Saturday, January 3, 2009


Wow, we guess the Republican National Committee (RNC) isn't too worried about the forces of political correctness. We make this bold statement on the heels of a candidate for chairman of the RNC's release of a song and video titled, "Barack, the Magic Negro." It is a parody of the old Peter, Paul and Mary song, "Puff, the Magic Dragon." It features such sensitive lyrics as, "Oh, Barack the Magic Negro, lives in D.C. The L.A. Times, they called him that 'cause he's black, but not authentically."


It goes on, "The media sure loves this guy, a white interloper's dream!"

Guess the Republicans have written off the idea of getting any minority votes this century. Here is a link to the basis of their defense in the Drudge Report. It comes down to, well black commentators have made the accusation that Obama isn't black enough or he isn't from the hood, why can't we parody that? (Don Imus is spinning in his grave. Whaddya mean Imus isn't dead?)

Here is the link to the original LA Times piece that discussed president-elect Obama and the American archetype of the Magic Negro. It is a daring and provocative article written in 2007 during the Democratic presidential primary race by an African-American author. It speculates on the concept that support for Obama might have roots in collective white guilt. It uses much of the phraseology that the RNC parody song later picks up.

The Clarion Content thought Obama did a marvelous job of addressing these issues head on in his speech on race in Philadelphia during the campaign. It wasn't the safe or politically correct thing to do, making that speech. It was brave. It was honest. It took on issues rarely raised outside the privacy of American homes, like white anger with affirmative action, like black anger at institutionalized racism. It faced down the falsehood that the racial politics of both sides stoke, that progress is a zero sum game; my gain comes only via your loss. Bullshit, sayeth the president-elect and we believe.

The Clarion Content did wonder if Obama's demographic background helped him with the American electorate, but from a very different angle than the LA Times piece. We were more focused on whether Obama's mixed race and relative youth vibed with an American youth culture that pictures him looking a lot like the future of the country. Did his background make him seem extra cool, even hip? Especially faced off against an array of old white men and the permanently stodgy Hillary Clinton?

Here is a link to the "Barack, the Magic Negro" video.

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