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Barack the Magic Negro


Pangloss
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_the_Magic_Negro

 

I think the point of this song, which first became widely known after airing on the Rush Limbaugh show in 2007, is to suggest that many (most?) white people voted for Obama because of "white guilt". I happen to think that there were many good reasons to vote for Obama, and think that criticism remarkably short-sighted and shallow, but I see nothing wrong with the writer expressing his opinion on the subject. It's distasteful, but it doesn't seem to contain the suggestion that people shouldn't vote for him because he's black (after all, the singer is pretending to be Al Sharpton, complaining about Obama coming in late to the party).

 

It's in the news again currently because it was used on a promotional CD by one of the candidates for the leadership of the Republican party, which apparently is currently up for grabs.

 

What do you all think? Offensive or not?

 

 

There's also a political side of the problem. I think the resurgence of this song is a strangely daft move by Republicans right now. The Chicago Tribune editorial page put it succinctly:

 

Republicans have been rejected by American voters in the last two national elections. They've lost the House, the Senate and the White House. They have just about given up on the African-American vote. More Hispanics turned away from them this year.

 

Yet some of the people who want to run the national Republican Party think that a song mocking the race of the next president is all good, clean fun.

 

Put another way, are they insane?

 

What do you all think?

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Yes, it's quite dumb, almost unbelievably so. What were they trying to accomplish?

 

As for the song itself, it's not overtly racist, as the intent is merely to mock white liberals for their "white guilt" votes, and to provoke them as well into accusations of racism. There's nothing blowhard conservative commentators love more than being unjustly accused of racism by PC fascists. Of course, implicit in the "white guilt" argument is an appeal to incredulity that anyone might possibly not care about race and, you know, actually vote for a black guy because he's the better candidate. So, despite itself, it is actually kind of racist, or at least deeply out of touch.

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It's downright scary to me. The Repoobs I know are waiting for their own Barack to surface and cling to him with all the resources they can muster.

 

They are mostly Reaganites, but I do know a couple of neo-cons (who don't see anything wrong with what Wall Street is doing with the bailout money and wish they were in a better position to take advantage) and even a few Christ-wingers (who still oppose stem cell research, even though the cells used now are from your own body; I tell them this and they purse their lips, convinced we'll switch to fetal cells as soon as their Bible is turned). I'm just afraid the Reaganites will get caught up by anyone who pushes their buttons (they still think Palin is HOT), regardless of the candidates real motivations.

 

That the Rep leadership can continue to make such stupid moves is unbelievable. If there's one thing I hate more than the two party system, it would be a one-party system. I like everything Obama has said up to this point and I really hope he delivers the magic, but he's still not in office yet and he's got an awful lot to do and way too many detractors to overcome.

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The wacko (and unfortunately, dominant) wing of the Republican party think they lost the election because McCain wasn't one of their own. The only way the Republicans will learn that they have truly lost touch is if they lose 2012 in a big way with one of their own. That might not happen if the Democrats go insane with power over the next four years.

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The hardliner republicans have been pushing the idea that the more liberal views that have been expressed over the last 8 years (and especially in the last 4) are part of a bewildered, vanishing minority rendered obsolete in the post 911 world.

 

After trying to hypnotize the country with that mantra for years, it's not surprising some of the hypnotists got pulled in by the sound of their own voices. They got to the point of actually believing their spin, and they just haven't adjusted to the fact they no longer have the benefit of the doubt that people give whatever party that "knows what's going on" well enough to get elected.

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Personally, I loved this song. They always have Sharpton through a bullhorn when they do paroties with his character - cracks me up.

 

It was originally in response to the fawning, sycophantic nature of the reporting when he came on the scene. Chris Matthews on MSNBC going on about a magical feeling running up his leg, while no one was writing hit pieces like we saw on McCain. Decades old junk came out of the closet with Johnny boy, but Obama was true Teflon and nothing in his past.

 

It's basically the conservatives having some fun at what they infer must be Reverand Al Sharpton's and Jesse Jackson's perceptions. Obama come lately, stealing their thunder.

 

They still like it because they still think the american people were duped and will soon realize it.

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What do you all think? Offensive or not?

 

Sure, it's marginally offensive. Whatever.

 

I can't speak for others, and I'm not going to deny that race figured into my vote for Obama, but I don't think my decision centered around "white guilt."

 

If a Republican wants to give out these CDs, great, that's their prerogative. I just wish Republicans would stop freaking about each and every thing some "liberal" does that's "offensive" and demanding an apology.

 

Let them have their Barack the Magic Negro CDs and liberals can have their "General Petraeus? More like General Betrayus lol" ads and everyone can stop whining about things they find offensive.

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I think bascule raises an interesting point. The double standards on these jackasses, and the sheer hypocrisy we see out of them is downright awe inspiring. They bitch and moan about people being sexist toward Palin, and showing agism toward McCain, and for hating america first or warring on christmas, and they have the audacity to think it's okay to use the word "Negro" to describe a black man in 2008/2009.

 

Use of the word negro is only allowed if you're speaking spanish or some other romantic language, and I think I'm more offended about their ignorance and inherent bigotry in finding humor in this than I am about the song itself.

