Skip to content
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(ABC News)   Br'er Romney done got his'self stuck in sticky mess by using the term 'tar baby'   ( divider line
    More: Stupid  
•       •       •

19364 clicks; posted to Main » and Politics » on 31 Jul 2006 at 11:27 AM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

462 Comments     (+0 »)

Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | » | Newest | Show all

2006-07-31 8:52:06 AM  
It's a veritable Romney Marsh!

//some people say nothing is obscure on fark
2006-07-31 8:56:14 AM  
Wait. This guy apologizes and the White House Press Sec. doesn't for the same slur?
/Tarbaby. It's OK. I'm taking it back.
2006-07-31 8:58:13 AM  
Porch Monkeys 4 Life
2006-07-31 9:00:37 AM  
I ran into the last name Wigger the other day. I told the guy I was deeply offended by his insensitive use of his last name.
2006-07-31 9:00:59 AM  
i had no idea it was considered a racial slur either. we had a poster in elementary school that was a map of american folklore. i clearly remember seeing tar baby somewhere around georgia, and just thinking it was some horrible monster that came out of a tar pit. but now that i think of it, it sure did seem to be done up in black face.
2006-07-31 9:01:57 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2006-07-31 9:02:56 AM  
Romney's a clown...
2006-07-31 9:03:44 AM  
"He was unaware that some people find the term objectionable and he's sorry if anyone's offended"

Please note again: This IS NOT an apology.
2006-07-31 9:03:45 AM  
A guy in Tony Williams' office (DC mayor) had to resign for a while for using this word (SFW).

This nonsense will never stop, and the outrage is delegitimized each time it is used for political maneuvering.
2006-07-31 9:06:43 AM  
I asked my kid what songs they were singing for their Spring Concert last April.

It seems they were doing a Disney Medly, one part was "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah". I then asked her what movie that was from.

...she had absolutely no idea, which is a shame, because it's a good movie.

/She'll probably never see it unless I go out and try to find it for her.
2006-07-31 9:09:11 AM  
Demetrius: This IS NOT an apology.

Yes it is. What, just because he's not apologizing for using the phrase it doesn't count? Screw that. This is not different thatn using 'nubianrdly' and offending someone.
2006-07-31 9:10:33 AM  
The tar baby is a form of a character widespread in African folklore. In various folktales, gum, wax, or other sticky material is used to trap a person.

The folktale achieved currency in the United States in written form in one of Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus stories, a collection of stories based on African-American folklore, narrated by the fictional Uncle Remus, a former slave. In the story "Tar-Baby," the character Brer Fox makes a doll out of tar, which he places by the road to entrap his enemy Brer Rabbit. Brer Rabbit talks to the doll, and when it doesn't answer, he hits it, and gets stuck in the tar. The more he struggles with it, the more he is entangled in it.

This story has led to the figurative use of tar baby in the sense 'an inextricable problem or situation', sometimes with the nuance 'something used to entrap a person'. Both the examples cited in the question show the use of this sense, which appears to be first used in the early twentieth century.

The expression tar baby is also used occasionally as a derogatory term for black people (in the U.S. it refers to African-Americans; in New Zealand it refers to Maoris), or among blacks as a term for a particularly dark-skinned person. As a result, some people suggest avoiding the use of the term in any context.

2006-07-31 9:11:19 AM  
^^ That was Random House's explanation. Seems okay, but politicians should probably avoid it.
2006-07-31 9:14:46 AM  
"Cracker" can also be a racial epithet. Should I be offended whenever someone says the word "cracker" in conversation?
2006-07-31 9:16:20 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2006-07-31 9:35:49 AM  
Oh brother!
2006-07-31 9:42:50 AM  
2006-07-31 10:02:43 AM  
Skwidd: I wish they would be more nubianrdly with their comments.

Did you misspell that, or is the word "nubianrdly" filtered? I guess I'll find out in a second.
2006-07-31 10:04:45 AM  
Yes I guess so.
2006-07-31 10:21:28 AM  
DaNightTripper: "Cracker" can also be a racial epithet. Should I be offended whenever someone says the word "cracker" in conversation?

No, no problem using that. Or honky. Or white trash. Or redneck. A phrase can only be a racial slur if it refers to, or sounds as if it refers to, a professionally disadvantaged group with PAC money behind their organization.
2006-07-31 10:29:08 AM  
Yeah, it's all a matter of political convenience. That's why white people from Libya or Egypt or South Africa (or from an ancestry originating in those countries) living in the United States are never called (or caught calling themselves) "African Americans".
2006-07-31 10:39:04 AM  
Oh carp him come all the dumbass posters who complain about how they can't use the term sucessful and attractive African American but rappers can. The fact is I have a bunch of asshat racist relatives and they routinely use the term "tar baby" as a slur, they even think they're being polite when they're doing it because they're not saying the N-word in front of the kids.

The term has become tainted and politicians who don't want to be seen as insensitive should avoid it.

Now nubianrdly, that has nothing to do with race and the people who got upset by that one were morans/
2006-07-31 10:42:18 AM  
The tar baby is a form of a character widespread in African folklore.

Anansi Boys, FTW.
2006-07-31 11:19:58 AM  
Should I be offended whenever someone says the word "cracker" in conversation?

