In case you missed it, the competition for Republican National Committee chair just got very weird. Tennessee GOP chairman Chip Saltsman distributed a CD to RNC members that included a “parody” song entitled “Barack the Magic Negro,” sung to the tune of the old Peter, Paul & Mary classic “Puff the Magic Dragon.”
Adam Serwer at TAPPED has everything you need to know about the song itself, which started out as an African-American “inside joke” that uncomprehending conservatives found hilarious. Rush Limbaugh, natch, played the song on his show on several occasions, and Saltsman saw nothing wrong with sending it around.
Initial reaction to the brouhaha in Republican circles was of the “Keep it at home!” variety, which isn’t surprising given the GOP’s already unsavory reputation among minority citizens. But now, mirabile dictu, there are reports that Saltsman may be benefitting from it, as GOPers angrily react to the reaction by “the media” and other candidates. Specifically, incumbent chairman Mike Duncan and MI GOP chairman Saul Anuzis are said to have hurt themselves by suggesting that Saltsman’s stunt was a bit out of line:
Those are two guys who just eliminated themselves from this race for jumping all over Chip on this,” one committee member told Politico. “Mike Duncan is a nice guy, but he screwed up big time by pandering to the national press on this.”
Interesting, eh? Worrying about the Republican Party’s image as being a little soft on racism is defined by some RNC members as “pandering to the national press.” Who knows: maybe Saltsman deliberately cooked up this whole incident to get a sympathy vote from Republicans who feel persecuted by any and all criticism. But in any event, it’s another example of Republicans occupying a very different mental space than the voters they need to return to power.
UPCATEGORY: Democratic Strategist
One of the distinguishing characteristics of modern American conservatism is that it believes in a curious concept of “color blindness.” In this view, racism is bad. But absent truly egregious behavior, it’s not something you’d really get all that upset about nor is it something you should be really attuned do. But so-called “political correctness” — meaning something like anti-racism that’s gone too far — is a really serious problem. Any hint of political correctness is worth getting upset about. And the views of actual members of racial minorities as to what is and isn’t racist should be completely discounted.
Exactly. Conservatives who are forever whining about “political correctness” don’t seem to understand that there really are utterances that are really and truly “incorrect.”