What's crackin' friends and frienemies? Hope the holidays have gone swimmingly for you.
Mine have been great. I took all of last week off and didn't write a word...anywhere, for any reason.
But on to business. You should have had a few days by now to marinate on the "Christmas" CD sent to friends by Chip Saltsman, candidate for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee and former presidential campaign manager for Mike Huckabee.
The highlight of the CD was a parody song called Barack the Magic Negro, sung to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon. Paul Shanklin, the comic satirist who wrote and performed the song, did so in a voice meant to mimic that of Rev. Al Sharpton complaining that Obama isn't black enough.
Here's a snippet:
Barack the Magic Negro lives in D.C.
The L.A. Times they called him that
'cause he's not authentic like me...
"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..."
OK, I have no jokes. I'm dying to wax poetic and test humor on you about magical Negroes, but the only images I can conjure up are Morgan Freeman, the black guy who played the sidekick on that old TV show Manimal, and Uncle Remus, the original (Your Animal Here) Whisperer.
Seriously though, I'm struggling to understand how it is that some GOP power brokers don't see the ignorance of this sort of thing. Republican Party leaders would be going nuts right now if the president-elect were a young, white man, and a candidate for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee had sent friends a CD featuring a song called George, the Magic White Man.
Don't lecture me about the song being based on an LA Times editorial. Don't lecture me about having a sense of humor. Don't lecture me about liberals saying offensive things too.
Saltsman blaming the Times editorial is like the arrested drug buyer saying it's all the dealer's fault for having a readily available supply. Even if the premise of the Times editorial was absurd - and I'm not necessarily saying it was - what was the Rev. Sharpton voice thing all about? Paul Shanklin's a satirist, a humorist. He makes fun of people in a biting way. Fine. But Chip Saltsman wants to lead a political party that hopes to some day re-take the controls of the U.S. government. People are broke. People are concerned about the color green, not skin colors. There are wars and rumors of wars. This ain't the time for jokes from people who want to help lead the country, especially the kinds of jokes that require a defense.
As for sense of humor, I have a sturdy one, measured by my ability over the years to absorb real jokes and bite my tongue in the presence of offensive crap disguised as jokes.
And, of course, liberals say offensive things too. But they're called out for it just as often as their conservative counterparts. Just look at the past 25 years of Rev. Jesse Jackson's life and consider everything from his Hymie Town slur to his stated desire on Fox to de-ball President-Elect Obama. You're only aware of Jackson's foot-in-mouth incidents over the years 'cause a mainstream media outlet brought them to you.
Some of you know me. You know that I don't believe in full-time partisanship. I believe in voting piecemeal - picking candidates on an election-by-election basis, choosing the one I feel is right on the issues of the day. So I have voted for candidates from both major parties, and also Independents. I learned a long time ago that being conservative and being liberal are not necessarily synonymous with being Republican or Democrat, respectively. Be you.
But if any of you who are diehard Republicans don't get why this Saltsman thing is a little annoying to some ethnic minorities let me leave you with this question:
Would you join a club that espoused things you believed in if the person greeting you at the door to the club took jabs at you over some racial characteristic of yours?
No, you wouldn't. And even as the other members deep inside the belly of the club called out to you to ignore the greeter...or laugh with him and come on in, you'd probably walk away and give 'em all the finger. And you'd give 'em that finger knowing that if you came back to the club same time a week later, the door would be opened by the same greeter.
Now, replace the club with political party, and you have your answer to why there aren't more black Republicans.