The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

“Magic Negroes” and the GOP

(Also over at the RPVNetwork blog)

Over the course of the last week-as we’ve all heard by now-RNC Chariman candidate Chip Saltsman sent out a CD with a song, “Barack the Magic Negro.” The song was designed to parody Barack Obama, and was based in part on an editorial written in the LA Times during the campaign season.

I’m going to address this from three perspectives.

As an African American-political bent aside-I am a little offended that someone would refer to the first African American president as a “magic negro.” A poster on a liberal blog that I read regularly gave the history of the term (from Wikipedia):

The magical negro (sometimes called the mystical negro or magic negro) is a supporting, often mystical stock character in fiction who, by use of special insight or powers, helps the white protagonist get out of trouble.

Where some will see satire with that, I don’t. Being blunt, there was no mystical ascension, no white protagonist to beat. All the signs were there for a massive GOP loss, and we were lucky that it wasn’t as bad as predicted.

As a conservative, I have no opinion on the CD. It doesn’t speak to anything that I consider a conservative ideal or belief, so it seems more a waste of time/resources than anything.

Lastly, as an African American conservative who wants to see his party do a better job of reaching out to blacks and minority communities, I feel that this is a major setback. From my perspective, it’s a lot harder for me-or any other black conservative/Republican-to knock on doors to spread our message AND preserve our personal credibility and that of the party. These are the type of stunts that make people want to tune out the Republican Party, regardless of whether our message can benefit them or not. The reality for the GOP is that if we continue to poke fun or “satirize” the very people we need to win elections, then we have to accept that –ideology and beliefs aside-they will continue to abandon us at the voting booth.

Now, do I need to see some sort of apology for this incident to be smoothed over? No. If Mr. Saltsman doesn’t believe he should apologize and that he’s done nothing wrong, so be it. I have to respect him for at least standing on what he believes.

At the same time, we all have to recognize that this sort of behavior can’t continue. We can, will, and should disagree with Obama on matters of principle and policy. Going after him for spite, though, is not in our-or the country’s-best interest.




Written by Coby Dillard

December 29, 2008 at 12:50 pm

One Response

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  1. Good column. It’s like they’re not even trying. Don’t insult and then pretend ignorance when folks speak up at being insulted. THAT is the worst part.


    December 29, 2008 at 8:51 pm

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