Writer defends Obama 'Magic Negro' song

Dec. 29, 2008 at 3:11 PM
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MEMPHIS, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- The writer of a controversial song called "Barack the Magic Negro" says critics targeting a Republican Party leader for distributing the parody are misguided.

Paul Shanklin, a Memphis, Tenn., political satirist and contributor to Rush Limbaugh's conservative talk radio show, is defending the song as a parody and says Republican National Committee chairman candidate Chip Saltsman did nothing wrong in sending it to GOP colleagues, The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal reported Monday.

"They are trying to paint Chip as some kind of racist -- which he's not," Shanklin told the newspaper. "Whether he should have sent it out, I'll let history decide. Is it provocative? Well, most political satire is. What I do for a living is major league provocative."

Saltsman has drawn fire from some GOP leaders for including the song in materials sent out to promote his bid for the party's chairmanship.

The Commercial Appeal said that in the 2007 song, Shanklin poses as the Rev. Al Sharpton. One refrain of the song, sung to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon," goes: "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."

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