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(ABC News)   Omgwtfbbq111. McCain uses the term "tar-baby", immediately apologizes   ( divider line
    More: Dumbass  
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22943 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Mar 2007 at 9:23 PM (10 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

353 Comments     (+0 »)

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2007-03-17 12:06:14 AM  
I collect racist stuff simply because everyone thinks it's ugly or evil. Does this mean I have to collect a John McCain because based on the size of the guys cheeks I'm not sure I can afford to feed him.

/doesn't think it was racist comment
//I might still collect John McCain for one of my other collections though.
2007-03-17 12:07:33 AM  

2007-03-16 11:33:54 PM Nanookanano
2007-03-17 12:08:05 AM  
I would think that racial slurs transcend state borders a little better than pet names for Tab.
2007-03-17 12:09:28 AM  
It was obvious.

But not to:

2007-03-16 11:50:26 PM d_the_sandman
2007-03-17 12:09:48 AM  

The fault comes in when GROWN ASS ADULTS go onto an internet forum, and pretend that they have never heard tar-baby used as a racial slur.

Sorry, you don't get to decide what people have and haven't heard. Let me be blunt-- I have never, not once in my life, heard the term "tar baby" used as a racist expression of any kind whatsoever. Deal with it. I'm not sheltered, I didn't grow up in the backwoods. You're just wrong in your perception.
2007-03-17 12:12:22 AM  
John McCain doesn't care about black people.
2007-03-17 12:12:43 AM  
I would think that racial slurs transcend state borders a little better than pet names for Tab.

I'm sure they do, but that doesn't make each and every one ubiquitous.

Do you know "sped"? (slur for retarded people... 5cents if you can guess the origins)
What about "hick"? (that one used to be more of a northwest territory slur about people from south indiana, s. ohio, kentucky.)

I can remember people moving into the area from other parts [near a USAFB] and them not knowing these words.
2007-03-17 12:13:06 AM  
Updike was a great wordsmith, but a real asshole.
I never liked his stuff.
2007-03-17 12:13:52 AM  
treeslothSorry, you don't get to decide what people have and haven't heard... blah...You're just wrong in your perception.

Slightly hypocritical, wouldn't you say?
2007-03-17 12:13:53 AM  
Cryokenetic: John McCain doesn't care about black people.

But... I thought he had a black baby that was born out of wedlock...
2007-03-17 12:14:40 AM  
@ Nanookanano

Fiar enough. I missed your post, but I was under the impression that the N-word had other meanings before it was used solely towards the black race.

Either way, it doesn't change my point. Just exchange it for any word that started as a non-racial term, and became one later in history.
2007-03-17 12:14:41 AM  
tar baby
2007-03-17 12:15:20 AM  
stebain: Do you know "sped"? (slur for retarded people... 5cents if you can guess the origins)

Special Ed. (also my wife's nickname for me)

/ or reetee
2007-03-17 12:15:24 AM  
Ever seen "Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips"?

Not for many moons. My grandparents and parents had a large collection of some of the original Disney and Warner Bro. animated shorts. Re-watching them as an adult, well, some of the stuff I missed growing up was pretty damn funny, but then there were those other parts. However, I'm grown up enough to understand the society in which those videos were made...

/I've actually seen Song of the South - not for a long time, though - my grandfather's copy died when I was a kid
2007-03-17 12:17:04 AM  
I sit back in wonder some days...

I understand if someone throws out a racial or ethnic slur with the intent to hurt...

but I just can't get my mind around the PC-angst that people react with when a oft-used and well-defined term - used in its' proper context - makes people wail and moan and call for retractions and sensitivity training and the lighting of the fires of indignity.

From the context of the statement, I understood exactly what McCain meant. But that's exactly the problem - I understood it... I'm sure that millions of other people did as well. But because the term has taken on an alternate and more sinister meaning because of its' use an an epithet, the whole situation takes on a life of its' own.

That's not McCain's fault... nor is it mine for understanding what he meant by the expression... so where do you look to?

Some people call themselves Jews - and they use the term to represent their religion or their ethnicity or both... but to other people, the word has darker and more sinister connotations. Read any transcript from the current president of Iran - or the spokesman of Hamas - and you can feel the venom and the loathing that's implicit in the word. Germany in the 20s and 30s - Russia during the pogroms - the word can be a mark of pride as well as a badge of shame... all depending on context and intent.

