Barack the Magic Negro

Sunday, December 28, 2008
Jason Deparle of The New York Times writes, “In his campaign for chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chip Saltsman, a Tennessee political operative [who was Mike Huckabee’s 2008 campaign manager], distributed a song to potential supporters this week called “Barack the Magic Negro,” a parody that questions President-elect’s Barack Obama’s racial authenticity.” The song, by political satirist Paul Shanklin is actually a parody of African-American activist Al Sharpton, and was first broadcast last year on the Rush Limbaugh radio show. The song refers to a March 19, 2007, article in the Los Angeles Times by David Ehrenstein, in which he explains the need whites have (usually satisfied in films and on TV) of a messianic black man who can assuage their racial guilt. Ehrenstein gives as examples many of the roles played by actors Sidney Poitier, Morgan Freeman and Will Smith.
For Some, ‘Puff’ Loses Its Magic (by Jason Deparle, New York Times)
Obama the “Magic Negro” by David Ehrenstein, Los Angeles Times)


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