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Tilting at Windmills

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December 28, 2008

REPUBLICANS WEIGHING IN ON 'MAGIC NEGRO' CD.... After some initial hesitation, Republicans have begun to take sides of Chip Saltsman's decision to distribute a CD containing "Barack the Magic Negro" as a Christmas greeting to members of the RNC

RNC Chairman Mike Duncan, 22 hours after the story caused a stir, weighed in with a public statement, noting that he us "shocked and appalled that anyone would think this is appropriate." Duncan, of course, wants to keep his job, and has an incentive to go after Saltsman, a rival for the chairmanship. Saul Anuzis, chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and also a candidate for RNC chair, soon joined Duncan, saying Saltsman's attempt at humor was in "bad taste."

Interestingly enough, Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state and candidate for RNC chair, publicly defended Saltsman. Blackwell, who is African American, dismissed media "hypersensitivity" on race.

"Unfortunately, there is hypersensitivity in the press regarding matters of race. This is in large measure due to President-Elect Obama being the first African-American elected president," said Blackwell, who would be the first black RNC chairman, in a statement forwarded to Politico by an aide. "I don't think any of the concerns that have been expressed in the media about any of the other candidates for RNC chairman should disqualify them. When looked at in the proper context, these concerns are minimal. All of my competitors for this leadership post are fine people."

There are competing angles to the responses, and it's certainly possible that Blackwell expects Saltsman's candidacy to falter, and he'd like to pick up Saltsman's supporters.

But it wouldn't surprise me if Blackwell's comments were the beginning of a conservative pushback to these questions even being asked, and possible criticism of Duncan and Anuzis for showing weakness by paying attention to the media and "pc culture."

Jonathan Stein noted yesterday, "[C]onservatives by and large hate political correctness and hate being told by liberals that they stepped over the lines of polite discourse. I've frequently objected to an insensitive joke, only to be admonished, 'Lighten up, it's supposed to be funny.' Because, obviously, the fact that there is humorous intent makes the racism/sexism/homophobia okay."

Exactly. In this case, Saltsman promoted, as a Christmas gift, a song calling Obama a "magic negro," with lyrics from a right-wing activist pretending to be Al Sharpton complaining about "da hood." For many on the right, this is comedy gold. Indeed, Saltsman obviously thought RNC members would find this entertaining, or he wouldn't have sent it out as a gift in the first place.

Blackwell's tack, I suspect, will be the more common response among conservatives. The more Saltsman is criticized, the more many on the right will rally around him, protecting him from those who "can't take a joke." Whether the "joke" relies on ugly racist stereotypes is of no consequence.

Steve Benen 10:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (60)

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So if someone comes out with a video version of Mr. Blackwell as Steppin Fetchit doing the bidding of the GOP, he'd be okay with that.

Sheesh.

Posted by: Mustang Bobby on December 28, 2008 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder if the Dixie Chicks, after getting heat for saying they were ashamed to be from Texas, said to their detractors "Don't be so politically correct."

It'll be funny to have that term "politicallly correct" return now that a Dem is in the White House, with the meaning "I can be blatantly racist but you're too sensitive if you notice it."

Posted by: riffle on December 28, 2008 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

I say we support Saltsman and the Limbaugh school of political humor. I say we hand them the microphone and let them give full voice to what they think is "funny." I will only speed the decline of the Republican party in America as it retreats to the rump Confederacy.

Posted by: Joel on December 28, 2008 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Are we going to continue to pretend that anyone in America believes "Barack the magic negro" is legitimate political discourse?

Really, does this move our nation forward? Is this the kind of "humor" that lightens the mood and helps us us come together to solve the serious problems our nation faces, or is it a throwback to the nastiness of the Civil Rights era when there was organized opposition to treating black Americans with basic respect?

If this is what the Republican party wants their leadership to be about, it's their right. But the rest of us don't have to pretend it's what good leadership looks like.

Seriously, "Barack the magic negro?" What's next? Congressional hearings held in strip joints? You know, just to "lighten the mood."

They're just so gross. This is all so gross. Why would they bring up this kind of nastiness? No wonder they lost in a landslide.

Posted by: anonymiss on December 28, 2008 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans, for some reason, do not seem to understand respect or irony. Think, "Bomb. bomb Iran", looking for WMD behind a drapery, or Laura Bush's joke about George milking a stallion. Consider, too, the excessive umbrage they take over minutia.

A few years ago, I watched the South Park movie with a few friends. I noticed one Palin winger in the group who laughed loudly every time the boys said "shit" or "fuck", but didn't seem to understand any of the parallels to teen or media culture.

Posted by: Danp on December 28, 2008 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Does this mean I can start making kill motherfucking whitey jokes now? Or would that be politically incorrect?

