The thoughtful reflection of who Shirley Sherrod really is

This morning I watched the Rachel Maddow Show on-line. She was talking about the connection between ACORN, Van Jones, the New Black Panthers and Shirley Sherrod. I thought it was Brilliant.

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I talked about this today on Local Edge Radio. Many people never evolve. Some you do change never talk about it because in today’s world it is showing weakness. Shirley Sherrod changed her world view and had the nerve to talk about it. She should be bronzed.

From Glen Greenwald:

Everyone is presumably aware by now of the facts surrounding the disgusting fraud perpetrated on Shirley Sherrod, engineered by Andrew Breitbart, amplified by Fox News, and meekly submitted to by the Obama administration.  Those who aren’t can read excellent commentary from Jamelle BouieJoan Walsh, and Chris Martinez.  Much has been written about the incomparable sleaze of Breitbart, the standard propaganda boost from Fox News, and the typical cowardice of the administration in the face of such attacks.  All of that is well established by now and quite unsurprising, so I want to focus on what ought to be the enduring lesson from this ugly episode:  the courage of Shirley Sherrod.

Just as CNN fired Octavia Nasr for one of the few insightful and interesting observations she ever voiced about the Middle East, Sherrod’s speech — which caused her to be fired — is simply inspiring in its uncommon candor, courage and wisdom.  Few people are willing so publicly to confess to tribal biases and detail how they struggle to overcome them, even though that’s a challenge whichany person who evolves at some point must confront.  That process — far more than the pretense of having always been bias-free — requires difficult self-examination, and its public discussion offers vitally needed lessons for everyone.  Many people are unwilling ever to engage that process privately, let alone candidly describe it publicly.  Those with the courage to do so, like Sherrod, should be heralded for that candor.  Instead, she was slandered, falsely disparaged, and fired.

Contrary to the excuse being offered by those who did all of that, her actual message — that she was plagued by racial biases decades ago and overcame them with the recognition that it is poverty that unites people in need — was clearly evident even from the deceitfully edited Breitbart video.  This is part of what she said on that edited video:

That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor versus those who have.  And not so much about white. It is about white and black, but you know — it opened my eyes.

But — just as happened with Octavia Nasr and so many before her,including the now-destroyed ACORN — the blinding, lying,depressingly common right-wing hysteria churned out by Brietbart/Fox meant that no nuances were permitted, no reason could breathe, and few people had the courage to defend Sherrod or even demand that she be allowed to speak before being thrown to the trash heap. (more…)

0 Responses

  1. Sherrod was fired before Fox even ran the story, based on a video posted on a far-right blog that, on it's face, was obviously cherry-picked for the most inflammatory remarks. The allegation of open contempt towards whites must have seemed very plausible on it's own. Why? Because all white people are contemptible?

  2. There is a lot of he said and she said. All that I know is there was a rumor that Glenn Beck was going to run the clip that night. The Ag dept was trying to get ahead of the story and fired Sherrod in anticipation of outrage from Glenn Beck and the Beckies.

    I don't think that anyone with a brain believes that all Blacks, all Whites or all Browns are contemptible or all evil or all bad.

    Thanks for your comments.

  3. First, thanks for the response. I appreciate your willingness to engage in this.

    I still don't understand how a Glen Beck rumor added to the allegations credibility. He comes accross as a buffoon to me, and I generally agree with him. He's afraid that Obama is succeeding in “fundamentally transforming” the US, as am I.

    Maybe no one believes ALL whites are contemptible racists, but some definately believe all tea partiers or all Fox news watchers are. I fall at least partly into those categories and the “dummies” video you posted Wednesday definately felt like contempt to me as I watched it.

    I want nothing but success and happiness for you and anyone else, whatever their color. And I have zero trust for an expanding government, no matter what the ruler's skin color is. I don't want a safety net and I want my charity to be my charity. People help people. The cold machinery of government can only give what it takes from someone else. I don't understand your optimism in the benevolence of a government with virtually unlimited power and, at the same time have such pessimism in the basic goodness of your neighbor when another is in genuine need.

