Magic Negroes and Race Flow Charts

Originally posted in July of 2010

Updated with the Opie Sirius Show in November 2014

Updated Today, February 2017

While much of it deals with comedy and race… the underlying this is once special rights are created for “classes of people” rather than ALL people… you start to get adoption agencies shut down, business owners forced out of business by government, and countering groups fighting each other in society and in court.

The Blaze notes that “when Behar claimed that Limbaugh refers to President Barack Obama as the ‘magic negro,’ Norton still pushed back. The phrase made its way to Limbaugh’s radio show in the form of satirical song written by political satirist Paul Shanklin.

The song came after Los Angeles Times critic David Ehrenstein first linked Obama to the magic negro, a ‘figure of postmodern folk culture’ who serves to ease racial tensions.” There seems to be a lot of piling on Rush Limbaugh for a parody song, Barack the Magic Negro, based off of a black writers L.A. Times article (he is pictured below, hint – he is not the Asian guy).

I figure these people do not allow satire unless by John Stewart or SNL? Parody songs have been on Rush’s show for years, while I typically do not listen to him (Dennis Prager is on at the same time), I have caught a few songs here-and-there. The only reason I wish to deal with this now is I keep seeing it pop-up as a dig against Rush as a racist (implied either implicitly or explicitly) when the author of the idea — a black man — is not mentioned at all. It seems odd to me. So here is part of that L.A. Times article, followed by some Wikipedia info:

Obama the ‘Magic Negro’: The Illinois senator lends himself to white America’s idealized, less-than-real black man

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.

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 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.

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….

…(read more at the L.A. Times by David Ehrenstein)…

In this article, Ehrenstein references a Wiki article on the subject. I wonder where the outrage is for others mentioned at this site? Or does the term mean something different:

….African-American filmmaker Spike Lee popularized the term, deriding the archetype of the “super-duper magical negro” in 2001 while discussing films with students at Washington State University and at Yale University.

The magical negro is a subset of the more generic numinous negro, a term coined by Richard Brookhiser in National Review. The latter term refers to saintly, respected or heroic black protagonists or mentors….

Another L.A. Times article, Redefining “black”,  mentions that maybe Barack Obama is not black enough. (NewsBusters wrote on this.) In this article the relationship between immigrants from Africa and the Americanized black culture is highlighted. They talk of the following issues: “Among African Americans, discussions about his racial identity typically vacillate between the ideologically charged options of ‘black’ versus ‘not black enough’ or between ‘black’ and ‘black, but not like us’.”


When special categories are created, law ceases being equal

This was discussed on the Colbert Report, in which the guest was very serious about this, to which Colbert had a field day with…

Debra Dickerson

Of course there are other great skits worth mentioning based on this as well:

Mixed Race Flow Chart

Obama’s “Blackness” Scale

All these parodies tap into this “in-house-discussion” (in the Black Community), as well as the historical “Magic Negro” concept that has its essence in a hero aspect of the black man.

~ context, context, context ~


I suggest to the more serious reader one of my favorite authors and intellectuals, Thomas Sowell and his book, Black Rednecks and White Liberals. (Thomas Sowell happens to be a “Magic Negro” to me, a hero to emulate my intellectual life after.) A great read in understanding this topic in a scholarly way. If you do not want to purchase the book, order it at Barnes and Noble (if it isn’t in stock) and read the first chapter, “Black Rednecks and White Liberals,” in the store and do not purchase it (you are allowed to view books before purchasing them). Another great book is White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era, by Shelby Steele.

To conclude, here is political correctness and the “offended generation” at its best, and then warping it to use against whom they dislike (Sarah Silverstein — whom I dislike but think free speech is key to our country as well as comedy):

More about the Political Correctness chill on comedy from REASON:

Can We Take a Joke, a feature-length documentary about stand-up comedy, “outrage culture,” and censorship is now available for digital download on iTunes, Google Play, and on-demand through most major cable providers. The film was directed by former Reason TV producer Ted Balaker and co-produced and co-written by yours truly.

The reviews already have begun to roll in, with the LA Times saying that “Can We Take a Joke? poses a valid question at a juncture when freedom of speech is a hot topic,” and The Hollywood Reporter writes that the film delivers “sobering commentary” and “strongly makes the case that we’ve all got to get over ourselves.”