How about we just start killin' whitey 'til he learns to shut up?

I'm all for lynch mob jokes about worthless bankers.

Perhaps I'm still angry.

Still, all in all, after all the black folks that whitey done killed, a little honest retribution should be something that the GOP and the death penalty supporters ought to be able to get behind.

Sharing the love,

Alan Tomlinson

Posted by: Alan Tomlinson on December 28, 2008 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

We can't make a distinction between racists and the political party that provides them a haven. That's why Republicanism has to be destroyed.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on December 28, 2008 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Setting aside the rascist aspects, I'm fairly libertaian when it comes to humor, or it's attempts.

You have to bear in mind the conservative mindset behind something like this: They are just as happy to piss you off as make you laugh. They want a big reaction, either way. Over the years, I've learned the best reaction to the bigotry of this sort of 'humor' is no reaction at all. Let it flop and move on.

Such 'comedy' in my view is 2 or 3 steps below fart jokes. It's as juvenile as it is predictable.

It's really a matter of decorum and respect for the public's office. That someone finds Barack the Magic Negro humorous is of no concern to me. That someone would use it to gain greater power in our political system tells us just how unserious they are about matters of good governance and the common good. I'd feel much the same if they were cracking fart jokes.

Posted by: JoeW on December 28, 2008 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

"I've frequently objected to an insensitive joke, only to be admonished, 'Lighten up, it's supposed to be funny.' Because, obviously, the fact that there is humorous intent makes the racism/sexism/homophobia okay.""

That's a good point!

Freud, who sometimes had a good insight, proposed that humor arises when we feel anxious about something--unconsciously, of course--and we laugh at "jokes" that allow catharsis--that allow this unconscious tension to be released. Homophobe jokes, racist jokes, sexist jokes--they all allow the receiver to feel superior to the butt of the joke. So one can know a lot about others by what they think is funny.

That anyone would find this funny--much less defend it--is astonishing, but it seems consistent with the cognitive processes often seen in conservatives. These are characterized by a egocentrism (or a lack of empathy), an inability to understand how variables interact, the lack of abstract concepts, magical thinking, and--because thinking like this will always get one into trouble--nasty aggressiveness under pressure. The mess that this country is in right now can be directly traced to this cognitive style.

So I propose that we use "barack the magic negro" as a litmus test. Anyone who thinks it is funny automatically loses the right to hold political office or make any decisions that affect people.

Posted by: PTate in MN on December 28, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Conservatives by and large hate political correctness

No putative liberal should ever use this term -- like "liberal media," it's an invention of the right-wing to hammer liberals. The statement is also untrue since conservatives don't hate what they call PC, they just have their own version of what they deem "correct." Bigotry is fine against minorities, but call George W. Bush a cunt and see what happens (and remember the Palin lipstick on a pig crap?)

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on December 28, 2008 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

The more Saltsman is criticized, the more many on the right will rally around him, protecting him from those who "can't take a joke."

Fine. It's self-selection or revealed preference, depending on your social science of choice. And by their actions shall we know them, to get all biblical on their asses.

As long as the laager is small enough, I don't care who chooses to wall themselves in. Better, in fact, that they shut themselves away from the rest of the world. Then they can rant themselves hoarse, and all we need to do is check the monitoring cameras occasionally, just so we know what they're up to.

Posted by: bleh on December 28, 2008 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Make one little joke about Christmas and you get a two day cycle from Fox News talking heads. But what's the harm in making racist jokes because in these perilous times we need more humor.
I hope the republican arty keeps going down this road. They'll end up as the Alabama Party. Then, finally, the rest of them can figure out what they really are.

Posted by: carsick on December 28, 2008 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

And republicans seem to care about SOME kinds of political correctness -- the kinds they define, like the "war on Christmas." There are others. I think the republicans selectively reject political correctness.

Posted by: lupe on December 28, 2008 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

well, as long as a black conservative schmoozing for a gig says we're being too sensitive to the "Barack the Magic Negro" parody, I guess I should try to get into the swing of things...

Hey, Blackwell! What do you call the first black head of the RNC?

NIGGER!!

NOW SHINE MY SHOES & FETCH ME A MINT JULEP!

What? Offensive? Nigga puh-leeze it's a JOKE! LIGHTEN UP! Don't they have jokes where you all come from? BOY?

So...that seem about right?

