Back in May 2007, TMV’s Editor-In-Chief, Joe Gandelman wrote a post on Obama’s reaction to right-wing talk radio show host Rush Limbaugh’s airing of a song parody titled “Barack The Magic Negro.”
The song goes:
“A guy from the LA paper said it made guilty whites feel good, they’ll vote for him and not for me cuz he’s not from the hood. Oh, Barack the magic negro lives in DC, the LA Times they called him that because he’s black but not authentically.”
In the post, Gandelman quoted from a May 2 ABC News’ Political Punch Obama interview with Paul W. Smith of WJR Radio in Detroit:
“I have to do this because Rush is on our radio station,” Smith said. “We’re going to see him tomorrow. You’ve heard the parody song ‘Barack the “Magic Negro”‘”?
“You know, I have not heard it but I’ve heard of it,” Obama said. “I confess that I don’t listen to Rush on a daily basis. On the other hand, I’m not one of these people who, who takes myself so seriously that I get offended by — by every — every comment made about me. You know, the — you know, what Rush does is entertainment, and although it’s probably not something that I listen to much, I don’t — ”
“But you said not every day, so you do listen a little then, and why wouldn’t you?” Smith interrupted.
“I don’t mind, I don’t mind, I don’t mind folks poking fun at me,” Obama said. “That’s part of the job.”
My reaction, as was Gandelman’s at the time, is not so “charitable”—even though at the time Obama was just an aspiring candidate for the highest office in our land.
Today, as Obama is our President-elect, and in a little over three weeks will be our President, Republicans are at it again.
Chip Saltsman, a candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, sent committee members this month a holiday music CD that included “Barack the Magic Negro,” a parody song first aired in 2007 by talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Some reactions by Saltsman in the past have been, that the song was meant as a joke and that “RNC members have the good humor and good sense to recognize that his songs for ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’ are light-hearted.”
This—about our next President, an African American—while Republicans, according to the Post,
…are reeling from losing the presidency and dozens of House and Senate seats, and as many in the party are trying to improve relations with African Americans, who voted in record numbers for Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates last month.
Republicans are free to express their delight at this “good-humored, lighthearted joke” about our next President. Fortunately, I am free to express my disgust.
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.