The movie features several stand-up comedians who’ve had unpleasant encounters with the online outrage mob, including Adam Carolla, Lisa Lampanelli, Jim Norton, and Gilbert Gottfried, who famously lost his job as the voice of the AFLAC duck after he sparked outrage on social media after making Twitter jokes about the 2011 Japanese tsunami.

“When people are outraged, they’re also patting themselves on the back,” says Gottfried. “Like, ‘Hey, I’m a good person. I was outraged.'”

Everyone, of course, has the legal right to be offended and the right to demand the firing of comedians for telling jokes. The First Amendment only protects against the government censorship of ideas, not corporate or mob censorship. But the film argues that the very idea of “free speech” requires more than simply government protection of the press.

“The First Amendment, although it’s necessary, it’s not sufficient. It has to rest on a social foundation of First Amendment values,” says Jonathan Rauch, scholar at the Brookings Institute and author the book Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought. “Once you get into the business of saying you are going to prohibit things you find offensive or wrongheaded, that’s where the most sensitive person in society gets to determine what all the rest of us can hear.”…

Thin-Skinned Over the Redskins ~ Warnings of Government Overreach

I am going to start this post with a very STRONGLY WORDED rant on the asinine political correctness found on the professional Left. Again, language warning, but you should be just as flabbergasted as these men (via The Blaze):

Jonathan Turley (via The Washington Post) gets into the mix in his now patented warning from the left about the excesses of government size, growth, and overreach. Some of which I have noted in the past here. But here is the column from which Dennis Prager touches on, and Goldberg’s will follow:

…It didn’t matter to the patent office that polls show substantial majorities of the public and the Native American community do not find the name offensive. A 2004 Annenberg Public Policy Center poll found that 90 percent of Native Americans said the name didn’t bother them. Instead, the board focused on a 1993 resolution adopted by the National Congress of American Indians denouncing the name. The board simply extrapolated that, since the National Congress represented about 30 percent of Native Americans, one out of every three Native Americans found it offensive. “Thirty percent is without doubt a substantial composite,” the board wrote.

Politicians rejoiced in the government intervention, which had an immediate symbolic impact. As Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said Wednesday: “You want to ignore millions of Native Americans? Well, it’s pretty hard to say the federal government doesn’t know what they’re talking about when they say it’s disparaging.”

For the Washington Redskins, there may be years of appeals, and pending a final decision, the trademarks will remain enforceable. But if the ruling stands, it will threaten billions of dollars in merchandizing and sponsorship profits for NFL teams, which share revenue. Redskins owner Dan Snyder would have to yield or slowly succumb to death by a thousand infringement paper cuts.

The patent office opinion also seems to leave the future of trademarks largely dependent on whether groups file challenges. Currently trademarked slogans such as “Uppity Negro” and “You Can’t Make A Housewife Out Of A Whore” could lose their protections, despite the social and political meaning they hold for their creators. We could see organizations struggle to recast themselves so they are less likely to attract the ire of litigious groups — the way Carthage College changed its sports teams’ nickname from Redmen to Red Men and the California State University at Stanislaus Warriors dropped their Native American mascot and logo in favor of the Roman warrior Titus. It appears Fighting Romans are not offensive, but Fighting Sioux are.

As federal agencies have grown in size and scope, they have increasingly viewed their regulatory functions as powers to reward or punish citizens and groups. The Internal Revenue Service offers another good example. Like the patent office, it was created for a relatively narrow function: tax collection. Yet the agency also determines which groups don’t have to pay taxes. Historically, the IRS adopted a neutral rule that avoided not-for-profit determinations based on the content of organizations’ beliefs and practices. Then, in 1970, came the Bob Jones University case. The IRS withdrew the tax-exempt status from the religious institution because of its rule against interracial dating on campus. The Supreme Court affirmed in 1983 that the IRS could yank tax exemption whenever it decided that an organization is behaving “contrary to established public policy” — whatever that public policy may be. Bob Jones had to choose between financial ruin and conforming its religious practices. It did the latter.