Posted by: slappy magoo on December 28, 2008 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

A.T.: I'm with you. The funniest thing I can think of is Chip Saltsman the cracker bitch taking it up the a** from a sweaty, greasy lipped Rush Limbaugh. C'mon! It's humor! How about ol' Dick "The Magic Murderer" Cheney having his testicles electrified by screaming Iraquis? Jeezus, now THAT'S funny! Or maybe the Grand Saltine himself, Georgie Porgie Bushboy, swinging in a sweet southern breeze? Hey, man, lighten up! It's a joke! Just some good honest fun! Really, though, can I possibly equal the hilarity of fat, pink white boys (and narcissistic African American sycophants) in positions of power and authority belittling the President elect of the United States with thinly veiled references to centuries of murder, torture, social, emotional, and cultural terrorism (the Ku Klux Klan is known, after all, as the first modern terrorist movement), relentless and ruthless oppression, familial dissolution, and just about every evil of which humans are capable. Now THAT's funny.

Posted by: Conrads Ghost on December 28, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

As always it depends on whose "ox is being gored".

Any joke from the left concerning Sarah Palin or John McCain (no conservative he) is considered appropriate but let someone make a joke about Obama (blessed be his name) and the wingnuts come out in force. Dou you think Obama (blessed be his name) is as thin-skinned as you seem to be??

Posted by: fred t on December 28, 2008 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

How 'bout Scalia and Thomas doin' a little, Me and My Shadow, softshoe vid ? Who wouldn't want to download that?

Posted by: maya on December 28, 2008 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Abe Lincoln is spinning in his grave. The GOP , as we know it, will be along side Honest Abe in two years after the mid term elections where the "Solid South" will become the "Isolated South". Good riddance to rubbish. Nauseating...

Posted by: Srevio on December 28, 2008 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

They claim to hate political correctness, but they love hypocrisy. Aren't they the ones who couldn't stop harping on how sexist Obama's "lipstick on a pig" comment was. Of course they had to fabricate the connection to Palin to do so, but once they jumped that hurdle, it was all they could talk about.

Posted by: Chrisbo on December 28, 2008 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

I guess if Blackwell sees too much sensitivity as the issue, he'd be ok if Sambo's Restaurants made a come back! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on December 28, 2008 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Any joke from the left concerning Sarah Palin or John McCain (no conservative he) is considered appropriate but let someone make a joke about Obama (blessed be his name) and the wingnuts come out in force.

This coming from the side of the aisle where there was incessant whining for 2 solid weeks that "lipstick on a pig" was a sexist comment referring to Palin as a pig, an EPIC FAIL that never caught on with the 70% or more of Americans who understand the meaning of words, even when they take the form of an idiom.

Republicans do plenty of screeching about political correctness, as noted by others - the difference is in their case they invent the offense or claim that an offense was committed by pretending to be too dense (or actually being too dense) to accurately interpret what was said.

It's all about the victimhood, and they'll take it any way they can get: by screeching about an offense against them real or imagined, or by screeching about how everyone else is being too sensitive and it's infringing on their free speech right to use the word "nigger".

Posted by: Jennifer on December 28, 2008 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

hey, fred t I'll make you a deal, once somebody refers to McCain or Palin as a magical negro, I'll be equally offended on their behalf. Jackass.

Posted by: slappy magoo on December 28, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

There's no need to go overboard with "kill motherfucking whitey" jokes and songs. Critics would point out - correctly - that the circumstances were entirely different, with the latter inciting violence while the original only mocks someone because of their colour and charisma.

However, something tasteful in the same order of magnitude might be appropriate, such as "Boehner the Crying Caucasian", "Craig the Republican Homosexual in Denial", "Foley the Sexual Predator" or "Cunningham the Kleptomaniac". Like Mr. Obama's pleasing shade of cafe-au-lait, these are all facts.

Posted by: Mark on December 28, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Uh, "Slappy"- As you are a leftist I am sure you are a little obtuse but for your information both Palin and McCain are white. But if you want to think of them as "magical Negros" feel free.

As I stated originally - the wailing from both political sides is always dependent on who is being made fun of.

Posted by: fred t on December 28, 2008 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

One thing more...there is a important distinction to be made between settings, between institutionalized power and entertainment.

When Tina Fey makes fun of Sarah Palin on SNL or Rush Limbaugh makes racist jokes about Barrack Obama on his radio show, we may not find it humorous, but it is clearly intended to be comedy. The work of comedians is pushing limits, and if some people don't find it funny, the comedian is out of a job. But comedians don't have institutional power or make decisions affecting the well-being of millions of people.

But Chip Saltsman wants to be head of the RNC. We are talking institutional power here. Republicans still believe, in all seriousness, that they are qualified to run the USA. Saltsman wants to represent the interests of other people and make decisions affecting millions of people. For him to imagine that it is in any way appropriate for someone in such a position to promote a bit of racist trash like "Barack the Magic Negro"--sending it as a Christmas greeting of all things--shows a disgusting lack of judgment.

Posted by: PTate in MN on December 28, 2008 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

fred t - apparently you haven't heard the actual song.

