Sherri Shepherd Mistakenly Attributes 'Magic Negro' to Rush Limbaugh

During a discussion of Rep. Doug Lamborn's use of the term "tar baby," The View's Sherri Shepherd misrepresented conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh by accusing him of racism for use of the phrase "Barack the Magic Negro." "You're calling President Obama, Rush Limbaugh - Barack Obama, the magic negro. I mean it's all these little things that I go, wait a minute, I'm tired of giving people a pass going, and then they do an apology and say I didn't know," said Shepherd.


Fellow panelist Joy Behar was also mistaken as to the origin of the term Limbaugh used. "Limbaugh never backed off. Limbaugh never backed off though, it's not like he apologizes for that," said Behar. Shepherd and Behar both appear to be unaware that "Barack the Magic Negro" originated not with Rush Limbaugh and Paul Shanklin, but with David Ehrenstein, an African-American columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

The parody song Limbaugh aired is a direct reference to the relevant column.

What started as a discussion of the term "tar baby" became a conversation on perceptions of racism.

Co-host Whoopi Goldberg explicitly criticized the Family Leader marriage vow signed by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.).

"I have to say it's just one of those things where it's another questionable thing. Because it's been happening a lot. It's been happening a lot. People signing pledges, you know, with pieces of information in it that say black people were better off under slavery because they were two-parent households," said Goldberg.

A reading of the pledge would reveal that nowhere in the relevant passage does the pledge say that slavery was beneficial. Regardless of the veracity of the claims the pledge makes, it does not say that slaves were better off than modern black Americans.

Joy Behar, whose career as a comedian depends upon freedom of expression, offered a puzzling solution. "They really shouldn't have license to say things like that. They should not," said Behar.

A transcript follows.



ABC
"The View"
08/03/2011

11:18 a.m. Eastern

SHERRI SHEPHERD: You're doing things to President Obama - you're calling President Obama, Rush Limbaugh - Barack Obama, the magic negro. I mean it's all these little things that I go, wait a minute, I'm tired of giving people a pass going, and then they do an apology and say I didn't know. I've never heard a purist call Nixon, Clinton, Bush, Reagan,a tar baby. I don't care. They never use that term to say we want to extricate ourselves -.

JOY BEHAR: Limbaugh never backed off. Limbaugh never backed off though, it's not like he apologizes for that.

SHEPHERD: But I'm saying - he didn't apologize. But everybody's using these things for Barack Obama and I say, I think you know exactly what you're saying and it's so much in your heart, the racism, you can't even help it. It freaking comes out before You- "tar baby- oh, shoot, I didn't say it."

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: I have to say it's just one of those things where it's another questionable thing. Because it's been happening a lot. It's been happening a lot. People signing pledges, you know, with pieces of information in it that say black people were better off under slavery because they were two-parent households. And then suddenly it's taken out. So you kind of go, "what is all of this?" And so we just put it out there to say, you know, maybe you should be a little more thoughtful. And it's not new. It's just people are just now saying it out loud what they -

BEHAR: They really shouldn't have license to say things like that. They should not.