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I thought it was marginally funny but then I have been known to laugh at stupid Irishmen (I am of Irish-German decent) jokes too. If some "Wierd" Al wannabe wants to go around singing something like that I have no quarrel about it. The problem is that someone who wants to be a leader is promoting it and saying that it is ok to basically use slander to describe your opponent(s). Gee, I wonder what kind of political discourse this leads to?

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Sure, it's marginally offensive. Whatever.

 

I can't speak for others, and I'm not going to deny that race figured into my vote for Obama, but I don't think my decision centered around "white guilt."

 

If a Republican wants to give out these CDs, great, that's their prerogative. I just wish Republicans would stop freaking about each and every thing some "liberal" does that's "offensive" and demanding an apology.

 

Let them have their Barack the Magic Negro CDs and liberals can have their "General Petraeus? More like General Betrayus lol" ads and everyone can stop whining about things they find offensive.

 

Interesting post. That was an interesting point comparing it with "Betrayus". I remember being on the other side of that argument but your point gives me pause.

 

Also I thought your point about not denying that race figured into your vote was interesting. I'm not sure if this is the same thing, but I've heard others put it along the lines of "it got his foot in the door". I've heard this used against him too, suggesting that he wouldn't have even been in this thing if he weren't black, but I think that ignores the fact that there are many African Americans with his degree of qualifications -- what got him into the running has to be something further -- something that sets him apart from the crowd.

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Exactly. His race was an integral part of how he initially got national attention and had both positive and negative effects in the election, but if Rush really believes that's why people like him, it just shows how out of touch he's become with (dare I say it?) the "Real America." But I still think he's just trying to be literally outrageous, in that real or imagined liberal outrage is the main goal and source of humor, such as it is.

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Use of the word negro is only allowed if you're speaking spanish or some other romantic language, and I think I'm more offended about their ignorance and inherent bigotry in finding humor in this than I am about the song itself.

 

the word 'negro' is offensive in america?

 

if so, what do you use when talking about the negro race?

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It has negative connotations due to derogatory use (or the perception thereof) in popular culture at various points in history. The politically correct term is "African American", but in general it's socially acceptable to say "black".

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That one is rude here, too. It's just that negro is right up there along side it. Basically, anyone who uses that term in the US to describe a black person tends to be seen as the type of person who sprayed fire hoses or released ravenous police dogs on black kids trying to enter schools in Alabama in the 1960s.

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so, 'barrack the majick negro' == 'barrack the majick nigger' in the US?

 

No, the latter would be substantially more offensive. "Negro" generally carries negative connotations, but otherwise it's just sort of archaic or used for ironic value.

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so, 'barrack the majick negro' == 'barrack the majick nigger' in the US?

 

I may be wrong but I think it sort of has negative connotations because of it's use during the era of segregation, so when someone chooses to use that term today (for reasons other than being a 80 yr old grandmother) some sort of tie to that era seems implied in the comment itself, often in a less than dignified manner.

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That sounds right. The legions of Southern Democrats standing before cameras talking about "state's rights" and barring "negros" and "coloreds" from white schools probably fixed those words in the collective consciousness. It was also a factor in the demise of the "conservative Democrat" and the rise of Southern Republicans.

 

I grew up in Atlanta in the 1960s and 1970s, and got to watch first hand the conversion of those politicians into either Republicans or liberal Democrats. Nationally-known white politicians to emerge from that crucible include Jimmy Carter, Zell Miller, and Sam Nunn. Ones ultimately defeated by it included Lester Maddox and Carl Vinson. Each southern state has a similar story.

 

Interesting times.

 

----------

 

I thought you guys might find this interesting. This was a "reason" raised by a Bush supporter on another forum I frequent for why "Barack the Magic Negro" is perfectly valid criticism.

 

bush_monkey.jpg

 

And he's absolutely right -- if the song discussed in this thread is not about racism, then it's about political anger and frustration, just like the above picture. So if we've decided that it's okay to ridicule the president on the basis above, then it is okay to ridicule the president on the basis of this song. There's no difference.

 

My response to him was: "How's that working out for us so far?" And: "Does anybody know whether it was the Israelis or the Palestinians who started it?"

Edited by Pangloss
multiple post merged
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The comparison is invalid. The only similarity is that they are both derogatory. The Bush is a chimp stuff is specific to one man, his actions, and his facial features. The Barack is a magic negro stuff hits countless americans, disrespects our past struggles, and laughs at the battles we won to make equality a reality.

 

It's like comparing a Jew to a pizza (because they both go into the oven), and saying it's okay because we made fun of Cheney when he shot a guy in the face.

 

The comparison is invalid.

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The comparison is invalid. The only similarity is that they are both derogatory. The Bush is a chimp stuff is specific to one man' date=' his actions, and his facial features. The Barack is a magic negro stuff hits countless americans, disrespects our past struggles, and laughs at the battles we won to make equality a reality.

 

It's like comparing a Jew to a pizza (because they both go into the oven), and saying it's okay because we made fun of Cheney when he shot a guy in the face.

 

The comparison is invalid.[/quote']

 

Setting the specific comparison aside for the moment (even though I believe you're wrong), do you disagree with my point that that sort of thing is both unproductive and detrimental to society?

Edited by Pangloss
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