If you had, you would know that the major offense therein isn't even the "magical Negro" appellation. It's the portrayal of Al Sharpton as the performer of the "parody" as a minstrel, complete with the hilarious mispronunciations those folks playing stupid negroes used to such hysterical effect in what was considered "entertainment" 60 years ago.

Posted by: Jennifer on December 28, 2008 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, given that the RNC has been a haven for racists for so long, it would consider a song called "Obama the magic negro" comedy gold.

Yet another racist outs himself. Fine by me. At least we can be sure of what kind of person Saltsman is. Who ever wins the RNC chairmanship will have earned himself a white hood.

And as far as Blackwell is concerned, deep down, he's just Uncle Ruckus (no relation).

Posted by: ps on December 28, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

fred t, if you're an idiot, work harder on being less of an idiot.

if you're trying to affect a parody of an idiot, work harder on being a more amusing parody of an idiot.

I repeat: jackass.

Posted by: slappy magoo on December 28, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I'm sure freddy means just what he says.

His lame attemps to rationalize Saltsman's sense of "humor" should be encouraged. "Political Correctness," after all, was coined by the childish and rude as a euphemism for what we used to call "civility."

We are all well-served when closet racists like freddy and Chip Saltsman out themselves here and elsewhere. It only further marginalizes the Republican party in the eyes of the American voting public and dooms them to more years of frustration as the party of the rump Confederacy.

Posted by: Joel on December 28, 2008 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Blackwell has too much ego to be Stepin Fetchit. He's running for Magic Negro himself. Maybe he sees the term as a compliment.

Posted by: Editer on December 28, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Blackwell, one of the architects of stealing the 2004 vote in Ohio, is one of those wretched folks who gets off on resisting crappy racist stuff because "Hey look at me, I'm black myself and it doesn't bother me!" What an asshole, for so many reasons.

Posted by: Neil B ☺ on December 28, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

"Obama (blessed be his name)"?

What the hell is that all about?

Posted by: 2Manchu on December 28, 2008 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Look, if we don't lighten up on the exquisite sensitivity, we're going to give up a lot of funny Republican jokes, now that nobody's left in that party except for tubby child molesters and incestuous snake-handling crackers.

Posted by: hee haw on December 28, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Ken Blackwell can demonstrate his aversion to political correctness by adopting the following campaign slogan: "Ken Blackwell: It's My Tom to Shine."

That will show he's not hypersenstive.

Posted by: Karla Rove on December 28, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Am I, like, the only person who takes note of the fact that Obama is mixed-race, not black, and therefore cannot be a "magical negro?" Or has his one-half Caucasian ancestry been flushed completely down the Memory Hole?

Posted by: Peter on December 28, 2008 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

The song is in bad taste. However, the first to use the phrase, "the Magic Negro" was the Los Angeles Times in an early pre-election analysis of Senator Obama's appeal. The song was an intentional parody of that usage.

Posted by: trashhauler on December 28, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

So much macaca, so little time!

Posted by: Please Keep Pissing Into the Wind! on December 28, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

This is beyond "in poor taste." Like the Sarah Palin supporters who were almost whipped to the point of violence, it shows how society-wide racism and violence could easily emerge from almost anywhere. Remember, you have a choice you can think harmful thoughts and act on them to your disgrace and society's or you can not act and spare us the embarrassment.

Posted by: Kurt on December 28, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

[...] for your information both Palin and McCain are white. fred t, @11:48

Quite so. And, even if Palin *were* black, she wouldn't have been a "Negro" (magical or not); she'd have been a "Negress". As things are... She's just "Sarah, the Magical Piece of White Trash Slut". No offense intended, of course.

Posted by: exlibra on December 28, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of Mr. Macaca, he's back. George Allen speaking on Managing Political Trends. No, really.

Posted by: MissMudd on December 28, 2008 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Thank God we still have Iraqis to make fun of and kill. 1.2 million dead and counting!

Posted by: RepoMan on December 28, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

"I wonder if the Dixie Chicks, after getting heat for saying they were ashamed to be from Texas, said to their detractors "Don't be so politically correct."

But they weren't joking, dotch'a see?

And as for "How 'bout Scalia and Thomas doin' a little, Me and My Shadow, softshoe vid ? Who wouldn't want to download that?"

Man, I'd email THAT to my entire list also!

Posted by: Sarah Barracuda on December 28, 2008 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP will eventually cause the long-awaited race war. Is this what GOVERNMENT LEADERS are given permission to do?

Just waiting for the rappers to come out with new songs, like Snoop Dogg, or for that matter Public Enemy - the song Fight The Power seems about right at this time.

Once the new rap songs come out, you will hear all the screams coming from the rightwingnuts, trying to censure music lyrics of the rappers - sorry, they have their own recording studios, and the invent of the internet.

