Here’s the good news, Democratic Americans: Madonna has joined the ranks of George Clooney, Will Smith, Demi Moore, Julia Roberts and scores of other celebs in endorsing Barack Obama for reelection. The bad news: She called him a “black Muslim.”
During a concert at the Verizon Centre in Washington, the aging pop star announced to a crowd of thousands: “It’s so amazing and incredible to think that we have an African-American in the White House … So y’all better vote for fucking Obama, OK? For better or for worse, all right, we have a black Muslim in the White House, OK? Now that is some shit. That’s some amazing shit. It means there is hope in this country. And Obama is fighting for gay rights, OK? So support the man, goddammit!”
Madonna was quickly called out on her mistake—Obama is well-known for his Christianity—and released the following statement:
“I was being ironic on stage. Yes, I know Obama is not a Muslim – though I know that plenty of people in this country think he is. And what if he were? The point I was making is that a good man is a good man, no matter who he prays to. I don’t care what religion Obama is—nor should anyone else in America,” she said.
Ironic? Seems doubtful, Madge. (Especially since I’m pretty sure she’s referring to sarcasm and not irony.)
For a notorious button-pusher the Madonna, the straight-faced comment comes across less like a political statement and more like a desperate plea for attention during her boo-inducing current tour. For a woman whose career has included burning crosses, a sex book, making out with Britney Spears on stage and an assortment of other controversial acts, this “ironic” statement feels like just another stunt.
She’s not alone. Recently, rapper Nicki Minaj accidentally endorsed Mitt Romney when she sang, “I’m a Republican voting for Mitt Romney. You lazy bitches is fucking up the economy.” Minaj later claimed that it was a joke and tweeted love and support to Obama.
What makes Madonna’s comment more notable, though, is the relationship it has to a greater problem within this election cycle. Already riddled with lies and miscommuncation, Obama struggles to make many ill-informed, right-wing voters see the truth about not only his religion, but his ethnicity, his nationality and his views on how to govern our nation.
While Madonna may have been making a joke, she was also contributing to the struggle between left and right ideology. Politics is a minefield. Connecting the words “Muslim” and “Obama” in the same phrase is detrimental to the campaign, giving Birthers and Tea Partiers a renewed battle cry.
And there’s no good news about that.