Loc: Syracuse, NY
Actually Rush picked up on an article published by the very liberal LA Times defining Obama as "The Magic Negro" Careful where you cast your dispersions gw. For they often originate from within your own kind.<br><br>AS EVERY CARBON-BASED life form on this planet surely knows, Barack Obama, the junior Democratic senator from Illinois, is running for president. Since making his announcement, there has been no end of commentary about him in all quarters — musing over his charisma and the prospect he offers of being the first African American to be elected to the White House.<br><br>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."<br><br>The Magic Negro is a figure of postmodern folk culture, coined by snarky 20th century sociologists, 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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_Negro .<br><br>He's there to assuage white "guilt" (i.e., the minimal discomfort they feel) over the role of slavery and racial segregation in American history, while replacing stereotypes of a dangerous, highly sexualized black man with a benign figure for whom interracial sexual congress holds no interest.<br><br>As might be expected, this figure is chiefly cinematic — embodied by such noted performers as Sidney Poitier, Morgan Freeman, Scatman Crothers, Michael Clarke Duncan, Will Smith and, most recently, Don Cheadle. And that's not to mention a certain basketball player whose very nickname is "Magic."<br>Poitier really poured on the "magic" in "Lilies of the Field" (for which he won a best actor Oscar) and "To Sir, With Love" (which, along with "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," made him a No. 1 box-office attraction). In these films, Poitier triumphs through yeoman service to his white benefactors. "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" is particularly striking in this regard, as it posits miscegenation without evoking sex. (Talk about magic!)<br><br>The same can't quite be said of Freeman in "Driving Miss Daisy," "Seven" and the seemingly endless series of films in which he plays ersatz paterfamilias to a white woman bedeviled by a serial killer. But at least he survives, unlike Crothers in "The Shining," in which psychic premonitions inspire him to rescue a white family he barely knows and get killed for his trouble. This heart-tug trope is parodied in Gus Van Sant's "Elephant." The film's sole black student at a Columbine-like high school arrives in the midst of a slaughter, helps a girl escape and is immediately gunned down. See what helping the white man gets you?<br><br>And what does the white man get out of the bargain? That's a question asked by John Guare in "Six Degrees of Separation," his brilliant retelling of the true saga of David Hampton — a young, personable gay con man who in the 1980s passed himself off as the son of none other than the real Sidney Poitier. Though he started small, using the ruse to get into Studio 54, Hampton discovered that countless gullible, well-heeled New Yorkers, vulnerable to the Magic Negro myth, were only too eager to believe in his baroque fantasy. (One of the few who wasn't fooled was Andy Warhol, who was astonished his underlings believed Hampton's whoppers. Clearly Warhol had no need for the accouterment of interracial "goodwill.")<br><br>But the same can't be said of most white Americans, whose desire for a noble, healing Negro hasn't faded. That's where Obama comes in: as Poitier's "real" fake son.<br><br>The senator's famously stem-winding stump speeches have been drawing huge crowds to hear him talk of uniting rather than dividing. A praiseworthy goal. Consequently, even the mild criticisms thrown his way have been waved away, "magically." He used to smoke, but now he doesn't; he racked up a bunch of delinquent parking tickets, but he paid them all back with an apology. And hey, is looking good in a bathing suit a bad thing?<br><br>The only mud that momentarily stuck was criticism (white and black alike) concerning Obama's alleged "inauthenticty," as compared to such sterling examples of "genuine" blackness as Al Sharpton and Snoop Dogg. Speaking as an African American whose last name has led to his racial "credentials" being challenged — often several times a day — I know how pesky this sort of thing can be.<br><br>Obama's fame right now has little to do with his political record or what he's written in his two (count 'em) books, or even what he's actually said in those stem-winders. It's the way he's said it that counts the most. It's his manner, which, as presidential hopeful Sen. Joe Biden ham-fistedly reminded us, is "articulate." His tone is always genial, his voice warm and unthreatening, and he hasn't called his opponents names (despite being baited by the media).<br><br>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 seems, the more desirable he becomes. If he were real, white America couldn't project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on him. <br><br><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by mojo_jojo on 02/03/08 03:28 PM (server time).</EM></FONT></P>
