Saturday, December 27, 2008

Barack the Magic Negro

Dear RNC Chairman Candidate Chip Saltsman,

"Satire" and "offensive" are not mutally exclusive categories.

I know you thought you all were being clever when you sent out a CD that contained a "Puff the Magic Dragon" parody called "Barack the Magic Negro". It would have been cleverer if the members of your party had a little more cred addressing racism, or not being horrible bigots generally (see Sarah Palin rallies, fall '08). Just sayin'.

Maybe you did mean it "satirically". Maybe the song wasn't meant to offend anyone, be disrespectful, or ignore the actual experiences of people of color in our country. I'm willing to work under that assumption.

But the point is, Chip, you don't get to decide whether something is hurtful. It might be funny, and in jest, but that doesn't rob it of its power to be damaging. When someone explains to you that they were hurt, sometimes you just need to humble yourself a little and apologize.

Happy Holidays,
Jill

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