Posted by: annjell on December 28, 2008 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Go Get'em Kanye!!!

Posted by: annjell on December 28, 2008 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

The neighborhood bully strikes again
By Gideon Levy
Haaretz

Israel embarked yesterday on yet another unnecessary, ill-fated war. On July 16, 2006, four days after the start of the Second Lebanon War, I wrote: "Every neighborhood has one, a loud-mouthed bully who shouldn't be provoked into anger... Not that the bully's not right - someone did harm him. But the reaction, what a reaction!"

Two and a half years later, these words repeat themselves, to our horror, with chilling precision. Within the span of a few hours on a Saturday afternoon, the IDF sowed death and destruction on a scale that the Qassam rockets never approached in all their years, and Operation "Cast Lead" is only in its infancy.

Once again, Israel's violent responses, even if there is justification for them, exceed all proportion and cross every red line of humaneness, morality, international law and wisdom.
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What began yesterday in Gaza is a war crime and the foolishness of a country. History's bitter irony: A government that went to a futile war two months after its establishment - today nearly everyone acknowledges as much - embarks on another doomed war two months before the end of its term.

In the interim, the loftiness of peace was on the tip of the tongue of Ehud Olmert, a man who uttered some of the most courageous words ever said by a prime minister. The loftiness of peace on the tip of his tongue, and two fruitless wars in his sheath. Joining him is his defense minister, Ehud Barak, the leader of the so-called left-wing party, who plays the role of senior accomplice to the crime.

Israel did not exhaust the diplomatic processes before embarking yesterday on another dreadful campaign of killing and ruin. The Qassams that rained down on the communities near Gaza turned intolerable, even though they did not sow death. But the response to them needs to be fundamentally different: diplomatic efforts to restore the cease-fire - the same one that was initially breached, one should remember, by Israel when it unnecessarily bombed a tunnel - and then, if those efforts fail, a measured, gradual military response.

But no. It's all or nothing. The IDF launched a war yesterday whose end, as usual, is hoping someone watches over us.

Blood will now flow like water. Besieged and impoverished Gaza, the city of refugees, will pay the main price. But blood will also be unnecessarily spilled on our side. In its foolishness, Hamas brought this on itself and on its people, but this does not excuse Israel's overreaction.

The history of the Middle East is repeating itself with despairing precision. Just the frequency is increasing. If we enjoyed nine years of quiet between the Yom Kippur War and the First Lebanon War, now we launch wars every two years. As such, Israel proves that there is no connection between its public relations talking points that speak of peace, and its belligerent conduct.

Israel also proves that it has not internalized the lessons of the previous war. Once again, this war was preceded by a frighteningly uniform public dialogue in which only one voice was heard - that which called for striking, destroying, starving and killing, that which incited and prodded for the commission of war crimes.

Once again the commentators sat in television studios yesterday and hailed the combat jets that bombed police stations, where officers responsible for maintaining order on the streets work. Once again, they urged against letting up and in favor of continuing the assault. Once again, the journalists described the pictures of the damaged house in Netivot as "a difficult scene." Once again, we had the nerve to complain about how the world was transmitting images from Gaza. And once again we need to wait a few more days until an alternative voice finally rises from the darkness, the voice of wisdom and morality.

In another week or two, those same pundits who called for blows and more blows will compete among themselves in leveling criticism at this war. And once again this will be gravely late.

The pictures that flooded television screens around the world yesterday showed a parade of corpses and wounded being loaded into and unloaded from the trunks of private cars that transported them to the only hospital in Gaza worthy of being called a hospital. Perhaps we once again need to remember that we are dealing with a wretched, battered strip of land, most of whose population consists of the children of refugees who have endured inhumane tribulations.

For two and a half years, they have been caged and ostracized by the whole world. The line of thinking that states that through war we will gain new allies in the Strip; that abusing the population and killing its sons will sear this into their consciousness; and that a military operation would suffice in toppling an entrenched regime and thus replace it with another one friendlier to us is no more than lunacy.

Hezbollah was not weakened as a result of the Second Lebanon War; to the contrary. Hamas will not be weakened due to the Gaza war; to the contrary. In a short time, after the parade of corpses and wounded ends, we will arrive at a fresh cease-fire, as occurred after Lebanon, exactly like the one that could have been forged without this superfluous war.

In the meantime, let us now let the IDF win, as they say. A hero against the weak, it bombed dozens of targets from the air yesterday, and the pictures of blood and fire are designed to show Israelis, Arabs and the entire world that the neighborhood bully's strength has yet to wane. When the bully is on a rampage, nobody can stop him.

Posted by: Bob G on December 28, 2008 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Just heard a few of the lyrics on CNN. One part that says, "Obama is not from the hood."

That would seem interesting to note that Boy George refused to step off the plane in New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina.