    I guess I've said enough for now.

  4. Keith —

    The Glenn Beck rumor did not add to the credibility but instead add it to the fear. The administration, specifically the agricultural Department, was fearful that this was going to blow up in their face. We sit back and look at the right wing conspiracies that have mushroomed over the last two years is hard to blame them. We spent all of your time combating rumors it takes time away from getting your own message out. The best example that I can think of off the top of my head was the “death panels” from last summer. Anybody who read the legislation new there was no such language in the bill. As a matter fact, the bill proposed the exact opposite. Yet, Sarah Palin, a self-described tea partier, Senator Chuck Grassley and others said this as if it was fact. They said it as if they'd asked to read the bill and saw the words in the bill. It took the Obama administration nearly 2 months to beat down this rumor. Their fear of a story getting out of control, in my opinion, is completely understandable because it's happened before.

    The problem that I have with people who watch Fox news and listen to Glenn Beck on the radio is when he or O'Reilly or Sean Hannity say racist things, there seems to be no outrage from the viewership. When Glenn Beck clearly stated that Barack Obama seems to have a problem with white people, did you protest that statement?

    I can sit down and talk about your third paragraph for hours. Unfortunately I have to go to work. Conservatives love to rail about the government handing out money to charitable organizations. Yet, there is none of this outrage for the government handing out billions of dollars to private companies to build jets, tanks, munitions, roads, bridges, army bases, etc. for example, Lockheed Martin is 100% dependent on government contracts. The cold machinery of the government takes money out of my pocket and hands it to 114 private companies who “help” the intelligence communities. When Republicans lied to the American people and told us that these private contractors were going to be cheaper and more efficient, where was the outrage from the Conservatives? It is clear that none of these companies have been cheaper or more efficient.

    You used the rhetoric of Reagan and Newt Gingrich when you talk about the government. It is like the government is run by the Kremlin. The government is run by us. The government is us. If we want an efficient government we need an engaged and thoughtful Congress to oversee our government operations. Unfortunately, we continue to hire morons to represent us in Congress. Our congressmen are not accountable to us but instead are accountable to the lobbyists who raise the money to get them elected. Our congressmen are accountable to the political action committees and the corporations that helped them raise huge sums of money that they “needed” to get reelected/elected. I am optimistic because I believe in the American people. I believe that with time the American people will turn this around. We've seen our government function well throughout the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. The government is us, Americans. The government is filled with hard-working Americans doing the best that they can.

    Charity from your neighbor is fine. If you need to borrow a cup of sugar, ask Gladys from across the street. But, when you have been in a motor vehicle crash and sustain a head injury, a back fracture and a leg fracture, your neighbors are not the ones to turn to. You need hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is way beyond the capacity of your local church or synagogue. You need surgery, you need intensive care and following your hospitalization you need rehabilitation so that you can get back to work.

    Speaking of work, I gotta go.

    Thanks for your comments.
    (dictated with Dragon naturally speaking)

  5. At the end of the day, there's probably a lot more you and I agree on than disagree. It's just a few elemental beliefs that have us arranging our thoughts in opposite camps.

    At our core, we conservatives feel more betrayed by Republicans than Democrats–for some of the reasons you list. They've engaged in big-gov corporatism under the guise of being pro-free market. They've touted pro-business policies that often turned out to only be pro-certain-business, heavily influenced by campaign contributions. Subduing our outrage has been pragmatic…and, to be honest, a lack of serious engagement. We really would rather not think about what the government it up to. Obama has changed that.

    “Death panels”…political hyperbole, both sides do it and always will. It's great for stirring up the base, not so good for generating collaborative dialog. The dummy video you posted that you said characterized the tea party movement perfectly: Do think that was particularly constructive? The point underneath the death panel rhetoric is that right now healthcare is rationed naturally, though imperfectly, by the availability of recources and people's ability to manage their own risk. Do we really think a group of political appointees can improve on that? For us, it honestly does invoke images of a group of bureaucrats around a conference room table setting treatment guidelines based on cost of procedure, age, family health history, likelihood of recovery….how else would it be done? How could they possibly set up rules that would account for all the infinite complexities involved in each individual case?