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>And he has absolutely no, nad, nill experience as a statesman. He is an empty suit that has embodied decades of white guilt. A Messiah figure is actually an appropriate description. <p><hr></blockquote><p> I know you just want to rattle the cages here with Rush Limbaugh talking points but you should really rearrange the words a bit. It is comical to google (no experience as a statesman+ empty suit + white guilt + Messiah figure ) and read some teeth grinding venom. The empty suit plus white guilt is off the charts.<br><br>Is it all experience? Are all the decades of experience that have trapped John McCain into the incorrect decisions to push on with a failed policy in Iraq a requirement? More troops John? We have to send more troops? John does not need more statesmanship he needs to take remedial math. Go back to the stateside barracks and do a head count. The quiver is empty. We don't need old failed policy and statesmanship. We need a bold change. We can easily right this ship of state but we need a real leader not the same old variations on the same policy. Hillary, John, Mitt, same old path. I would vote for an empty suit if that was the only choice but we have a real possibility of getting a real leader.<br><br>Don't pick fear mongering hopelessness. Do a 180. It is amazing how you will feel. <br><br><br><br><br>
Loc: Syracuse, NY
What surprises me the most about Rush is that he is rather positive about Obama. "He's a nice guy, doesn't deserve the disparaging remarks about his experience, etc that is coming from the Clinton machine, he deserves a chance." So is his real target Hillary? <br><br>
I can see where some of this is coming from, but the line:<br><br>"Like a comic-book superhero, Obama is there to help, out of the sheer goodness of a heart we need not know or understand."<br><br>irks me. How much does anyone who doesn't truly know them understand the "heart" of a face on TV who holds the reins of power (or any celebrity really?). I often wondered (and wonder) at the heart of GW when I saw all the things that went on during his watch. Maybe I could be more forgiving if I did understand his heart. If Obama is an empty suit, Bush is even emptier; if we are discussing others' caricatures, Doonesbury's comes to mind.<br><br>We are what we repeatedly do. -Aristotle
_________________________ We are what we repeatedly do - Aristotle
Boy, I thought The Magic Negro story had play a year ago but I guess it can be trotted out time and time again for the next nine months. An opinion piece in the LA Time by a black liberal. Since he says "magic negro" and a few other things then all the right wing pundits get to use it and paint this opinion as the general thesis of leftist white man guilt. <br><br>How whacky. I could paint the right wing as totally bat sh[i][/i]it crazy if I could use one year old opinion pieces of Malkin or Coulter. But I won't because it is completely meaningless what nuts say. Anne Coulter is not policy spokesman for conservatives. This dude is not a spokesman for liberals. <br><br>The only thing I can figure is that it gives Rush or others the ability to say "magic negro" which just thrills them no end.<br><br>
Loc: Syracuse, NY
The difference being, of course, is that Coulter and Malkin do not represent the main stream media. They are fringe right wingers with a limited audience. The LA Times is main stream and its message is heard far and wide. <br><br>
The LA Times opinion pieces of the author of the opinion. You give far too much weight to the LA Times if you make it out to be the mouthpiece of liberal media or liberal thought in 100 percent of its opinion pieces.<br><br>The problem is that you are used to listening to conservative mouthpieces which do tend to speak in a monochrome of thought. Liberal rags like the LA Times will let anyone in the rainbow a few moments on the soapbox. It's called keeping an open mind.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Loc: Finland, on the Arctic Circle
If I'm reading and understanding this text correctly, he is basically calling Obama an Uncle Tom*, am I right? <br><br>Doesn't matter if he loops it via that Spike Lee's theory, which does have a point to it, though, but not sure if it does here, and further, had someone other than Spike Lee come up with that term, It just might not have been accepted like it is, I believe. Well, I find it funny when he starts explaining it. Come to think of it, I'd be interested to hear Spike Lee's say on Obama. And Hillary. Heck, he'd probably have some cheeky comments on the other side as well.<br><br>The Magic Johnson reference I don't quite understand. Considering he banged just about every woman he figured would give it, including many white women I guess, Magic definitely doesn't fit the Magical Negro archetype. Doesn't quite fit the image the writer gives about the actors he uses as examples.<br><br>*I could've used a slang term perhaps more colourful in nature, but it would've been rather derogatory and definitely not politically correct, and I didn't want to either. Oh well, you get the picture. <br><br>And hey, IIRC some columnist or whatever did pretty much the same thing about Colin Powell wayback. Meaning, suggesting he was an Uncle Tom as well. <br><br>
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Actually Rush picked up on an article published by the very liberal LA Times defining Obama as "The Magic Negro" Careful where you cast your dispersions gw. For they often originate from within your own kind.<p><hr></blockquote><p>That's not an article by the Times, its an opinion (check the big blue words at the top).<br><br>
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