How many of these RNC members will actually go in "the hood." I'm talking about neighborhoods that Lil Wayne, The Game, TI comes from.

Remember, when the riots broke out in L.A. after the Rodney King beating, there wasn't only just blacks creating chaos, there were latinos out there also.

So yes, they may think they have caused a lot of division among blacks and latinos, but, when things happen that they feel are against one of them, believe me, they do stick together.

So here's a dare, tell Mr. Saltsman or Limbaugh to go in the 'hood' and play this song.

It's one thing to sit behind a desk and try to further their racist cause - it's another to go to confront someone face to face (head on) with your cause.

These guys are so not in the know, they don't realize what their actions will cause. People never forgot the Katrina incident, subprime loans, loss of jobs, the racist speech from the McCain/Palin rallies.....all I can say is, Keep it up guys.

Posted by: annjell on December 28, 2008 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

Relax people, and enjoy a nice hot cup of Iraqi blood. You do, after all, love it. I don't hear contrary views. Mmmm... KEEP IT COMING!

Posted by: RepoMan on December 28, 2008 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK


"Barack the Magic Negro."

December 28, 2008

Raynard Jackson

Well, here we go again. Just couldn’t end the year on an upbeat note regarding the Republican Party. Chip Saltsman, candidate for national party chair and former chair of the Tennessee state party, has played the “race” card and now wants us to believe that it “was just a joke.”
According to the Hill Newspaper, Saltsman, in a Christmas greeting to RNC members, sent a CD that included the song about the president-elect as well as other tracks lampooning liberals that were written by conservative satirist Paul Shanklin. When The Hill first reported about the CD, Saltsman noted that “Paul Shanklin is a long-time friend, and I think that RNC members have the good humor and good sense to recognize that his songs for the Rush Limbaugh show are light-hearted political parodies.”
This is a bittersweet moment for me. On the one hand, FINALLY a couple of Republicans in leadership spoke out against Saltsman. Again, from the Hill Newspaper,
“The 2008 election was a wakeup call for Republicans to reach out and bring more people into our party,” current Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan, who is again running for the position, stated. “I am shocked and appalled that anyone would think this is appropriate as it clearly does not move us in the right direction.”

Michigan Republican Party chairman Saul Anuzis, who is also seeking the RNC chairmanship, said the song is not his idea of “appropriate humor. “In my opinion, this isn’t funny and it’s in bad taste,” he added, noting that the GOP is not helped by criticism of Obama that does not stem from philosophical differences with the president-elect.
Even former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is quoted as saying in an e-mail message, “This is so inappropriate that it should disqualify any Republican National Committee candidate who would use it.”
But, what is even more disgusting than the audacity of Saltsman to send out these insulting CDs, is the deafening silence of Black Republicans, especially the two who are running for national party chair.

I have searched all over the internet and have not found one word of outrage from any of the Black Republican “talking heads!” Where is Tara Wall or Amy Holmes (CNN)? Angela McGlowan or Star Parker (Fox News)? Joe Watkins (MSNBC)? These are the people the party parades out to the media and wonder why these people have absolutely NO standing within the Black community.
I am not surprised at Saltsman’s behavior. He is who he is. He is the same person that was part of the state party that ran the infamous “Harold Ford” TV commercial with the white blonde bombshell asking him to “call her.” But what surprises me, no infuriates me is the embarrassing response from the two Black candidates for chair, Ken Blackwell (former State Treasurer of Ohio) and Michael Steel (former Lt. Gov. of Maryland).
"Unfortunately, there is hypersensitivity in the press regarding matters of race. This is in large measure due to President-elect Obama being the first African American elected president. I don't think any of the concerns that have been expressed in the media about any of the other candidates for RNC chairman should disqualify them. When looked at in the proper context, these concerns are minimal. All of my competitors for this leadership post are fine people."
Michael Steele, in a statement said, "I know Chip Saltsman, I know his character; and while his attempt at humor was clearly misplaced, it does not make him indifferent to the important work of building the coalitions necessary to make our party stronger. And yet, we must be mindful that self-inflicted wounds not only distract us from regaining our strength as a Party, but further diminish our credibility with an increasingly diverse community of voters. As RNC Chairman, I want us to be a lot smarter about such things and more appreciative that our actions always speak louder than our words."
What!? Did I read what I thought I read? Hypersensitivity? Ok, let me make sure I understand. Blackwell, blames the media for taking Saltsman actions out of context and indirectly blames Obama for being Black. Steele sounds a lot like Sarah Palin when she starts rambling in her attempts to answer questions from the media. I have absolutely no idea what Steele was trying to say.
Gingrich says Saltsman is not fit to be chair of the party (interpretation—he should drop out of the race). The two Black candidates says it’s ok; it’s not his fault (it’s the mean, biased, liberal media); he’s a friend of mine (he has a good heart).
Herein lies the problem within the Republican Party. My criticism of the party for playing race politics is well documented in my past editorials. But, equally deserving of criticism is Blacks who are too timid to speak up on principle about issues of particular concern to the Black community.
How can I reconcile the fact that white Republicans (Gingrich, Duncan, and Anuzis) are more outraged about Saltsman’s actions than the two Blacks who would lead our party. No wonder Republicans are so comfortable playing “race” politics. If Black Republicans don’t speak out, why expect it to stop?
Raynard Jackson is president and CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates LLC., a D.C.-based political consulting/government affairs firm. He can be reached at Raynard@raynardjackson.com and Web site at: www.raynardjackson.com