Take McCain's quote directly from the article.

"For me to stand here and ... say I'm going to declare divorces invalid because of someone who feels they weren't treated fairly in court, we are getting into a tar baby of enormous proportions and I don't know how you get out of that."

Now... can anyone with the most rudimentary understanding of American English honestly think that what he was trying to say was that "we're getting into a (racial slur for an) African-American of enormous proportions - etc"?

Especially when you read to the end of the entire comment?

Let's be serious here. We're going a little too far in this rush to judge and to apologize and to revise - when what we should be doing is communicating to people that not every word - expression - term - that has a secondary or darker meaning is correct... or intended.

I've used the term sinister several times above. And most people understand it to mean "dark, evil, base". But in truth, it originates from the term that meant "left" or "left-handed". Over the years, it's taken on a different meaning through the evolution of language - but that certainly doesn't invalidate the original meaning at all.

People have every right to react negatively to words that hurt and wound when they are meant to do so - but they also should be intelligent or informed enough to understand that it is legitimate for a word or a term to have more than one meaning - and be able to distinguish between the two.

/soapbox mode: OFF
2007-03-17 12:17:10 AM  
"Special Education"

A little nicer than the older term "spaz" which came from "spastic", commonly used to mean "uncoordinated" but originally meaning "epilectic."
2007-03-17 12:18:20 AM  
bari_saxy_momma: Not for many moons.

Refresh thine memory.
2007-03-17 12:19:07 AM  
tar baby

Not in the context used by Mr. McCain, no.
2007-03-17 12:19:24 AM  

Slightly hypocritical, wouldn't you say?

No, it isn't.
2007-03-17 12:19:46 AM  

Understanding "sinister" takes a bit of mental dexterity.
2007-03-17 12:22:01 AM  
"Sinister" is a derogatory term.
We should bar "sinister"!

/the puns just get worse from here.
2007-03-17 12:22:56 AM  
Slightly hypocritical, wouldn't you say?

Could you expand on that? I'm not sure how his sentence is hypocritical.
2007-03-17 12:23:19 AM  
hahahaha, ok, YOU wouldn't cop to it but others may see it as such

/yes, it is
2007-03-17 12:23:35 AM  
Goodnight folks!
It's been great to be here with you beautiful people!
Don't forget to tip your waitress!
2007-03-17 12:24:37 AM  
I'm from Louisiana and it's a common and old racist term.

Black leaders went(p) after Mitt Romney when he used it to describe the Big Big.
2007-03-17 12:26:16 AM  
*Big Dig*
2007-03-17 12:26:34 AM  
elchip: My *clicks on profile* 689 posts in the last 15 days agree with you.

"739 found"

2007-03-17 12:26:43 AM  

hahahaha, ok, YOU wouldn't cop to it but others may see it as such

/yes, it is

Golly, just 'cause you say so? Too bad. When someone tries to tell me what's happened in my life in contradiction to what I know, I get to tell them they're wrong without hypocrisy.
2007-03-17 12:27:49 AM  
I will admit that I used Google to make sure I was remembering the episode correctly. Thanks for the link, though!
2007-03-17 12:29:50 AM  
"739 found"
Great googly moogly....

"342 found" for me... and I've got 21 here and 50+ in the basketball threads.
2007-03-17 12:30:17 AM  
Oh my, everybody drop everything for the hugest news story of the century

Somebody has to make up a word for "smiling benignly and rolling your eyes when old people make retarded comments". Maybe spending all that time with my grandmother has hardened me to stuff like this, but I dunno. It's not like I'd vote for the man anyway, but, you know, there's a war going on.
2007-03-17 12:31:21 AM  
I'm from Louisiana and it's a common and old racist term.

Just seeing that it's also an old novel by Toni Morrison and she took the term from her youth, so that's a lot longer than I've been alive!

/still doesn't mean I had to have ever heard it
2007-03-17 12:32:12 AM  
Somebody has to make up a word for "smiling benignly and rolling your eyes when old people make retarded comments".
Like Marge Schott?

/million dollar attractive and successful African-American
2007-03-17 12:32:29 AM  
McCain has also said that we shouldn't be nubianrdly about money for the troops.

