ABC News’ Jake Tapper Reports: Senator Barack Obama made light of a parody played on national radio that was aimed at him, saying "I don’t mind folks poking fun at me, that’s part of the job." He was asked about the song, "Barack the Magic Negro" during an interview on WJR Radio on Wednesday. The song had been broadcast on Rush Limbaugh’s nationally syndicated radio show.
"What Rush does is entertainment, and although it’s probably not something that I listen to much . . . I don’t mind folks poking fun at me, that’s part of the job."
The song is based on a term coined in an Los Angeles Times opinion piece by David Ehrenstein. In that article, Ehrenstein says "Obama also is running for an equally important unelected office, in the province of the popular imagination — the ‘Magic Negro’. . . . "He’s there to assuage white "guilt", a role previously embodied by such noted performers as Sidney Poitier, Morgan Freeman, Scatman Crothers, Michael Clarke Duncan, Will Smith and, most recently, Don Cheadle."
Obama, who has heard of the song, said he never listened to it and seemed to take it in stride. “I’m not one of these people who, who takes myself so seriously that I get offended by — by every — every comment made about me."
The song sung to the tune of "Puff The Magic Dragon" is performed by comedian Paul Shanklin in the voice of Al Sharpton. It includes these lyrics:
"Oh, Barack the Magic Negro, lives in D.C.
The L.A. Times, they called him that
Cause he’s black, but not authentically."
When informed of Obama’s response, Limbaugh called it "A classy way to deal with it," during his show on Wednesday. “Blow it off. Laugh it off. ‘No big deal.’"
The original David Ehrenstein Los Angeles Times article can be found here.