Tony Snow's "Tar Baby" Comment

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posted on May, 24 2006 @ 01:21 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
Tell me how to get through to people who don't listen?


glass houses ...

If we knew how to do that - you would have heard way back on page
one of this thread that Tony Snow isn't a racist.

If we knew how to do that - you would be off finding some REAL racism
to (rightly) complain about and we'd be cheering you on.




posted on May, 24 2006 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
And I ask, how do you suggest I deal with it, jsobecky? Since you are imparting your wisdom about the matter, I ask you for advice.

I would hope that you would realize that everybody here understands that racial epithets are used by ignorant, stupid people, and that nobody here condones it.

I would hope that you feel free to express your feelings about how you felt when those ignoramuses called you those names. And I hope you would realize that many here, if they were standing beside you when it happened, would put those people in their place.

But what people here are hearing is that you don't think we understand, or care. And you project it onto what I see as a badly-timed, but innocent, remark by Tony Snow.

I will put forth the question to the forum: do you understand that ceci felt offended by someone slinging a racial slur at her? How would you feel if it were your daughter, sister, mother, or lady?

But I must ask the next question: do you think Tony Snow's comment to be in the same vein as a racial slur?

I hope that helps, because nobody should feel ostracized here. But try to work with others. Take the day off and go enjoy the day. Forget about ATS for awhile. None of us really exist anyway; we're all just cyber-haunts.



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 01:55 PM
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Leonard Pitts, Jr. who is a columnist for the Miami Herald asks some of the same questions I do when it comes to why White people see things differently from people of color? Yes, what harm could a word do? And why do Caucasians feel they have to give advice when there are issues such as this one? Although he was talking about race and crime, Mr. Pitts says some valuable things that need to be considered in this thread:


Stop denying role of racism

Of course, many white folks don't want to go there. And it never fails to amaze me how airily they absolve themselves and this nation of the charge of racism, how readily they look past, look through, flat-out ignore, anything that says otherwise.
[...]
But then, that would require of them more than the easy ability to wag a finger at the failures of others. It would require a willingness to own their own failures and to face truths that do not flatter self-image - something some white Americans clearly lack the intestinal fortitude to do. So you'll forgive me if I find it hard to take seriously all this pious advice to blacks.

Responsibility is a two-way street.


The Syracuse Peace Council's article about how racism is treated by dominant culture is very thought provoking. This is written by Candace Saunders, who is white and female:


Burning the Carte Blanche: White Privilege and Racism

"White privilege" is commonly defined as the rights, advantages, favors, and immunities that white people enjoy, and which are fully or partially withheld from people of color. Although many poor white people are clearly victims of capitalism and classism, poor people of color experience oppression twofold - from both racism and classism. White privilege is, in its very essence, racism.

White people of all political affiliations are often hesitant to talk about white privilege. Despite evidence to the contrary - the entire injustice system, for instance - many white people believe that racism is gone for good, that we have at last achieved racial equality. The Civil Rights Movement came and went, right? Don't we live, at long last, in a colorblind society? Aren't people just, well, people?[...]Racism has very real, material effects on the lives of people of color - with death, poverty, and imprisonment representing the worst of the worst. To ignore racial oppression is to be racist; it is exercising one's white privilege. Whites garner certain privileges (despite their socioeconomic class) simply because they are white, leaving people of color to bear the burden.

Today, most white people do not critically examine or even idly ponder their racial identity and their complicity in racism. If we are not overtly racist in word or action, we do not, for the most part, consider ourselves to be racist. We neglect to consider how our position as privileged whites is directly correlated to the underprivileged status of people of color. Whiteness is invisible to us because it has been normalized through the centuries in much the same way that masculinity has been normalized and femininity marginalized under patriarchy. "People of color," even in this very label, are exceptions to the white rule.


No. I think there are other people who see the dichotomy in society. They try to discuss the effects of what happens when a side is not being listened to. And they dissect the very notion of why there is such a deaf ear to other people's experiences.

There is more...in a future post.



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 01:57 PM
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Thank you for your comments, jsobecky. I will answer your questions later because I truly do have some replies for your inquiries. And as I go about my errands and work, I will think about your concerns. Later on, I'll have an answer to your questions--because despite their tone they are valuable ones.

So, I will go about my day...happily.


[edit on 24-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 02:07 PM
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Firstly, I have watched this thread with some interest from the start but didn't comment (I don't think
) until now.

ceci, you know I admire and respect you. So what I have to say is not because I don't like you. I do.