    Back to my original points, this is all so much less about race than you seem to think. It makes sense to me, especially listening to Sherrod's video, how race-identity occupies a much greater portion of a black person's psyche than it does mine. How could it not? Most whites have the luxury of only noticing color as an incidental detail. When we level admittedly harsh criticism at Obama, it is not at his race. You may take it that way, but it doesn't reflect our intent. The NAACP post that was meant to back up their claim of tea party racism was surprisingly lacking in actual racism from my perspective. With so many huge rallies, I figured some nut cases would be filmed saying n***** this and n***** that. But instead it seems like any criticism of Obama has been defined as inherently race-based.

    Do you see my point?

  6. Follow-up…

    Help me understand how tea partiers have been disparaging blacks categorically. Send me links. I've looked for them. To me, they're all just overly heated, broad-brushed criticisms of the policies and direction of a president who happens to be black. I honestly haven't yet seen the blatant race-based contempt you elude to. Pretend I'm two and send me the clips of Glenn, Fox, Rush and explain how they attempt to degradate or implicate blackness. I'm honestly not trying to just be cute. I'm obviously missing something. Help me understand. Maybe I do need to express some outrage.

  7. Another followup…

    I acknowledge that people on the right have accused Obama of black-favoritism. I'm not sure I'm there with them or not, I'd have to look at the specifics more closely. I can speak for myself, as a white, that even though I know not all black people assume my whiteness makes me racist, I do get the sense that most blacks assume that whiteness=racist and that we are resented pretty categorically for it. But even that so-called “sense” of mine is, in fact, a sprout of racism itself, because it's a generalization, when every individual is in fact uniquely attuned to race differentiation. The human brain just seems to do that. It generalizes as a shortcut to making sense out of our experiences. In most cases it serves us well, but not with cross-race relations.

  8. Keith – Running out of the door. Thanks for your thoughtful responses. I'll try and something to say later on this evening.

    Thanks again.

  9. Dr Thompson wrote:

    “When Glenn Beck clearly stated that Barack Obama seems to have a problem with white people, did you protest that statement?”

    Obama described his white grandmother as 'a typical white person' who 'reacts the wrong way' toward blacks.

  10. Hey, I thought the video was funny.

    My job on this blog is to express my opinions. It isn't to foster good will or to try to bring right and left together. I learned several years ago, I can't do that. I'm a moderate. As a moderate, I don't type in ALL CAPS and I don't swear that much. As a moderate, I don't get much traffic because folks don't want to read about reasonable or thoughtful. They want someone to re-enforce their beliefs. I don't see that as being very productive. So, it ain't my job.

  11. I apologize if I came off as accusatory. I was just trying to find out how you differentiate between which insulting statements are all in good fun and what ones, like Beck's, enflame animosity and should stop. I can appreciate the video was all in good fun to you–it was just cleverly reinforcing your belief that tea partiers are only the latest expression of a 200 year racist legacy. Myself, having tea party leanings and very opposed to racism, I found it insulting. Maybe I was being thin skinned.

    I don't assume to be able to bring right and left together either, but I was hoping to understand one person to the left of me a little better than I do.

  12. Keith —

    I appreciate your readership. I also appreciate your thoughtful comments.

    Let's just think for a second how Barack Obama got elected to the Senate and then got elected as president of the United States. Barack Obama did not reach out to the black community and embrace operation PUSH (Jesse Jackson's organization). Barack Obama did not mobilize the NAACP. As a matter fact, Barack Obama went out of his way to avoid the traditional “black” political organizations. Barack Obama knows, as I know, showing a hint of favoritism to the black community would be the end of his candidacy either for Senate or for presidency. The same thing goes now. Barack Obama cannot be seen shopping money to black organizations behind the back of Congress. It will kill him with independents. States like North Carolina that barely went for Barack Obama would vote for anybody else if he was truly founded be favoring black organizations. As a matter fact, Barack Obama will go out of his way NOT to favor black and minority organizations. This is exactly why he did not stand up for ACORN.

    we, human beings, survived for millions of years by depending upon small, tightknit gangs or tribes. There's something about the longing to us and being a part of us that is essential to our human nature. Whether that is being an American or being from the great state of Texas or going to Robert E. Lee high school, we love being a part of things. We love being a part of the football team or the chess club. We love to think of ourselves as special. Race is simply another way that we can divide ourselves into the us versus them. My grandson who is six learned a new saying in school, “boys rule, girls drool.” This is the same thing.

