In Illinois we have a wonderful opportunity to clean house – and not in the normal election cycle. I don’t know if we are going to muster up and do it, but it definitely needs to be done! How empowering would that be for all Americans if we could just do the job in Illinois?

mkosin on December 30, 2008 at 8:32 AM

Of course, while Senator Byrd’s transgressions occurred over a half-century ago, the principles of “white supremacy” are a contemporary platform of the GOP.

Nice try though, jimbo.

benny shakar on December 30, 2008 at 1:08 AM

Racism has no party, benny shakar.

Oh, except for the Democratic Party. They founded the Ku Klux Klan.

BKennedy on December 30, 2008 at 9:43 AM

Of course, while Senator Byrd’s transgressions occurred over a half-century ago, the principles of “white supremacy” are a contemporary platform of the GOP.

Nice try though, jimbo.

benny shakar on December 30, 2008 at 1:08 AM

Absolute willful ignorance.

geckomon on December 30, 2008 at 9:46 AM

Oh, except for the Democratic Party. They founded the Ku Klux Klan.

BKennedy on December 30, 2008 at 9:43 AM

In addition, let’s not forget that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was made possible by a majority of Republican Senators and Representatives as opposed to the ratio of Democrats in both houses.

The Senate version:

* Democratic Party: 46-21 (69%-31%)
* Republican Party: 27-6 (82%-18%)

The Senate version, voted on by the House:

* Democratic Party: 153-91 (63%-37%)
* Republican Party: 136-35 (80%-20%)

But don’t let facts distract you, benny.

geckomon on December 30, 2008 at 9:56 AM

Dear

Buckaroo on December 30, 2008 at 2:54 AM

Please don’t associate us with mr shakur.

Signed,

ignorant, lying, twerps …

Red State State of Mind on December 30, 2008 at 10:14 AM

benny shakar on December 30, 2008 at 1:08 AM

Sounds like I hurt somebody’s feewings…

Jim Treacher on December 30, 2008 at 12:23 PM

We need to win, not have negative attention drawn toward us.

It’s all in the public’s preception of the GOP – which we are powerless over.

AprilOrit on December 30, 2008 at 2:14 PM

I was under the impression that “Negro” isn’t as offensive as that other “N” word. But regardless, my opinion is that no, we should not let the left define the debate and the words used in it, especially when they use those words first.

R. Waher on December 30, 2008 at 2:56 PM

I was under the impression that “Negro” isn’t as offensive as that other “N” word. But regardless, my opinion is that no, we should not let the left define the debate and the words used in it, especially when they use those words first.

R. Waher on December 30, 2008 at 2:56 PM

It’s not about The Left, it’s about the public perception of us, period. The Left has nothing to do with it.

AprilOrit on December 30, 2008 at 3:22 PM

This is one of the best examples I have seen recently of a completely MANUFACTURED outrage by the media.

EVERY black I know and have asked about the use of the word NEGRO has told me that it is not offensive or a “slur” as some media are calling it.

If the word NEGRO is so damn bad then does that mean that the racist pro-black groups like the NAACP and the Nation Of Islam will be telling the Journal Of Negro Education to change the title of their journal and website?

http://www.journalnegroed.org

TheMightyQuinn on December 30, 2008 at 3:38 PM

One more thing. I was thinking about how this whole thing became a story and I came to this conclusion.

This guy sent out these CDs to so many people for Christmas, right? So, one of those people must have alerted the media to it and made it into a story. Right?

This means that someone on his mailing list that he sent this to wants to try and harm the guy’s chances of rising in the GOP. So, who is it that got this stuff to the media so they could mangle it all into some story that tries to paint the GOP as racist?

I’d like an answer to that before anything else.

TheMightyQuinn on December 30, 2008 at 3:41 PM

It’s all in the public’s preception of the GOP – which we are powerless over.

AprilOrit on December 30, 2008 at 2:14 PM

I have been thinking about this for a while.

The day after the election, I realized that the RNC would do itself well if it commissions a study on the public’s opinions about them, maybe by asking questions that are concealed in such a way that those studied will not know that it is being done for the GOP. The purpose of the study would be to pinpoint at the core cause(s) of the misfortunes of the GOP brand. That would be key.

It is like that study that Avon commissioned years ago for the same purpose, conducted by a marketing firm nationwide. The study found some interesting answers to the question of “What comes to your mind when you hear the name ‘Avon’?”, but the one that stuck out like a sore thumb was this one: “My grandmother sold Avon!”

It would surprise me not a bit if the one answer that comes out of a survey on the GOP comes out as “My grandfather was a Republican voter/official/caucus member!” Of course, with the other negative fare that comes with it.

The results would send tremors throughout the party and force it to make a decision: to either continue with the party, or to disintegrate it and start something new. I seriously think that a demise of the party and the creation of something newer, better and forward-looking would do wonders for many Conservatives and Libertarians.

When a brand like the GOP is so damaged that any effort to improve it is met with negativity, whether you try hard enough or not, maybe it’s time to consider that the brand is not worth saving. It served a good purpose in the past, but it has probably gone down, to never rise again.

newton on December 30, 2008 at 3:42 PM

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