RNC Hopeful Saltsman in Hot Water Over "Magic Negro" Lyric 

Former Memphian Chip Saltsman, an active candidate to become Republican National Chairman and a close friend of Memphis businessman/impressionist Paul Shanklin, may have jeopardized his chairmanship bid after sending Rupublican National Committee members a Christmas gift CD mix consisting of selections from Shanklin's latest commercial CD, We Hate the U.S.A., which contains a series of broadly burlesqued attacks upon assorted Democrats.

One of those selections, "Barack the Magic Negro," purports to be a lyric sung by African-American activist Al Sharpton, playing off a newspaper column by that title written by L.A. Times writer David Ehrenstein and set to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon."

The song achieved notoriety when first played in 2007 on the Rush Limbaugh syndicated radio show and was defended by Shanklin and Limbaugh as a piece of legitimate satire.

Shanklin insisted that the true target of his humor was the mixture of liberal guilt and hero worship of Obama that he thought was exemplified in the Ehrenstein column. That view was not widely shared by numerous critics, on the political left and elsewhere, who thought the "Magic Negro" lyric was blatantly exploiting past racial stereotypes, whatever else might be going on in it.

Saltsman also defended the song's value as commentary. "I think most people recognize political satire when they see it," he told CNN when a storm broke this weekend over his inclusion of it on his widely distributed Christmas-gift CD.

Shanklin and Saltsman, now of Nashville, developed a friendly relationship back in the '90s when Saltsman was a student at Christian Brothers University and both were active in the Shelby County Young Republicans and in other GOP organizations. They were also both involved in the 2008 presidential campaign of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, whom Saltsman served as campaign manager.

Saltsman, whose father Bruce Saltsman was an adviser to former Governor Don Sundquist and was a member of his cabinet, has also served a stint as state Republican chairman.

"Barack the Magic Negro" lyrics

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 makes guilty whites feel good

They'll vote for him, and not for me

'Cause he's not from the hood.

See, real black men, like Snoop Dog,

Or me, or Farrakhan

Have talked the talk, and walked the walk.

Not come in late and won!

[refrain] Oh, Barack the Magic Negro, lives in D.C.

The L.A. Times, they called him that

'Cause he's black, but not authentically.

Oh, Barack the Magic Negro, lives in D.C.

The L.A. Times, they called him that

'Cause he's black, but not authentically.

Some say Barack's "articulate"

And bright and new and "clean."

The media sure loves this guy,

A white interloper's dream!

But, when you vote for president,

Watch out, and don't be fooled!

Don't vote the Magic Negro in --

'Cause -- 'cause I won't have nothing after all these years of sacrifice

And I won't get justice. This is about justice. This isn't about me, it's about justice.

It's about buffet. I don't have no buffet and there won't be any church contributions,

And there'll be no cash in the collection plate.

There ain't gonna be no cash money, no walkin' around money, no phoning money.

Now, Barack going to come in here and --

If the audio link in the title above does not play, here is a link to a YouTube video of the song, with video supplied not by Shanklin but by an unidentified person (affiliated with "Jesters Domain" )who posted it.

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