    We will not grow as a nation until we understand that we are all prejudice. It is how we fight against that prejudice or give in to our preconceived notions that can be detrimental to others.

    Again, thanks for your thoughtful insight.

  13. let's just start with the grandfather of the Republican Party — Ronald Reagan. I'll just start with three simple things — welfare queens, support of apartheid, opening his presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi.

    I look forward to your explanation of how these three simple but completely separate areas are not completely racially based. There's an underlying racial message. Rush Limbaugh is way too easy. Barack the Magic Negro says everything that you need to know about Rush Limbaugh and race.

    As far as Fox news we don't have to look back that far. Why spend a nano second on the New Black Panthers? Why? If the goal is not to push scary black men than what was the purpose? Was this some national effort that was going to sweep the country? Was this really some conspiracy of the Justice Department and not prosecuting these two “scary black men?”

    I look forward to your comments.

  14. I agree with that 1000%! Intellectually, our brains are wired to distinguish, categorize, generalize, and speculate. Emotionally we are drawn into associations and become attached to various collective identities. (guess I just repeated what you said)

    Furthermore, we all have a survival reflex to treat anything unfamiliar with caution, and the instinct is heightened by an increased perception of threat. “Caution” is essentially anything from mistrust to outright fear. It's completely understandable to me that racism exists.

    Mistrust and fear on an interpersonal level tend to be self-reinforcing. I want people to think I'm the coolest person they've ever come accross. I don't like when they're alloof with me, or worse, defensive. It's difficult to then treat those with the same grace I try to keep as a part of my character. And that's when I'm trying.

    So how can we promote conversations that are racially disarming and diffuse the conversations that ramp up the fear/threat? I agree that Beck's “Obama has a problem with (us) whites,” escalates the fear. Accusing right back that Beck, the entire tea party, all Fox News watchers, are more racist and they all have been for 200 years escalates the threat/fear as well. How about this: Because Obama is human, Beck is probably partly right–and it may have slipped in something he said. So what? In the same way, certainly there will be instances of racism on Fox news, ABC, CNN, tea party rallies….. If it's not representative of the whole, so what? We can't attack and berate every instance of that particular expression of our humanness or we'll only continue to focus disproportionate attention to it. Our brains are pretty good at correcting over-generalizations once evidence to the contrary is allowed to happen naturally–evidence we miss if we're forced to focus on defending our own moral fortitude.

    Thank you for YOUR thoughtful comments. I hope you're enjoying this discussion as much as I am.

  15. Sorry I missed this response 3 days ago. This is exactly what I was looking for.

    Reagan: Especially in the 80's, my lense for interracial relations was nonexistent, so I don't know how much response I can have without doing some historical research. I can say, I've known a lot of people who think very highly of RR who wouldn't have, had it been clear he somehow believed whites were superior to blacks. I don't recall any racist language, but I can't say I wouldn't have missed something more subtle or apparent policy discrimination.

    Limbaugh: Al Sharpton actually coined the phrase, “Barack the magic Negro” when he was dismissing the assumption that he would naturally switch loyalties from Clinton to Obama during the '08 primaries. That's the clear context for any time he uses the phrase. His shtick is to provoke. He refuses to tiptoe around harsh sounding phraseology. If people can berate broad categories of whites for being racist, he's not going to be afraid to berate broad categories of blacks for being racist. I don't think it's helpful to the dialog, but neither is it helpful for me to express outrage at his insensitivity without also expressing outrage to the insensitivity he's reacting to–but then I'd be defending him, which I don't want to do either. People who listen to him more regularly seem to undestand that his cavalier insensitivity is not rooted in contempt for “blackness” but rather in his contempt for phony political correctness, that appears to place such a high value on protecting some people's feelings, but not others. I only listen to him occasionally and of those times I do hear callers that identify themselves as African-American, who agree with much of what he says. His call screener, I believe is black as well.