Posted by: Raynard Jackson on December 28, 2008 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

First of all, Amy Holmes is from Africa - she is more African than Obama.

Secondly, Michelle Brande is from Jamaica.

Third, Michael Steele is not really black (much like they said about Obama)

and Last, Ron Christey, he's not cool enough to hang with your average black person.

So, what the GOP has are rejects from the average black community.

I've talked to some people - and believe me, the blacks are not quiet on this issue.

Posted by: annjell on December 28, 2008 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

I agree it's in extremely bad taste to mock a president-elect using an outdated and discredited ethnic term, and that "negro" for that reason is inherently racist. My main concern though is whether or not we as a people are going to keep the flow of Iraqi blood going. 1.2 million dead Iraqis leaves about 25 million or so that aren't dead, if I'm not mistaken. And gosh darnit, I just love me a steaming hot cup of Iraqi blood. That, we all can agree on.

Posted by: RepoMan on December 29, 2008 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

While everyone has been on their rant it seems one fact has been forgotten. It was the very left leaning Los Angeles Times (remember them? They wouldn't release a tape that could have embarrassed Obama) that wrote the article titled "Obama the Magic Negro" from which both the names and words for that song were obtained.

Go to LATimes.com and search under Magic Negro and see for yourself.

That doesn't excuse Saltsman nor Blackwell nor Limbaugh who started the fuss that resulted in the song when he repeatedly made fun of the title of the LA Times article.

This shouldn't be a left or right issue, because it originates from both sides. That the tone of the comments here are what they are is just proof that this country is severely divided and it was the divide and conquer politics from both parties that did it.

Saltsman probably had no chance of becoming chair of the RNC anyways, which is why he was so far down the list. All Republicans, especially, should be speaking out against Blackwell making it into the chair as his defense of Saltsman is inexcusable.

If people would spend more time acting to right what's wrong with this country instead of whining about who's fault it is, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in. If you've got the energy to come here and write these comments, you've got the energy to write to your elected officials insisting they start fixing the mess they've all got us into to.

Posted by: rlinc on December 29, 2008 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

It was the very left leaning Los Angeles Times (remember them? They wouldn't release a tape that could have embarrassed Obama) that wrote the article titled "Obama the Magic Negro" from which both the names and words for that song were obtained.

Except for one small problem: the original article was talking about WHITE liberals who thought of Obama as a movie-style "Magic Negro" would would come in and solve all of the white people's problems. He would be that mythical Black Friend that "I'm not racist, but ..." white people all manage to have.

The song, on the other hand, is about Al Sharpton and portrays him as being upset because Obama is a Magic Negro and not a real black man like Sharpton or Snoop Dogg.

So a phrase that was meant to point out the conscious or unconscious racism of WHITE liberals was instead put to racist use by attributing it to Al Sharpton.

But, hey, let's not point fingers of blame here, right? David Ehrenstein used a phrase that was twisted around and used to mean the opposite of what Ehrenstein actually meant, so really it's all Ehrenstein's fault if you really look at it. Right?

Posted by: Mnemosyne on December 29, 2008 at 2:56 AM | PERMALINK

Can't have it both ways. The main part of the issue was the use of Negro, a word that is offensive in any context when applied to a black man.

It was the L.A. Times that referred to Obama as the Magic Negro, regardless of what context they used it. It wasn't the White liberals that called Obama the Magic Negro. The L.A. Times did in attempt to claim that's what the white liberals thought.

But again, typical dodge. The issue isn't about the L.A. Times, other than they were the ones that applied the term. The issue is it should have never been used, period, by either side,and should be strongly condemned by all.

But, again, it is Republicans that need to stand up and condemn those in the party that used the word the way they did. If we don't stand up to our own respective leaderships when they screw up then we are condoning their actions. The Republicans are saying they want to reform their party and bring more blacks and Latinos in and then pretty much sit quietly while their prospective future leadership insults them.

