The Infinite Echo

B. Thomas Cooper is a freelance journalist, photographer, blogger and historian. Topics include Political Commentary, Satire and History

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Barack the Magic Negro?

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Barack the Magic Negro?

You must be kidding me? This story is offensive on so many levels. How could a high ranking Republican with aspirations within the party possibly arrive at such an abominable conclusion?

Let me bring you up to speed. Chip Saltsman, candidate for Republican National Committee Chairman, has chosen to distribute a satirical CD containing racist material about Barack Obama as a Christmas gift. Not one copy, mind you, sent to a friend, but a rather substantial number of copies, sent to a number of prominent Republicans.

The offending CD is titled: ‘We Hate America, and is obviously the product of an amateur. His name is Paul Shanklin and he is neither clever nor funny on this collection of politically incorrect ditties. This is the kind of trash one might find offered up at a trailer park yard sale for a nickle.

Here’s a quote from the lyrics of the song in question:

“Yeah, the guy from the L.A. paper said,
He made guilty whites feel good,
They’ll vote for him and not for me,
‘Cause he’s not from the hood”

Watch out, Slim Shady. This guy is after your job.

This sort of thing only qualifies as satire in an academic sense. Satire, Spirit and Art, by George A. Test describes Satire in the following manner:

"The emotions that are thought to give rise to satire are generally acknowledged to be the least admirable human emotions-anger, malice, hatred, indignation. The emotions that satire are said to evoke are likewise emotions that make most people uncomfortable- shame, anger, guilt, anxiety. The view of humanity in satire is a negative one- tumultuous, crowded, aggressive, cynical, pessimistic."

Obviously, Shanklin is within his Constitutional rights on this issue, and if he and Mr. Saltsman want to distribute this vile nonsense, it is certainly their prerogative. Still, I am surprised the Republican hopeful would find this CD a useful tool for rehabilitating the GOPs already heavily damaged image. Who knows? Maybe Mr. Saltsman actually finds this stuff funny. How sad.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

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