Republican row over Obama songOn 04/29/2019 by admin
One of America\’s leading Republicans has stoked a bitter racism row by handing out copies of a CD featuring a song called Barack the Magic Negro.
Chip Saltsman, who is seeking to become chairman of the Republican National Committee, sent its members a recording by conservative comedian Paul Shanklin as a Christmas gift.
The 41-track disc included the controversial song – sung to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon – which began life on conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh\’s radio program.
Its title is a reference to an opinion piece written by David Ehrenstein for the Los Angeles Times, which argued that voting for Obama helped white voters alleviate their guilt over the racial wrongs of the past.
Other tracks on the CD lampooning liberal targets are titled We Hate the USA, The Star Spanglish Banner, Love Client 9 – about former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer\’s prostitution scandal – and Down on the Farm with Al Gore.
Saltsman\’s decision to send out the CD has been condemned by the current chairman of the RNC, Robert Duncan, who said it was highly inappropriate.
\’Lighthearted political parody\’
“The 2008 election was a wake-up call for Republicans to reach out and bring more people into our party.
“I am shocked and appalled that anyone would think this is appropriate as it clearly does not move us in the right direction.”
But Saltsman was unrepentant, insisting the track was not racist.
“Paul Shanklin is a longtime friend, and I think that RNC members have the good humour and good sense to recognise that his songs for the Rush Limbaugh show are lighthearted political parodies,” he said.
In the past, Limbaugh has insisted that the song was a parody to prove a point about liberal white voters.
“I can tell you think the term \’Negro\’ is inappropriate, that it\’s old hat and shouldn\’t be used, that it\’s divisive and this sort of thing, and you may have a point,” Limbaugh told a caller objecting to the song in March 2007.
“But remember what we do on this program: We illustrate absurdity by being absurd.”