Posted by: Rlinc on December 29, 2008 at 4:47 AM | PERMALINK

rlinc, you're wrong, & I suspect deliberately so.

The original article satirizes thunderdolts (like, in fact, Rush Limbaugh) who choose to presume white liberals are prescribing "magic negro" status on Obama. That white liberals wouldn't vote for Obama for any reason beyond making things right with the black community and their own souls. After all, it's not like Obama is intelligent or educated ot exhibits any abilities to lead, right? Maybe even the best of the candidates?

Not exactly irony, more like destiny that Limbaugh would only take away from the satire "Whee, if the LA Times can say Negro THEN SO CAN I! And then I can take it further by insulting other blacks too, because the Times did it first!"

And if you're too stupid to understand the difference, immediately throw out your copy of Blazing Saddles, and never listen to a Richard Pryor or Chris Rock concert album. Ever. Because you'll only take away the wrong message and probably get killed by thinking it's ok to call SOME black people nigger SOME OF THE TIME, and then there will be one less idiot in the world...

On second thought, have at it. Enjoy. INDULGE.

Posted by: slappy magoo on December 29, 2008 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

rlinc, you're wrong, & I suspect deliberately so.

The original article satirizes thunderdolts (like, in fact, Rush Limbaugh) who choose to presume white liberals are prescribing "magic negro" status on Obama. That white liberals wouldn't vote for Obama for any reason beyond making things right with the black community and their own souls. After all, it's not like Obama is intelligent or educated ot exhibits any abilities to lead, right? Maybe even the best of the candidates?

Not exactly irony, more like destiny that Limbaugh would only take away from the satire "Whee, if the LA Times can say Negro THEN SO CAN I! And then I can take it further by insulting other blacks too, because the Times did it first!"

And if you're too stupid to understand the difference, immediately throw out your copy of Blazing Saddles, and never listen to a Richard Pryor or Chris Rock concert album. Ever. Because you'll only take away the wrong message and probably get killed by thinking it's ok to call SOME black people nigger SOME OF THE TIME, and then there will be one less idiot in the world...

On second thought, have at it. Enjoy. INDULGE.

Posted by: slappy magoo on December 29, 2008 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

When the repubs. get tired of "magic negro" jokes (?), they can always fall back, so to speak, on the "homosexuals!". You know, "G** cursed sodomites!" and etc.

These guys are just a barrel of fun!

Rump confederacy indeed!

Posted by: Bill Perney on December 29, 2008 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Why the "logic" of the looney left (redundant) is so persuasive that I have seen the error of my ways. So I agree - Obama (blessed be his name) is not "magic" after all!

Posted by: fred t on December 29, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

fred t aka "jackass" who are you agreeing with exactly? WE never said Obama was "magic." A satirist who published an article making fun of idiots like Rush & you who think WE think Obama is "magic" used the term "magic." And idiots like Rush and you ran with it and thought it gave you carte blanche to call Obama a negro.

So you've not seen the error of your ways at all. But you're still a jackass, so points for consistency, then.

Posted by: slappy magoo on December 29, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: 2Manchu, "Obama (blessed be his name)"? What the hell is that all about?

Conservatives have this thing about Obama that somehow because he's well spoken, competent and has a clear vision for America's future that the Left is blinded by Obama's greatness and see him as the Second Coming. So they call Obama: Obamessiah, or "blessed his name" and some non-sense that's supposed to sting. It all manifested with the McCain's celebrity jab, which could have been the most inane talking-point in political history, and it evolved into messiah-hood. But when you have no legs to stand on, you use what ammunition you have, even if it is stupid and makes you look foolish.

I guess when you compare an able and competent candidate like Obama (that won by a landslide in a general election) next to the blowhards they elect, I guess anyone would like like a larger than life figure. Hell, I bet if Slappy Magoo ran for poltical office he'd look John the Baptist himself - so of course Obama looks like a saint. Conservatives's think they are mocking Obama, but it only shows the apathy they have in their own leadership. It's quite sad really.

But I woudn't put too much stock in a Conservatives point of view. Right after they're go off on their Obamessiah rant, they're likely to follow up with a statement about how global warming is a liberal myth meant to scare their grandchildren at night, and ultimately their grandchildren will agree with them when they grow up (which is narcissitic in itself) that liberals are stupid because their grandchildren will inherit a beautiful green Earth, thanks to their Conservative grandparents who will ensure a green Earth by doing absolutely nothing.

All their arguements are empty and hallow and make no sense if you take a step back to look at what they are actually saying.

Posted by: Mick on December 29, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, boy. This is so dying for a dirtier send up. Maybe Obama can wave his Magic Negro Wand and fix everything. That will scare the GOP right out of their sheets. But my guess is that Obama won't touch this topic with a 10" pole.

Posted by: rhymes with mick on December 29, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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