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(Some Guy)   Political Correctness 201: When Mitt Romney or Tony Snow say "tar baby," they're racist. When John Kerry, the Boston Globe or the Boston Herald say "tar baby," it's just an expression   ( divider line
    More: Amusing  
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1014 clicks; posted to Politics » on 02 Aug 2006 at 8:33 PM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

84 Comments     (+0 »)

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2006-08-02 4:37:22 PM  
I think it is much more of a Porch Monkey.

"I'm taking it back" Randal (Clerks 2)
2006-08-02 4:37:28 PM  
I disagree with you, submitter.
2006-08-02 4:42:20 PM  
Porch Monkey 4 Life.
2006-08-02 4:42:39 PM  
" In a June 2003 Boston Globe profile, Kerry described his leadership of a congressional committee on missing soldiers in Southeast Asia as a potential "tar baby."

In a 1994 editorial, the Globe described U.S. dealings with Iran as resembling a "tar baby" and even articulated the term's assumed meaning in a 1998 editorial on China's censoring of the Internet: "The Communist rulers of Beijing ended last year tangling with a tar baby. The tar baby - passive, sticky and invincible - was played by the Internet, which the leaders want to censor."

The Herald weighed in on Romney's Turnpike merger proposal in a 2004 editorial noting "What lawmaker wouldn't want to pass this tar baby to the guy who may be running for re-election in 2006?"

Well what do you know?

You learn something new - every day!

2006-08-02 4:43:17 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2006-08-02 4:44:58 PM  
Right. And when Conservatives talk about Jesus, it is because they are committed and sincere Christians, but when Liberals do it, they are vote-trolling whores.

Religious Correctness is every bit as pervasive and stupid as Political Correctness, yet it never gets mentioned.

I blame The Conservative Media.
2006-08-02 4:46:42 PM  
Hypocrisy is fun.
2006-08-02 4:47:54 PM  
Car "bras" are now known as "nose guards"
2006-08-02 4:48:02 PM  
Did any of the people quoted in that article comment on what Mitt Romney or Tony Snow said? Not flaming. I am actually curious.
2006-08-02 4:48:31 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2006-08-02 4:48:48 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2006-08-02 4:50:16 PM  
Oddly enough, Romney chose to make mention of the proverbial tar baby outside of the state and while engaged in political shenanigans with his fellow GOPers.

This can only mean two things:

#1 Conspiracy

#2 He was out of blackface

There, I said it.

/"quagmire" is the appropriate term, Mr. Romney
//we all here at home knew what you meant
2006-08-02 4:51:24 PM  
I think its a nubianrdly action from the press to selectively attack people for using phrases that don't actually mean the inferred connotation!
2006-08-02 4:52:00 PM  
Why is it when Mel Gibson blah blah Jews blah blah, but when Democrats blah blah Jews blah blah blah?
2006-08-02 4:52:23 PM  
aaaaand that's what I thought. nubian-r-d-ly got filtered.

2006-08-02 4:55:27 PM  
2006-08-02 4:55:42 PM  
willywanka: nubian-r-d-ly got filtered.

What about nubianrdly?
2006-08-02 4:57:00 PM  
And this term is racist how?

Maybe I haven't seen it applied in a racist manner yet but I always understood it to describe things that were, as cited by TGOT, "passive, sticky and invincible."
2006-08-02 5:00:15 PM  
2006-08-02 5:01:38 PM  
Deveyn: And this term is racist how?

That's a reasonable, articulate question; it has no place in this discussion.
2006-08-02 5:02:02 PM  
elchip: Ha, it got you twice. It censors out the street slang for a derogatory term towards blacks. (The derogatory term is censored to something amusing.)

Yeah, I picked this one up a while back...I knew that if you used the actual words they got filtered, but I was actually trying to use it in a post a while back that had nothing to do with here's the kicker: I was referring to the settlement Michael Jackson had taken in the first molestation case, and it came out as acting in such a "nubianly" manner...someone said "is that supposed to be some sort of racist smear...that he was being "nubian" by molesting kids?", then went on to explain how its mostly white people who get charged with child molestation.

So, ironically, to some people, the filter made me a racist...

I still kind of chuckle at that.
2006-08-02 5:06:45 PM  
The CraneMeister: What about nubianrdly?

Someone lost their job a while back for the proper use of that word.
2006-08-02 5:08:22 PM  
Deveyn: And this term is racist how?

Among certain, unenlightened members of the public, the term has been used as a racial epithet.

/that's how I first heard it, on the playground...
//it's a damn fine expression - I hate it that a few racists + a few overly sensitive shmucks have ruined it for the rest of us
///I apologize for the use of the term "shmuck," in case anyone is offended.
2006-08-02 5:10:36 PM  
Lionel Mandrake: Among certain, unenlightened members of the public, the term has been used as a racial epithet.

first time I ever heard it was in an old saturday night live sketch with chevy chase doing a job interview with garret morris. farking hilarious skit, too.
2006-08-02 5:10:58 PM  
This would be more worthy of discussion if either Kerry or the Globe came out publicly against Romney for using the term. But they didn't.
2006-08-02 5:13:09 PM  

That was Richard Pryor.
2006-08-02 5:14:14 PM  
How about the people who DID come out against Romney or Snow ... and DIDN'T come out against Kerry, the Globe and the Boston Herald?

I would guess that there are more than a dozen.
2006-08-02 5:14:16 PM  
Lionel Mandrake: that's how I first heard it, on the playground...

My first exposure to it was from Disney.
2006-08-02 5:17:21 PM  
This sounds familiar somehow
2006-08-02 5:17:55 PM  
Lionel Mandrake: Right. And when Conservatives talk about Jesus, it is because they are committed and sincere Christians, but when Liberals do it, they are vote-trolling whores.

