Sunday, December 28, 2008

Candidate For Republican Party Chairman Sends Out Racist CD

Chip Saltsman, candidate for Republican party chairman and former campaign manager for Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign, sent out a CD, "We Hate The USA," that contains a racist song, "Barack the Magic Negro." 

Written by parodist Paul Shanklin, whose work, not surprisingly, is a regular feature of Rush Limbaugh's radio show, the song follows the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon" and supposedly features the voice of Reverend Al Sharpton complaining about President-elect Obama's popularity: “Barack the Magic Negro made guilty whites feel good/They’ll vote for him and not for me/Cause he’s not from the ’hood.”

Current Republican party chairman Mike Duncan, running for re-election, and Newt Gingrich, the Republican former House speaker, criticized the song. Other Republicans defended it, including Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state and candidate for the RNC chair who could be the first African-American in that position. He criticized what he termed "hypersensitivity." As for Mr. Saltsman, listen to what he called "lighthearted" and "good humor":

Duncan stated, "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." 

Duncan is correct. During the last election, Democrats made gains among Hispanics, the young and suburbanites, and continued to do well among African Americans and Jews. The Republicans have become increasingly marginalized, appealing more to a southern, white, less educated and poorer constituency. Clearly, sending out racist garbage like "Barack the Magic Negro" will not help the Republicans widen their appeal.

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