Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele was on gambling addict Bill Bennett's radio program today, and a caller told Steele that Barack Obama is a "magic negro." Steele laughed and said, "Well, yeah."
This is odd because, as Think Progress points out, in January Steele said that calling Obama a "magic negro" was "not representative of the party as a whole" and "reinforces a negative stereotype of the party." The "negative stereotype" in question is the perception that the RepublicnHe was talking about a song called "Barack the Magic Negro" that was produced for Rush Limbaugh's show and included on a CD that Steele's rival for the RNC chairmanship Chip Saltsman sent out as a Christmas gift.
The "magic negro" meme began with a 2007 Los Angeles Times op-ed. The caller into Bennett's show said Obama's performance at Wednesday's press conference reminded him of that piece, and Steele—who is a black man trying unsuccessfully and comically to maintain control over a party populated in large part by angry people who are not exactly sensitive to racial nuance—did not take the opportunity to repeat his earlier condemnation of the term. Instead he just nervously laughed.
Of course, it's one thing for Limbaugh or Saltsman, who is a white Tennessean, to share a laugh over calling Obama a "magic negro," and quite another thing for Steele to get in on the fun, even if it's baldly hypocritical. And who know what race the caller was. But one thing is for sure: Michael Steele hates black people.