When used in conjunction with the term "Whitey", then yes. When used with the term "saltine"... not so much.

/He should not have apologized for other peoples' ignorance... context, people.
2006-07-31 11:22:54 AM  

Ahh, the ignorant and illiterate allow themselves to be "offended" again for political gain. I wish they would be more nubianrdly with their comments.

That's not fair, I know the origins of the word and that it is also used as a racial epitaph, and I suspect he did too.
2006-07-31 11:30:43 AM  
Main Entry: tar baby
Function: noun
Etymology: from the tar baby that trapped Brer Rabbit in an Uncle Remus story by Joel Chandler Harris
: something from which it is nearly impossible to extricate oneself

DOn't be nubianrdly with your thoughts people. Tell us what you think!
2006-07-31 11:31:00 AM  
After this thread is done, I fear we'll all be tarred with the same brush, having all made comments that are no better than the pot calling the kettle black.
2006-07-31 11:31:23 AM  
This just in-
Parents in Malaysia no longer allowed to name children "Tar Baby"
2006-07-31 11:32:25 AM  

" nubianrd ly"is not racist and should have not be filterd to nubiardly in my previous post.

2006-07-31 11:32:35 AM  
2006-07-31 11:32:38 AM  
...said Larry Jones, a black Republican and civil rights activist.

That is one hell of a contradiction.
2006-07-31 11:32:49 AM  
so when a Republican uses a racial slur, it's political maneuvering by the complaintants, but when a Democrat does it, it's an outrage and the right wing pundits are allowed to crawl all over it.

//find me some Viagra with someone else's name on it
2006-07-31 11:33:07 AM  
Lay off the guy, he's just taking it back!

Interspecies Erotica?
2006-07-31 11:33:58 AM  
He'll probably want to move his Lawn Jockey to the back yard for awhile.
2006-07-31 11:34:50 AM  
i'm still waiting for bush or cheney to slip up and use "cotton-pickin'".
2006-07-31 11:35:14 AM  
That ought to be "Mr. Romney" in the headline, really... in the old Uncle Remus stories, the characters are either br'er ('brother', or a fellow individual of African origin) or Mr. (meaning a caucasian type; a slave master to be avoided or duped).

Not trying to make any particular point with that, just FYI if you GAF.
2006-07-31 11:35:20 AM  
Danger Mouse:


" nubianrd ly"is not racist and should have not be filterd to nubiardly in my previous post.


It shows up as attractive and successful African-Americandly because that's not a racial slur with "ly" on the end. nubianrdly (hopefully) shouldn't filter because it means cheap or stingy.
2006-07-31 11:35:21 AM  
OlafTheBent - The only place you'll be finding it anytime soon (in North America, at least) is through Bittorrent. A rerelease was in the planning stages but got nixed when Bob Iger becamse the new head of Disney.

"Song of the South" has been available in Europe and Asia in the past, but I don't believe it's ever had a Disney-sanctioned (as in "non-bootleg") release on DVD.
2006-07-31 11:35:23 AM  
Does context mean anything anymore?
2006-07-31 11:35:28 AM  
Didn't Tony Snow do this a while back?
2006-07-31 11:35:44 AM  
I get offended when people honkey their horn at me.
2006-07-31 11:35:44 AM  
Maybe it's because I'm white, and don't harbor all kinds of unneccessary anger for my ancestors being enslaved or whatever, but why is it OK for degrogatory comments to be made about white people but not other races?

I think it's because us white fo'k are cool and understanding and really don't give two shiats.

That could just be my opinion, though.

/remember kids, words are only offensive if you let them be
2006-07-31 11:35:46 AM  
Seriously, people need to quit being so offended. If you had some common since then you would realize that getting upset over something someone said really isn't what you should be spending your time worrying about. If they had a damn job to begin with they wouldn't have had time to worry about it.

2006-07-31 11:36:27 AM  
Hey, Liberal and raised in the south here--tarbaby means a sticky mess that no one wants to pick up, and that once picked up cannot be gotten rid of. Always has. These so-called civil rights activists are ignorant.

2006-07-31 11:36:30 AM  
i use the phrase tar baby when playing wargames. a tar baby fight is where it starts small and growa in size as more units are sucked in (like stalingrad). has nothing to do with individuals or race in this context.
2006-07-31 11:36:36 AM  
These are the same kind of ignorant assholes that think an old sybonym for stingy is racist.

The term 'tar baby' is a euphemism for a sticky situation.

As for an apology, he's a Mormon Republican, isn't his life shiatty enough already?
2006-07-31 11:36:40 AM  
I got owned. I surrender.
2006-07-31 11:37:06 AM  
Joel Chandler Harris should've had the foresight to make the character out of something delicious, like marshmallows! A marshmallow baby would be difficult to extricate oneself from as well.

/Why extricate when you can masticate? don't suffocate, on your own hate
2006-07-31 11:37:28 AM  
What the hell is up with the filter?

can you say cracker?
2006-07-31 11:38:29 AM  
Am I the only one who immediately associated "tar baby" with Deadly Rooms of Death?
Displayed 50 of 462 comments

Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | » | Newest | Show all

This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking

On Twitter

  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.