    Fox/Black Panther: It was a federal voter intimidation case that was already won by default judgment. It would have been a non-event if Eric Holder hadn't demanded the case be dismissed. At that point, the only reason I can see not to cover it as news would be to treat racism as if it's only bad or punishable when white people commit it. You seem to suggest that white people who see actual “scary black people” are generally too obtuse to imagine that they might not be representative of the whole. Fox has non-scary black people on staff and on screen all the time. The NBP case might have been an opportunity for you to express some outrage at them, rather then those who dare expose them.

    I will look further into Reagan. If you have any suggested readings I'm open to it.

    Thanks again for the dialog.

  16. Had a chance to look back at the Reagan years and I do think you have a fair point. It does at least look like there were some Republican political calculations made that leveraged race-perception. Trent Lott seems to be a figure that shows up frequently. I have no interest in defending the history of a party I have recently come to see as just one faction of a single Ruling Party. The Left faction leverages race-perceptions as well…and class-perceptions.

    To me that all favors the view that we should entrust government with as little as possible–which is the iconic message most triggered for me by the mention of Reagan's name. Reagan has always been seen more as a visionary than a strategist, so I would tend to suspect that the political calculations were someone else's–like Lott. But clearly I am biased.

    If, for sake of arguement, Reagan was a cynical Republican strategist, cleverly race baiting where it served his purpose, and telling the rest of us that government needed to be limited, then I would still stand by the message he invoked, however insincerely, that made him so popular. Any genuine race animosity he may have held, were it given voice, would have doomed his popularity with me, and I believe most others.

    I'll take it even a step further. To the degree I've been, for political convenience, ignorant or indifferent to Republican manipulation of racial tensions, I express my sincere regret. More than anything else I'm taking from this dialog is an appreciation for the context of black mistrust. I'm not big on grand apologies. I think they're usually perceived to be patronizing and usually are. I will do my best, when I have a voice, to clarify what our rhetoric unintentionally implies.

    For your part, I would ask you to consider that the full context of history is not necessarily what we mean by our rhetoric. We've applied the term “welfare queens” to corporate subsidies and to federally funded flood insurance on ocean-view villas. When we speak of states rights, we're not aligning ourselves with the old confederacy and it's stand on slavery, we're seeking to diffuse federal power to more localized jurisdictions.

    Slavery is probably the ugliest slice of the American legacy. And yet plantation owners provided their slaves with food, clothing, shelter, and even some healthcare. That didn't make them benevolent. I would never suggest an expanding government equals the same kind of slavery endured by black people, but it does equal an incremental erosion of freedom. The benevolence it claims is an attempt to purchase our devotion, not an expression of true compassion.

  17. Keith – I don't think that Al Sharpton ever said any such thing. Sharpton never coined the phrase. This is an excellent example of how you have been played by Limbaugh. Paul Shanklin, a political humorist, if you would like to call him that, wrote and recorded the song. He did the song in the voice of Al Sharpton.

    Wiki has the whole thing –

    Now, I understand that Wiki can be wrong. If you have any data which is different please let me know. BTW, note the timeline from Op-Ed to Limbaugh to song.

    As far as the New Black Panthers, there is no victim. In order to have a case of voter intimidation, you need to have a voter who says he or she has been intimidated. To this date, nobody has come forward. This is the reason the case was dismissed. I have no desire to point out the stupidity of two or three guys. These are 2 or 3 guys who have no following and no national platform. As far as me, taking an opportunity to point out the stupidity and mindnumbing hate that the new Black Panthers were spewing, I did take that opportunity. That's been done. What more do you want?

    Be Well.

