David Ehrenstein has written an amazingly offensive editorial, in which he charges Senator Barack Obama is popular with voters due to white racism and fear of blacks; he depicts Obama as projecting a sort of Uncle Tom-like personality, replacing the term "Uncle Tom" with "Magic Negro."
Ehrenstein: "...it's clear that Obama also is running for an equally important unelected office, in the province of the popular imagination — the 'Magic Negro.'"
"He's there to assuage white 'guilt'...over the role of slavery and racial segregation in American history, while replacing stereotypes of a dangerous, highly sexualized black man with a benign figure for whom interracial sexual congress holds no interest."
Ehrenstein says that "most white Americans...desire...a noble, healing Negro" and continues "as with all Magic Negroes, the less real he seems, the more desirable he becomes. If he were real, white America couldn't project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on him."
In writing such drivel Ehrenstein reveals himself as the true racist. He is unable to see blacks as individuals capable of achievement on their own terms, while at the same time he portrays whites as a monolithic entity who only engage in groupthink; he believes whites are incapable of being colorblind and only view blacks as groups or "types."
You've got to wonder how writing like this makes it into the L.A. Times in the 21st Century. Unfortunately this says more about the paper than it does about the modern state of race relations.
Tuesday Update: More commentary on this editorial from Captain Ed and Holy Coast.