What I have to say is this: Pick your battles. Tony Snow did not use the term "Tar Baby" in the racial connotation. But regardless of how he meant it, I think it's clear that you took offense to it.

C'est la vie. This is life. People say things and others take offense. It happens in life. Even when the speaker does not intend it to be offensive.

Now, so many others have said the same thing to you. My question is, what would you have us do or say to make this right?


Originally posted by ceci2006
And I ask, how do you suggest I deal with it, jsobecky? Since you are imparting your wisdom about the matter, I ask you for advice.


We ALL hear things throughout our days that are offensive to us. Women hear things that offend them. Black people hear things that offend them. Fat people hear things that offend them. Latinos hear things that offend them. Muslims, Christians, Arabs, Chinese, anorexics, Jews, white men, dog owners, hippies... we all hear other people say things that we find offensive.

The president says offensive things, high government officials, news anchors, comedians, sit-coms, radio announcers, rap singers...

MY GOD! how offensive are some of the things rap singers say???

How you deal with it is however you deal with it. We ALL deal with being offended whether or not offense was meant! And in this case, I don't think it was.

My question is what do you want here? In this thread?


Originally posted by jsobecky
I will put forth the question to the forum: do you understand that ceci felt offended by someone slinging a racial slur at her? How would you feel if it were your daughter, sister, mother, or lady?


Yes. And if it were my daughter, etc, I would feel compassion, as I do with ceci.



But I must ask the next question: do you think Tony Snow's comment to be in the same vein as a racial slur?


No. I think he probably wasn't even aware of the 2nd meaning of the term or he certainly wouldn't have said it.

But that has little to do with ceci's justification of her feelings. In other words, just because Snow didn't intend it to be offensive, ceci's feelings of offense are still valid.

jsobecky


ceci, I'd really like to know what you want from the other posters here. Your comments are as valid as anyone else's. ALL of us have had other posters tell us that what we're talking about is a "non-issue" or that it's worthless or stupid somehow not worthy of being discussed. That's part of being a member here. That's part of life.



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 04:56 PM
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BH, you've made some very good points, and deserve my last vote for the month.

You have voted Benevolent Heretic for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have used all of your votes for this month.


ceci, people are trying to help you here, but patience wears thin...



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 07:33 PM
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jsobecky,

Yes it does, doesn't it? Because you don't like to talk about race. And sadly, it ruffles your feathers that other people take offense at things taken for granted in your world. Isn't that the case? Yes, my patience wears thin as well. So don't think it's one-sided.

But I already know the odds because I'm pretty much out-numbered here. I'm still looking for what is being defined as "real racism" here. No one can give me a good definition and probably can't because they can't even describe it in their own words. Can you?

This subject goes beyond it just being a word. It goes into the parameters of what words are acceptable and which are not. It most certainly is an issue if we have talked about it this long.

What Tony Snow said obviously offended a portion of his audience. And they said so. But that's not the "right" kind of audience, I mean, the type of audience what is deemed "acceptable" for the more conservative folk here. On the liberal boards, they have had this conversation. And that goes ditto on African-American boards. They've discussed it big time and didn't feel that "talking about race" was a problem. And I have read some of the most interesting takes on why Mr. Snow said those words.

So why are we acting defensive and repressed on this board?

So, it's not as worthless as you think. But because Mr. Snow's use of "tar baby" doesn't mean anything to you, that is why it is a non-issue.

I believe the contrary for valid reasons. And I think it should be discussed what would be tolerated as an acceptable word. Because when Escromutus said that he would sleep at night using tar baby, I shot back and told him whether he would like it if I used a racially sensitive term for White people. He immediately said that he would equate both of those words to the "N" word.

So, I say again, everyone has their limits. But if it you say so that you feel that the use of "tar baby" is all right with you, then I guess you won't wince if I used a term that is sensitive to your ears. And if I did, don't be a hypocrite. Take it. Don't argue about it.

I tend to think after reading more about Mr. Snow's past is that he is quite capable of being racist in his views--especially in his defense of Rush Limbaugh. And Mr. Limbaugh has let all sorts of things fly out of his mouth. And I'm sure, he is not blind. Mr. Snow knows the other connotation of "tar baby". His mother worked in the inner city as a nurse in Ohio. That means, she worked among poor people, if not people of color. So, he knows.

He could have chosen, if he had a conscience, another word. But he didn't. Had he truly had an answer, he just wouldn't have said, "American Lore". "American Lore" means a lot of things to a lot of people. "American Lore" could possibly be literature. But "American Lore" could also mean the legacy of the word and how it is used as a racial epipthet in the South.

