Another setback for GOP minority outreach

ANOTHER SETBACK FOR GOP MINORITY OUTREACH…. About a month ago, Sophia Nelson, a former congressional staffer and a black Republican, had an op-ed piece lamenting the fact that her party seems wholly disinterested in minority outreach.

Since then, two of leading candidates to lead the Republican National Committee have helped prove Nelson’s point.

Last month, we learned that Katon Dawson, a leading candidate for the chairmanship of the RNC, has been a longtime member of a whites-only country club in South Carolina. This month, Chip Saltsman, the former campaign manager for Mike Huckabee, embarrassed himself in a far more obvious way.

RNC candidate Chip Saltsman’s Christmas greeting to committee members includes a music CD with lyrics from a song called “Barack the Magic Negro,” first played on Rush Limbaugh’s popular radio show. […]

The CD, called “We Hate the USA,” lampoons liberals with such songs as “John Edwards’ Poverty Tour,” “Wright place, wrong pastor,” “Love Client #9,” “Ivory and Ebony” and “The Star Spanglish banner.” Several of the track titles, including “Barack the Magic Negro,” are written in bold font.

Apparently, in April, conservative satirist Paul Shanklin introduced the song on Limbaugh’s far-right show, featuring Shanklin’s impression of Al Sharpton, and singing to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon.”

“See, real black men, like Snoop Dog, or me, or Farrakhan, have talked the talk, and walked the walk, not come in late and won,” one verse in the song says.

Saltsman defended his gift to RNC members, noting that he’s a longtime friend of Shanklin and his songs for Limbaugh’s program are meant to be “light-hearted political parodies.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates added, “There’s also a tune called ‘The Star Spanglish Banner.’ Get it? Negroes!! Spanglish!! No?? Clearly your too PC. Seriously, where do people get this idea that the GOP is racist? It really is one of the great mysteries of our time. Oh well. Saltsman’s got my vote. Even if he believes I shouldn’t have one. He’s still got it.”

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation