There’s a simple way to measure whether some criticism “out there in reality land” has hit its mark. That’s when Fox “News” spends any amount of air time trying to knock it down. Recently Randy Newman released a song which is a scathing attack on White racists who are hating on President Obama. Take a listen:
Newman explained the song in an interview with Slate:
Slate: You’ve said that one thing that inspired you to write this song is the thought that, “there are a lot of people who don’t want a black person in the White House and they want him out.” To put it bluntly, how do you know?
Newman: Well, I don’t know, partly because no one, and I mean no one, would admit feeling that way. Still, it’s clear that there are lots of people out there who are uncomfortable. The Civil War was a long time ago but there are aspects of it that remain unsettled, I think. Early on in Obama’s term, there was heat generated by issues that you wouldn’t think would cause such passion. Even the term “Obamacare,” the way it’s spit out, like he was some kind of witch doctor. Maybe I’m overly sensitive to the issue, but I don’t think so. There’s an edge to things that normally wouldn’t have an edge. I thought it was a little extra.
However, Newman’s song clearly irked Bill “Loofah Lad” O’Reilly. So, who does he turn to in order to denigrate Newman? None other than Bernard McGuirk and Greg “Short People” Gutfeld, both of whom have been known to make stupid and incendiary statements without any prodding from The Falafel King. Watch how funny these Three Stooges think they are:
This is not the first time Randy Newman has delved into the issue of race for a song. Long before he became well-known for his tunes for Disney movies he recorded “Sail Away,” a song that posits what the first slave traders might have said to those who they dragged to ‘Merka in chains. It managed to go under the radar.
A song that didn’t manage to go under the radar was Rednecks, which caused quite a stir when it was released. No one accused Randy Newman of being the song’s narrator, like Bill “Falafel King” O’Reilly’s guests accused Randy Newman of being racist himself.
Randy Newman has written many songs about politics that are not strictly about race either. To my mind his best has always been “Political Science,” which was described in the Slate interview as “a pinhead’s view of China.”