There is an obvious problem when the sanctioning of free exercise of religion or speech becomes a matter of discretionary agency action. And it goes beyond trademarks and taxes. Consider the Federal Election Commission’s claim of authority to sit in judgment of whether a film is a prohibited “electioneering communication.” While the anti-George W. Bush film “Fahrenheit 9/11” was not treated as such in 2004, the anti-Clinton “Hillary: The Movie” was barred by the FEC in 2008. The agency appeared Caesar-like in its approval and disapproval — authority that was curtailed in 2010 by the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United.

Even water has become a vehicle for federal agency overreach. Recently, the Obama administration took punitive agency action against Washington state and Colorado for legalizing marijuana possession and sales. While the administration said it would not enforce criminal drug laws against marijuana growers — gaining points among the increasing number of citizens who support legalization and the right of states to pass such laws — it used a little-known agency, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, to cut off water to those farms. The Bureau of Reclamation was created as a neutral supplier of water and a manager of water projects out West, not an agency that would open or close a valve to punish noncompliant states….

…read it all…

Here is the article from The National Review — in part — that has Jonah Goldberg likewise raising alarm about the bureaucracy that Turley speaks to in the above article.

…Now, I don’t believe we are becoming anything like 1930s Russia, never mind a real-life 1984. But this idea that bureaucrats — very broadly defined — can become their own class bent on protecting their interests at the expense of the public seems not only plausible but obviously true.

The evidence is everywhere. Every day it seems there’s another story about teachers’ unions using their stranglehold on public schools to reward themselves at the expense of children. School-choice programs and even public charter schools are under vicious attack, not because they are bad at educating children but because they’re good at it. Specifically, they are good at it because they don’t have to abide by rules aimed at protecting government workers at the expense of students.

The Veterans Affairs scandal can be boiled down to the fact that VA employees are the agency’s most important constituency. The Phoenix VA health-care system created secret waiting lists where patients languished and even died, while the administrator paid out almost $10 million in bonuses to VA employees over the last three years.

Working for the federal government simply isn’t like working for the private sector. Government employees are essentially unfireable. In the private sector, people lose their jobs for incompetence, redundancy, or obsolescence all the time. In government, these concepts are virtually meaningless. From a 2011 USA Today article: “Death — rather than poor performance, misconduct or layoffs — is the primary threat to job security at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Management and Budget and a dozen other federal operations.”

In 2010, the 168,000 federal workers in Washington, D.C. — who are quite well compensated — had a job-security rate of 99.74 percent. A HUD spokesman told USA Today that “his department’s low dismissal rate — providing a 99.85 percent job security rate for employees — shows a skilled and committed workforce.”

Uh huh.

Obviously, economic self-interest isn’t the only motivation. Bureaucrats no doubt sincerely believe that government is a wonderful thing and that it should be empowered to do ever more wonderful things. No doubt that is why the EPA has taken it upon itself to rewrite American energy policy without so much as a “by your leave” to Congress.

The Democratic party today is, quite simply, the party of government and the natural home of the managerial class. It is no accident, as the Marxists say, that the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents the IRS, gave 94 percent of its political donations during the 2012 election cycle to Democratic candidates openly at war with the Tea Party — the same group singled out by Lois Lerner. The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents the VA, gave 97 percent of its donations to Democrats at the national level and 100 percent to Democrats at the state level…

…read it all…

“You Have Become What You Hated” ~ Opie & Anthony on the Left

(CAUTION: Strong Language)

Via The Blaze:

Radio hosts Gregg “Opie” Hughes, Anthony Cumia and comedian Jim Norton, of the popular “Opie and Anthony Show” on SiriusXM, went on a fiery tirade Tuesday against “trigger warnings” and the current culture on college campuses, which they argue is producing childish adults unprepared to deal with the “real world.”

Norton also scolded the progressive left for becoming “exactly what you hated.”

“You have become exactly [like] the conservative, religious book burners of the 40s and the 50s and the 60s. You are it!” he said. “You are the speech repressors, you are the hypersensitive ones, you are the ones who want people fired immediately, you are the ones calling for people’s jobs. You have become what you hated.”

The discussion that preluded his rant got heated after Norton brought up a recent story out of Wellesley College where “hundreds” of outrage college students objected after a lifelike sculpture of a sleepwalking man in his underwearwas erected on campus. Students ended up creating a petition to have it removed.

“Oh my god,” Hughes responded. “We are raising a nation of pu***es, we’ve been saying it for years.”

…read more…