  18. Liberal columnist David Ehrenstein was indeed the one who first applied the tag 'Magic Negro' to Obama.

    Limbaugh made fun of his (and the left's) hypocrisy, because had it been Limbaugh who originally applied the term to Obama he would have been vilified as a racist for it. But since it was a liberal (Ehrenstein), therefore Ehrenstein was given a pass, and Limbaugh was vilified for even bringing it up.

  19. Ehrenstein's point was that there wasn't any such thing as a Magic Negro. Rush took this article and went way, way, way, way beyond the concept of Magic Negro coming out of nowhere to save the White man.

    Rush picked up this story to talk about race. He picked up this story so that he could see that he's not a racist. He picked up the story so that he could point fingers at liberals saying that they are racists while, at the same time, taking a jab at Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and others. Rush Limbaugh knew exactly what he was doing when he picked up the story. He knew exactly where he was going with it and he knew exactly what the mainstream media would do with the information.

    Here's exactly what Rush said:

    LIMBAUGH: Yeah, get this headline. Who wrote this? David Ehrenstein is his name. L.A. based, writes about Hollywood in politics. The headline of his column: “Obama the 'Magic Negro.' ” Kid you not. “As every carbon-based life form on this planet surely knows, Barack Obama is running for president. Since making his announcement, there's been no end of commentary about him in all quarters — musing over his charisma and the prospect he offers of being the first black president in the country. But it's clear that Obama also is running for an equally important unelected office in the province of the popular imagination — The Magic Negro. The Magic Negro is a figure of postmodern folk culture, coined by a snarky 20th century sociologist to explain a cultural figure who emerged in the wake of Brown vs. Board of Education. 'He has no past. He simply appears one day to help the white protagonist,' reads the description on Wikipedia” of the Magic Negro. Well, “he's there to assuage white guilt … over the role of slavery and racial segregation in American history while replacing stereotypes of a dangous [sic], dangerous, highly sexualized black man with a benign figure for whom interracial sex[ual] congress holds no interest.” The problem is that Ehrenright, Ehrenstein says — he's not real. Al Sharpton's real, Snoop Dogg is real, but Barack Obama is not real. He's just there to assuage white guilt. In other words, the only reason Obama's anywhere is because whites are willing to support him because they feel so guilty over slavery. Now, before you reject this, Shelby Steele has written a great book about the whole concept of white guilt and how it is allowing our society to become more and more passive about any number of transgressions that the country has made from its inception.

    Here's the close: “Like a comic-book superhero, Obama is there to help out of the sheer goodness of a heart we need not know or understand. For as with all Magic Negroes, the less real he becomes and seems, the more desirable he gets. If he were real, white America couldn't project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on him.” So those of you white people out there who are supporting Barack Obama, you are racists. That is the point that David Ehrenstein's made. So your attempt to assuage all of your white guilt by supporting Obama is worthless because you're just — you're just exhibiting racism because you know he's not a real black. As [Sen. Joeeph R.] Biden [D-DE] said, he's clean and articulate. What else did he say? Clean — yeah, clean, good looking, articulate, one of the first. But he's not real. This is — this is more of the drivel and the bilge that we get from the drive-by media. In order to be a real black, you've got to be a [Rev. Al] Sharpton, you've got to be a Snoop Dogg, you've got to be a [rapper] Ludacris or something like that. Obama can't possibly fill this role because nobody knows anything about him, and we don't want to know anything about him. The only thing that matters is that he's black and he sounds good and it allows you white racists to assuage your guilt. Well, there is white racism out there. Much of it is on the left where the plantation mentality still resides.

    Now, let me ask you a question. The term “Magic Negro” has been thrown into the political presidential race in the mix for 2008. And the term “Magic Negro,” as applied to Barack Obama, has been done by an L.A. Times columnist, David Ehrenstein. What do you think? If I keep referring to Obama as the “Magic Negro” from this day on, I will eventually get the credit and/or heat for this. “Magic Negro.” It is a term, and it's exactly as described here. Its purpose is to allow whites the guilt-free support. But in Barack's case, it's only 'cause he isn't a real black. And the L.A. Times, by the way, this is the not the first of these types of columns. The L.A. Times has been two or three columns like this, “is Barack Obama black enough?” and so forth. So there's a racist component out there on the editorial page of the L.A. Times that's obsessed with the race of Barack Obama and is with all leftists. While they are obsessed with race, accusing everybody else of being racist. We'll be right back.


