Candidate For RNC Chair Sends Out CD With Song Called "Barack, The Magic Negro"
RNC candidate Chip Saltsman’s Christmas greeting to committee members includes a music CD with lyrics from a song called “Barack the Magic Negro,” first played on Rush Limbaugh’s popular radio show.
Saltsman, a personal friend of conservative satirist Paul Shanklin, sent a 41-track CD along with a note to national committee members.
“I look forward to working together in the New Year,” Saltsman wrote. “Please enjoy the enclosed CD by my friend Paul Shanklin of the Rush Limbaugh Show.” The CD, called “We Hate the USA,” lampoons liberals with such songs as “John Edwards’ Poverty Tour,” “Wright place, wrong pastor,” “Love Client #9,” “Ivory and Ebony” and “The Star Spanglish banner.”
Several of the track titles, including “Barack the Magic Negro,” are written in bold font.
The song, which debuted on Limbaugh’s show in late March 2007, latches onto an opinion column in the Los Angeles Times of the same title. That column, penned by cultural critic David Ehrenstein, argued that Obama could serve as a balm to whites who felt guilty about past treatment of African Americans.
Limbaugh first highlighted the column the day it ran, according to a contemporary report by Media Matters, the liberal watchdog agency. Media Matters reported Limbaugh repeated the phrase more than two dozen times the day the column ran.
The following month, Shanklin debuted his version of the song, sung to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon” and performed in Shanklin’s impression of Al Sharpton.
“See, real black men, like Snoop Dogg, or me, or Farrakhan, have talked the talk, and walked the walk, not come in late and won,” one verse in the song says.
Saltsman said he meant nothing untoward by forwarding what amounts to a joke more at Ehrenstein’s expense than at Obama’s.
“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,” Saltsman said.
Republicans searching for ways to attack Obama have been hesitant to embrace any reference to his race. Limbaugh presciently predicted his allusion to the column nearly two years ago would win attention from left-leaning organizations that would suggest he was using Obama’s race against him.