Belated, Misdirected Shock Over Political Label

Last month, I almost wrote a post about a column on Barack Obama by David Ehrenstein, which I heard on Rush Limbaugh’s show. Ehrenstein called Obama a “magic negro,” meaning he is a nice black man who doesn’t have the harsh characteristics white people dislike so they, the racist whites, can accept him and assuage their guilt for disliking the undesirable black people they may or may not know. Limbaugh read through the column, arguing that it was evidence of a widespread liberal view that Obama was not black enough to be . . . I don’t know . . . real or acceptable, I guess. I had thought last month to say that “white negro” was worse than another term in the news at that time, tar baby. But today, I’ll put that aside and just report that Limbaugh says he is getting some flack this week (as he predicted) from people who have just heard the parody song on “Barack, the magic negro” and believe Limbaugh came up with the label himself.

Thank you for reading. I hope you feel edified.

5 thoughts on “Belated, Misdirected Shock Over Political Label”

  1. I heard the parody song the other day. It made me laugh and remember why Limbaugh will always be an icon: he is hilarious and attracts clever conservatives to him. I wonder if people were also offended by the phrase, “fresh, clean and new,” which was also in the song. I believe that was Joseph Biden’s summation of Obama’s political qualities.

  2. When I listened to Rush read some of that column, the impression I got was that the writer was asdroitely parodying liberal views of the ‘correct’ black man as opposed to Racist White America, and that Rush was too hard on the guy… nevertheless, the fact Limbaugh would get flack as if he said it, well, I think we all knew that would happen and not just Rush himself…

    Speaking of ‘whigger’ and other such terms, have u ever noticed that the only acceptable mainstream racially-specific perjorative that can be used publically is the term “white trash”? As far as I know, no other racial slur but that is publically acceptable, at least a racial slur that ANYONE is allowed to say and not just used in reference to one’s own kind…

  3. I’m sure the columnist was giving his honest, though twisted, perspective. His closing comment is what he truly thinks: “Like a comic-book superhero, Obama is there to help, out of the sheer goodness of a heart we need not know or understand. For as with all Magic Negroes, the less real he seems, the more desirable he becomes. If he were real, white America couldn’t project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on him.”

  4. ‘course, had i actually READ the column, my opinion might be different… based on that closing remark, hard to argue w/ u Phil…

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