    LIMBAUGH: David Ehrenstein, the L.A. Times today, “Obama the 'Magic Negro.' ” It's just infuriating. It is the left that continues to besmirch these people. It's the left that continues to question their so-called authenticity. These people are all human beings. Talk about Sharpton, Reverend [Jesse] Jackson, these people are all human beings. Now some of them are in the race business. I understand that. But look at who it is that keeps focusing on whether they're authentic enough. Authenticity based on skin color. Who is it doing this? It's the left. You know what, I got a suggestion for those of you at the L.A. Times. Let's cut to the chase. Go get an old-fashioned auction book and put it in the town square. Put it somewhere where it looks like it's real and just bring all these black people up there and auction them off and find out who it is that sells for the highest price. That's essentially what you're doing with all of these nonsensical categorizations — Obama's not black enough, Obama doesn't have — he's not down for the struggle, Obama doesn't have a legitimate civil rights — civil right background. Obama's ears don't look like a black person's ears, they're too big, Obama doesn't sound like a black person, he's clean and articulate. The left's saying all these things. Now he's the “Magic Negro,” which is a convenient trick for the L.A. Times to blame a bunch of white people for being racist. OK. Let's find out who the — just get an auction block and grab as many blacks as you want to put them up there and let's start the sales, L.A. Times, and let's see who it is that fetches the highest prices. Isn't that essentially the way they're approaching this? These are commodities. These human beings are simply commodities, and they are there for some purpose other than their own human existence? You doubt the racism and the groupthink and the superiority of the leftists in this country, you'd be making a grave error.


    LIMBAUGH: For example, you could take 10 seconds of me saying, “Obama is the Magic Negro” and make it look like I said it, rather than the fact that I'm repeating it from an L.A. Times column today. So the BBC is getting ready — and we declined their permission to use this in that regard. We said, “If you want to do it just on Rush, and we'll send you a compendium of what's been said.” “No, no, we're not interested in that.” So they're doing a hit piece on talk-show hosts in America, the way they're talking about Obama, which is precisely my point. It's the L.A. Times, and it's Joe Biden, and it's all these other people who are raising questions about his authenticity. In fact, there was an honest story, but even it, and I forget where it was — last week, might have been
    a blog, I forget. And this — the person writing this story begrudgingly admitted that even Rush Limbaugh is saying there's something to this Obama guy and so he's not being overly critical of Obama, but then the snide follow-up was, “That's because so many people are excited about — so many people on the left are being critical of Obama for one reason or another that Limbaugh is not being genuine in his respect that he's showing for Obama.” It's got — of course, it can't be, obviously. I mean, things are 180 degrees out of phase here. The L.A. Times today referring to Obama as the “Magic Negro” — and I'm going to keep referring to him as that because I wanna make a bet that by the end of this week I will own that term. By the — by the end of the day. [laughs] By the end — the broadcast engineer shouting at me over the IFP — people — what is an IFP? It's an intercom, it's just a — it's a private — you can't hear 'em there, I have people chattering at me all the time. And I don't know what IFP stands for, it's a television term, but we use one here, it's a closed-circuit loop. At any rate, he's shouting at me, “You'll own it by the end of the day if you keep referring to Barack Obama as the 'Magic Negro.' ” We'll give it a shot, we'll see what happens with this.


    LIMBAUGH Well, that's — no, no, see — glad you asked that. Because my point is that the L.A. Times raised it. The L.A. Times columnist, Ehrenstein, writes about it, and I simply said: If I refer to Obama the rest of the day as the “Magic Negro,” there will be a number of people in the drive-by media and on left-wing blogs who will credit me for coming up with it and ignore the L.A. Times did it, simply because they can't be critical of the L.A. Times but they can, obviously, be critical of talk radio. It's such — something beneath us all.


