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Magic Negro-gate: How Liberals Confused Obama With Kazaam

So the news sites I pretend to check when people walk in on me looking at porn at the local library told me something interesting about black people today: Apparently, they possess magical powers. Did you know this - that an entire segment of our population has, all this time, possessed fairy-like abilities, similar to unicorns, leprechauns, and English Schoolchildren? The headline informed of these ‘Magical Negroes’ and, more specifically, their role in damaging the career of one of the latest candidates for Chairman of the Republican National Committee. I read on, enthralled, expecting to take a fantastical journey though the dashing and thrilling tales of a ragtag young group of African-American sorcerers, and their mystical battle with the Political lord of all evil (sort of like Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo meets Harry Potter meets Frost/Nixon,) but instead suffered through about five-hundred words of mealy-mouthed bullshit and effete Politically Correct whining.

This is literally the reason Photoshop was invented.

If you haven’t heard the story by now, here’s the run-down: An LA times reporter called Barack Obama a “magic negro” in an op-ed column, inspiring a man named Paul Shanklin, who’s sort of a poor man’s Weird Al Yankovick (which is odd, because I always thought Weird Al Yankovick was the poor man’s Weird Al Yankovick,) to pen a parody song titled Barack The Magic Negro. Rush Limbaugh, being as always a jiggling bag of fat and dicks, then played it on the air and guffawed sanctimoniously while chained up Twi'lek slave-girls danced around his Carbonite-frozen Han Solo.

Any excuse for the Gold Bikini...

Then came the aforementioned RNC candidate, Chip Saltsman, who needed a way to butter up members of the committee for his pending chairmanship. However, rather than opting for the tempting flash of say, a Gold Rolex, or even the subtle refinement of the Bronze Casio Calculator Watch, instead decided to distribute CDS of “humorous” political parodies from a right wing perspective containing Barack the Magic Negro. As expected, there was a massive publicity fallout, with liberal bastions decrying the song-writer, the paper, Limbaugh, and of course Saltsman himself as racists and bigots, all. Also, as expected, the Republican Party responded with a collective “meh,” and followed it up with a dismissive shrug and a waggle of the eyebrows as if to say “what’s the big deal? After all, a little racism between friends never hurt anybody…white!

Am I right, liberals?!

Actually, no. See, this time, bleeding hearts – this time it’s you being outrageously, fantastically, magically retarded. The term “Magic Negro” is not a disrespectful epithet hurled by D&D-playing hate-mongers, it’s not racist jargon for dark-skinned illusionists, and it’s not some complimentary new slang that’s only acceptable when used by members of the group which it refers to.

“Heeeey, what’s up, my magical negro?”

No, the term “Magic Negro” is a critical theory term, referring to a popular post-modernist concept in literary fiction and films. It refers to a stock character utilized by hack writers when deus ex machina keeps getting caught up by their spell checker. The Magic Negro is typically a secondary character - usually a prisoner or servant - who through nigh-on “magical” insight, wisdom, and patience guides the white protagonist through all of his trials and tribulations, ultimately assisting him in becoming a better human being, but without ever bettering himself. Now, while I'm sure quite a few of the guys involved in this scandal are using it more like a deragotory slur than a thesis statement, that's not what it's originally supposed to mean. The term was most recently popularized by Spike Lee in a lecture at Washington State University, but it’s really been around for thousands of years. The Chinese called the concept Kun-Lun, which referred to quite literally magical black slaves that featured in hundreds of fairy tales and local legends; leaping into rivers, dodging spears, and dying epic, noble deaths just for the honor of serving their masters in some small way.

Probably nothing like this.

See, it’s not insulting somebody to call them a “Magic Negro,” unless they’re actually magical and of African-American descent, in which case just call them by their first name - don’t be a dick. It isn’t insulting a black man to infer that he’s incredibly wise or insightful (that’s one of those racial stereotypes whose flattery offsets the inherent ignorance - like how Latinos are dangerously sexy, Asians are good at math and karate, and all New Zealanders have super-strength and can fly, but only when nobody’s looking.) It’s actually just pointing out the subtle racism inherent in relegating a black man to a servant's role – even if he’s so fucking smart that it’s like a magic power.

Shanklin wasn’t digging on Obama for being so sagacious that it seems like he’s got Cliff’s Notes for life, he was digging on liberals for thinking of Obama like the world’s most powerful manservant - here to use his super-secret Economy Vision to blast away the national debt, and punch Big Oil in the gut so hard that it vomits up maintenance-free windmills. The guy is a step in the right direction, sure, but the largely white liberal-base is expecting so much of him that there very well could be blood in the streets if the end of his first term doesn't see every American employed at the golden blowjob factory with full health coverage, free mansions, and a working Hoverboard in every garage. They're viewing him very much like a Magic Negro character, here to mysteriously guide us white folks along without ever advancing himself, or suffering any kind of human fault along the way.

Now, a lot of people can be forgiven for not realizing the real meaning of the term. Literary rhetoric isn’t exactly pop-culture fodder, being shouted into the faces of blas supermodels by hip-hop moguls on MTV.

Fuck yeah, I know what deconstructionism is. Don't assume shit, bitch.

But you know who should be intimately familiar with Liberal Arts terminology?

Fucking Liberals! This is your stereotype, guys!

The chief tactic you have in appearing intelligent is the ability to spout inscrutable bullshit about pop culture, and make it sound like it’s a real thing. If you can’t rattle off a few thousand words of dense literary terminology about the emotional schism between duty and self in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, then how the hell will everybody know how much smarter you are than them? My god, you’d have to start doing math or something! And let’s face it, if you were good with numbers you probably wouldn’t be a liberal in the first place. Now, I know that it is, in fact, a stereotype – voting liberally does not necessarily equate to a Liberal Arts major – but like it or not, stereotypes are there for a reason, and somebody should be setting the record straight on this one. Not all Republicans are shit-kickin’ cowboys, but if rush Limbaugh couldn’t tell the difference between Toby Keith and Tim McGraw, you can bet somebody would be calling him out on it. Just like not all Asians are arithmetic-prone martial artists, but if Jackie Chan suddenly couldn’t tell the difference between addition and a jump-kick, you know the Asian jokes would start flying.

“Hey, Jackie. What’s three-hundred and seventeen plus two-hundred and si- WHOA, HEY! WHAT THE FUCK, MAN?!”

So when bleeding heart-liberals can’t tell the difference between racial epithets and literary terminology, they deserve all the scorn they can get. But that’s not to say my heart doesn’t go out to them. I want to help you, my puppy-kissing, money-wasting, Sedaris-reading friends. So, in order to prevent future cultural faux pas’ like this one, let’s do a quick rundown, shall we? Here is a list of famous black characters. Can you tell which are actually magical, and which are Magic Negroes?

It's trickier than you might think!

Answer: Magic Negro

Answer: Actually Magic

Answer: Magic Negro

Answer: Actually Magic

Answer: Magic Negro

Answer: Both

Answer: Just Crazy

Answer: Not Black

Answer: Actually Magic


You can read more from Robert at his own site, I Fight Robots, or you can just burn him in effigy. But before you do that, you should know that he wears glasses. Accuracy is very important in effigies.

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