Rush Limbaugh and “Barack, The Magic Negro”

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

By now you’ve probably heard about Rush Limbaugh’s “Barack, The Magic Negro” song. If not, you can view the video here and read the background on Media Matters.

My take on it? Limbaugh probably wanted an excuse to say “Negro.” As Media Matters points out, “Limbaugh continued to refer to Obama as the “Magic Negro” throughout the broadcast — 27 times, to be exact.” It was like someone handed him a free pass and he went buckwild.

Jill Tubman from Jack and Jill Politics broke it down thus:

This video manages to attack both Al Sharpton and Barack Obama at the same time — a real feat. It also seeks to portray Obama as a DC insider and “not authentically black”. Al Sharpton is portrayed as a greedy opportunist shouting incoherently through a megaphone. Most insulting is the “dialect” accent the Sharpton cariacature is given. Plenty of dem, dese and dose. Charming.

Media Matters does a great job in covering the Rush Limbaugh angle of the story. Like Don Imus, Limbaugh is racist for a living. The question is whether we’re all still ok with that here in America on our public airwaves or if it’s time to expose his lies and hatred and give him the boot.

Laina Dawes wants to know if anyone will call for Limbaugh to be fired?

In Imus’s case, general stereotypes about the black community were used to deflect his actions, as far too many people somehow felt that the actions of all African Americans were the root cause behind Imus’s usage of words. Freedom of speech and the perceived constraints of political correctness were debated. Is now the time to take a firm stand against all media figures who espouse racial ideology to incite the public, or will Imus take the fall for them? Is the firing of one radio host enough to quell the actions of others? In Limbaugh’s case, he accuses the “left” of creating the term “magic negro,” claiming that Sen. Ted Kennedy first used the term, therefore insinuating that “the left” are just, if not more racist than him…

About This Blog

Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

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