    LIMBAUGH: We've been discussing today — I just want to touch on this briefly if you missed it. We've been discussing today a column by a guy named Paul Ehrenstein [sic] in the Los Angeles Times entitled “The Magic Negro.” And it's all about how white people supporting Barack Obama can't possibly be doing it on the basis of substance because there's nothing about him. He's an empty vessel. Nobody knows enough about him to support him on the basis of policy or substance. And so the white people who are supporting Barack Obama, the “Magic Negro,” are doing so precisely because he's the “Magic Negro.” By supporting him, white people get to assuage their guilt over this nation's history with slavery and the Confederacy and all this other tripe. And this has led to a number of points being made by me, brilliantly so on this program, that it is the left in this country that looks at people and sees their skin color or their gender or their sexual orientation as the first things they notice about them. The whole point of this piece is to accuse white people of being racist. They don't really like Obama, they don't really like black people, they feel guilty over what this country's done to black people, so they support Barack because he's the quote-unquote “Magic Negro.”

    This is the same newspaper that has run a couple of stories on “is Barack Obama is black enough?” This prompted a drive-by caller, Dan from Fruitport, Michigan, to suggest that the Democrats, since they feel so bad about this, should offer black credits to someone like Obama who is not black enough in the eyes of the L.A. Times and other liberals. So he could go out there and buy black credits, so he could — like Gore, you know, offsets his carbon use with carbon credits, Obama the “Magic Negro” could offset his lack of blackness with black credits. Then say he could down for the struggle [sic] and that he has roots in the civil rights movement. Reverend Sharpton's upset, you know, “Obama, where were you when we marched for justice in Selma?” and so forth. So clearly, it is a — I mean, it's just remarkable to continue to witness the actual racism that exists on the left, using the term “Magic Negro” to apply to you white people who are supporting Obama. Singing a song in my head here during the break: “Barack, the Magic Negro, doo doo do doo.”

    Uh-oh, Dawn's shaking her head on that. What are you saying, if I do that, I then will own the term, because I will be taking it above and beyond how it's been used? Well, that's what we always do here. We do parodies and satires on the idiocy and the phoniness of the left. We could throw in — yeah, we could put an L.A. Times lyric in there to make, you know, make it obvious who it was who actually used the term. I mean, don't start telling me to shy away from this stuff. That's why I'm where I am, that's why I'm who I am, and for which I make no apologies. I'm very proud and happy.

  20. Ehrenstein said “But it's clear that Obama also is running for an equally important unelected office, in the province of the popular imagination — the “Magic Negro.”

    Liberals can say any outrageous thing that they want, such as when Jesse Jackson said he wanted to cut Obama's privates off.

    But they get a pass on it by rank and file Democrats who only impute 'racist' and 'mean' epithets to Republicans.

  21. That isn't even close to being true. Jesse Jackson has paid the ultimate price for his stupidity and self-centeredness, he's been pushed to the side and he is completely irrelevant. He used to have a talk show and that's been taken away from him. Just think about what it's like for Jesse Jackson, for more than 20 years he has desperately been trying to lead somebody, anybody. During the Clinton administration, he is almost important. Yet, he still has not been able to reach the heights that he obtained in the late 1970s. One gaffe after another has landed him in the house of the irrelevance. He doesn't even have a column in Jet or Essence magazine. What did you want? Maybe a public stoning would be good enough for you?

    Think about what Barack Obama did. Barack Obama ran for president without using any of the traditional Black vehicles– The NAACP, the Urban League, Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. As a matter fact, he ran away from those organizations and men. Think about it for just a second. A man from Chicago, runs for president and avoids Jesse Jackson like the plague.

    How much more ostracized do you want Jesse Jackson to be? Do I need to write an op-ed in the New York Times saying that he's completely irrelevant? Liberals have thrown him to the curb.

    As far as this other guy, I've never heard of him. It is conservatives like you keep bringing up these nobodies that nobody's ever heard of it and wonder how come we haven' denounced them. We've never heard of them.

    again, thank you for your comments.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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