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March 19, 2007

Barack Obama, The Magic Negro

I'm going to claim credit for this development, given that the writer of this piece was an old Fray opponent of mine (and a bit of an asshole) and surely could not have come up with this thesis without my yeomanlike popularization of the term.

Well, maybe he could. He lives and breathes identity politics, after all.

I do think there's something to the idea of Obama's appeal partly grounded in whites' subconscious belief, caused by watching too many Hollywood movies, that if they just elect an nice, avuncular black man like Obama, he'll step out of the shadows to "help us get our swing back" and maybe even help us through prison.

Although I do question the constant criticism of the "Magical Negro" by lefties based on the archetype being "unthreatening." When did it become "authentically black" to seem threatening and menacing? Are the people we like and consider heroes usually "threatening"? True, rap guys are, as well as some black athletes; but is that a good thing? In any other race or culture, is the capacity to menace and threatened championed as a virtue above most others?

Anyway, Hot Air has some excerpts from the article.


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posted by Ace at 02:32 PM

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