I was coming here to pose the exact same sentiment. Kudos to you, sir. You think like me, only faster.
2006-08-02 5:18:18 PM  
GWLush: That was Richard Pryor.

ah yes, it was. back in the days when that show was not only watchable but good.
2006-08-02 5:19:38 PM  
I always foudn tar babies to be unreal representations, and therefore, terrible bait. But, I don't what you guys in the South are thinking, with your singing blue birds, and happy black men and cartoons mixing with real life.
2006-08-02 5:32:37 PM  
And this term is racist how?

Ok well lets go to the definitions to see if its racist.


"tar baby
One entry found for tar baby.

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"

This is the wikipedia definition,

"A tar baby was originally a character from African folklore; in the Uncle Remus stories, it is a doll made out of tar. From that usage, it has gained the metaphoric meaning of a "sticky situation"[1], that is, one whose resolution is only aggravated by efforts to solve it.

Over the years, however, that term has also acquired a negative connotation as a derogatory term for black people (such as African Americans in the United States or Maoris in New Zealand), or to an especially dark skinned black person by other lighter skinned black persons.[1]"

This definition is from the (most definitions there have the above definition except for this one),

"2. tar baby 130 up, 94 down

Tar baby is a synonym for attractive and successful African-American, except that it is only used in bigoted manners, whereas attractive and successful African-American can be a sign of respect, if the speaker is also African American.

It comes from a children's story in which the dark skin and seeming ignorance (caused by a lack of schooling) of slaves were explained by the idea that black children were baptised in tar, which made them dark and dumb.

see attractive and successful African-American

Biff: Let's beat the sh*t out of that tar baby.
Tad: Shall we?"

Looking at the various definitions, it appears that this was a benign statement that some twisted into a racial slur. Some people use it as its formal definition of a sticky situation that you can't get out of, that others with the racial slur definition find offensive. Honestly I didn't even connect the term to a racial slur until I saw some of these definitions.

Lets use the smell test to see if there is offense. When discussing the Big Dig, was Mitt Romney saying it was African American's fault that the tunnel is collapsing? Of course not, he was saying the Big Dig situation is a mess and it will be difficult to find a solution. When Tony Snow was refusing to discuss the surveillance measures used by the White House, was he doing so because African Americans had screwed it up or was it because the topic was very complicated and messy? When John Kerry used the term to describe Iran, was it because he was commenting on African Americans or that foreign policy was difficult.

Jeez people need to grow up and realize that just because you may find offense in a term, doesn't mean that is what the term is being used to say or that is the only way to understand the word. It's just like the term "handsome nubian" (if you get my meaning), it can be used as a term of friendship, respect, or if used another way be a hateful term. Do we ban the use of "handsome nubian" by all individuals since some understand the word as hateful? No, you selectively interpret the meaning based on the topic of discussion when the word is used. Why can't the same be done for the term "tar baby?"
2006-08-02 5:42:01 PM  
Isn't the Herald considered a conservative paper?
2006-08-02 5:56:05 PM  
So are we just greenlighting this one like six times today?

Please allow me to say that, as a republican, I'm not with these whiney submitters, and I vaguely resent the attention that this whole issue is getting.

Way to make us look like petty cheeseheads, guys.
2006-08-02 6:03:14 PM  
This sounds more like Political Correctness 092, or "the course we couldn't get a qualified professor to teach because it's so inaccurate, so we just put some dumb jackass up to the task."
2006-08-02 7:21:25 PM  
the_gospel_of_thomas: I would guess that there are more than a dozen.

Don't guess, makes your arguments stronger.

But, then, Conservatives are all about guessing - they usually call it "faith"
2006-08-02 8:26:04 PM  
TGOT is guessing because he just doesn't know.

That's TGOT 201
2006-08-02 8:41:44 PM  
Does anybody give a shiat?

Didn't care when Romney said it, don't care now.
2006-08-02 8:52:53 PM  
2006-08-02 8:54:32 PM  
Dems think that as long as they're not in the KKK they aren't racist, regardless of how bigotted they might really be.

/Deja who?
2006-08-02 9:50:56 PM  
Is the only defense anymore for Republicans to say that someone else did it a little so we can do it a lot? Everyone is wrong for doing it. Condemn them all for doing it and relegate this term to history.
2006-08-02 9:51:40 PM  
as long as nobody uses the phrase "mudpuppy in a pickle patch" we're all good.
2006-08-02 10:04:07 PM  
It's not a racist term when used as Tony Snow, John Kerry, Mitt Romney, or the Boston (insert paper here) used it. It may reflect a lack of heightened political correctness. Good.

/Tony Snow and Mitt Romney are asshats for any number of valid reasons
2006-08-02 10:18:36 PM  
saying liberal and hypocrite is becoming redundant...
2006-08-02 10:22:04 PM  
How about "ni**er in the woodpile?"
Can we still say that?

/I kid, I kid
2006-08-02 11:40:41 PM  
....b-b-b-b-but KERRY!!!!!

/I think it's all stupid.
2006-08-03 12:19:17 AM  
that bbbb-but bs is ignorant, especially when you are point out hypocracy.
2006-08-03 12:38:14 AM  

aaaaand that's what I thought. nubian-r-d-ly got filtered.

Hey Moran it is called substring replace and it is a simple operation that is used to build the filter. It has no connection to anything PC nor does it care when a filter word is contained within a larger word unless that has been specifically coded for.

Stop trying to make it into something it is not.

2006-08-03 1:02:42 AM  
Shut........UP: saying liberal and hypocrite is becoming redundant...

Assuming that's true, then one would be equally justified in saying that "conservative" and "backstabbing freedom-hating callous traitors" are becoming synonymous.

Just... don't be a jackass.
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