Obama, The "Magical Negro" and Personality Cults
Last week I made a mock Mitt Romney campaign poster substituting him for Mao. I did it mainly because Mitt’s statement that our most important civil liberty is to be kept alive, just the sort of justification one hears from autocratic nations, particularly in the whole “Asian Values” debate of the nineties. But as far as personality cults go, Romney ain’t got nuthin’ on Obama. Don’t get me wrong; I like Obama. But just look at this cover image from Salon.com, where Gary Kamiya writes of Obama’s Double Magic. My poster was meant as a joke, though to make a point. This is apparently in earnest. It’s doubly ironic, considering Spike Lee’s term for the healing nice black man, the “super-duper magical negro” (A term Rush Limbaugh then gleefully used for a song), and that such imagery is precisely the sort of thing we find so abhorrent and mindless about the propaganda of Kim Jong Il, Mao and others.
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