I'm sure the filter will catch that, but it's an adjective for "stingy."
2007-03-17 12:33:14 AM  
Schottning (shottening)
Schottned (shottened)

/now that I typed out the pronunciations, it looks a bit derogatory itself
2007-03-17 12:33:20 AM  
Strangely enough, the remark AND its context really hit close to home. I divorced my first wife, filing the case pro se, and taking out an ad to advise her (she couldn't be located). The divorce was granted & finalized, and, lo and behold, she "surfaced" a month later to claim I'd known where she could be served, that she was entitled to a bunch of my stuff from before we wed, yadda yadda (we were only married for 9 months). The court threw out the first divorce, and granted the exact same decree 5 months and $3k in legal fees later.

So, having married her only once, I had to divorce her twice. That's when my family & friends christened her "The Tar-baby".

She is, for the record, white. The term is in no way racist, except to a complete idiot.
2007-03-17 12:33:30 AM  
mCcain's WAY past redemption

/he had such great potential before he turned into a pathetic ass kissing pos
2007-03-17 12:34:46 AM  
When is the 2008 elections again?
\Could of sworn we are supposed to get
a frkkin break from this nonsense!
2007-03-17 12:35:13 AM  
The term is in no way racist, except to a complete idiot.

It can be racist. But, like "colored" isn't racist just because it is spoken.

If I mention that my son colored in his book, not racist.
If I say my son and his colored friend were playing, that's a little different.
2007-03-17 12:35:48 AM  
When is the 2008 elections again?
\Could of sworn we are supposed to get
a frkkin break from this nonsense!

I saw an "America Votes 2008" on one of the news channels this afternoon.
2007-03-17 12:36:07 AM  
I'm from Louisiana and it's a common and old racist term.

Flannery O'Connor, the greatest short story writer in the English language, was MAAAAD racist. It's a little weird, because you'd think someone as intelligent as she was (she'd mangle anyone here with her terrible brain) would be able to cipher stuff like that through, but people are products of their environment. It's a thinker, I get it myself sometimes: one hundred years ago, how racist would I have been? How racist would you have been?

America's come a long way with this stuff. Amid all the hub bub, we don't really always give ourselves the credit we deserve. It's not like we're the perfect society or anything, but it's definitely a less farked up place for the average non-white, non-Protestant, non-male than it was.
2007-03-17 12:36:20 AM  
/What the hell is the story with this one?

My best guess is: that's part of the cast of "a Midsummer Night's Dream" - the girls are all faeries (thus, the wings), and the black dude in the back is Puck (thus, the crazy lunging look)
2007-03-17 12:37:28 AM  
stebain - Alright, i'll type slowly...

treesloth told d_the_sandman that he (d_the_sandman) doesn't get to decide what people have and haven't heard. THEN, in the same post treesloth decides that d_the_sandman is wrong in his perception (which can be any combination of the 5 senses, to include hearing).
2007-03-17 12:38:41 AM  

Didn't see your post about the Tempest. Also a good possibility. Glad to see I wasn't the only one who assumed a Shakespeare production
2007-03-17 12:41:29 AM  
Alright, i'll type slowly...

asshole. I asked a sincere question.

You're really stretching that to make it look hypocritical. Hell, treesloth stated his argument as to why he was wrong. He didn't just assert he was wrong by fiat. You chose to rephrase it as "blah".
2007-03-17 12:41:30 AM  
It is getting tougher and tougher to know when and how our words will denegrate somebody these days.


Etymology: Latin denigratus, past participle of denigrare, from de- + nigrare to blacken, from nigr-, niger black

/not serious about the RACIST!!1!!11!11!!1 thing
//expecting to be called a RACIST in about two or three seconds after posting this...
2007-03-17 12:41:51 AM  
"a Midsummer Night's Dream"

*shakes head*

No, no, no. The Tempest. Iris, Ceres, Juno, Miranda, Ariel, and Claribel. Sycorax is the older lady, and they've got Caliban lurking on them.
2007-03-17 12:43:02 AM  
This thread is mine, by Sycorax my mother
2007-03-17 12:43:32 AM

2007-03-17 12:43:46 AM  
you're assuming he's lurking... thing is, this picture would be out of character, and thus you can't tell for sure that he's lurking. I stand by my original declaration :)
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