But, I suppose discussing that side is potentially hurtful to acknowledge, isn't it? Yes, jsobecky, you have problems too. The articles I posted are sort of an intervention. They discuss various reasons how racism is viewed in the white community. You have not either agreed or refuted these claims. You refuse to read them. Instead, you would much rather use condescension.

All I have to say is read Leonard Pitts, Jr.'s exerpt. He talks about how sometimes people who are "racially blind" like to dispense advice to the Black Community. It is not true in all cases, but of course, you--as well as Escromutus--in this thread have dispensed a lot of advice. Yet refuse to deal with your own insersion into race. And that's the bitter irony.

That is what I wonder the most. What is it about talking about race that bothers you? Because you know you have benefitted from the system? Or is the fact that you have a pre-conceived set of ideas that you hold on to with all your might despite different information coming out? Does it trouble you that you might harbor these feelings?

The only time you even talk about race is when it deals with Black groups or leaders who run afoul of your ideals. I'm surprised in this thread that you did not even mention the NAACP or Jesse Jackson. For that is a feat for you to last this long without saying one word about them.

But no matter.

In the end, it is better to think that Tony Snow said it because it was a benign expression of speech. If he did, he is not as educated as I thought. Because he could have mentioned that he had gotten the words from a Joel Chandler Harris Book, most namely the "Uncle Remus" tales. Then, I would truly think he meant exactly what he said. But "American Lore" does not cut it.

But, yes, even here one has to give the benefit of the doubt...even when it tastes bad in your mouth.

And if he didn't know before, Mr. Snow certainly knows now, doesn't he?


P.S. Benevolent Heretic, I will answer your thoughts later. I would like to think about what you said and answer you thoughtfully, like I always do. Thank you for your input because I like you too. And we can agree to disagree on this one. But, I would like to specifically address some points you made. I am glad you are the voice of reason.


[edit on 24-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 09:02 PM
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Benevolent Heretic,

I thank you very much for your comments. They are fair and describe the very parameters of the debate we're having here. I am gratified that you spoke up and said what you did because your words did cause me to think today.


Originally quoted by Benevolent Heretic

What I have to say is this: Pick your battles. Tony Snow did not use the term "Tar Baby" in the racial connotation. But regardless of how he meant it, I think it's clear that you took offense to it.

C'est la vie. This is life. People say things and others take offense. It happens in life. Even when the speaker does not intend it to be offensive.


You are right. I have to pick my battles. One of which was in the "English as a National Language" thread. Now that it is dead, I have found out so much more that could have helped me with my case there.

But with that being said, this thread is too a battle. Simply put, it amazes me the lengths of some people will go to defend their right to use a word that is offensive to other people. The funny thing is that I looked up all the countries that are fighting similar battles over language. They are numerous. So, the notion of fighting for the right to use a particular word is not exactly a non-issue. As I've read, horrific wars have been fought about words and the right to use them.

So, the issue here as I mentioned above goes past the point whether Tony Snow meant it or not. The more interesting aspect of this debate is the denial that the word has racist connotations--to the point of only viewing its "official" context--opposed to the racist legacy the word holds.


My question is, what would you have us do or say to make this right?


First of all, I apologize that this debate has turned ugly. I think that if people would stop thinking unilaterally and explore the meaning of the word by asking questions, it would be better. However, it also perplexes me that I got a lot of "finger-wagging" and "advice" because I felt the word was offensive. I wasn't speaking in a foreign language--in this post. I clearly stated my position after I began to research and understand the entire side of the story. I only knew of the negative connotations of the word, if not that it belonged to "Song of the South". But now after reading Harris' stories and thinking back to my memories of the film, I now know why it does.

So, the only thing I guess would be to treat the use of the word seriously and to acknowledge that it has an offensive connotation. Now that would also be wonderful compared to being called a "nut with issues" or that this is "lunacy". I wonder why it is that some people think that a Black person has issues for finding something offensive in a word usually considered that way in his or her experience. I also wonder why some people have to give advice or condemnation instead of listening and understanding curteously.



How you deal with it is however you deal with it. We ALL deal with being offended whether or not offense was meant! And in this case, I don't think it was.

My question is what do you want here? In this thread?


Yes that is true. And your answer is a lot more direct than some of the other posters on this thread. Other people here, I find, are not so direct about their views on race and how the word could potentially be a slur to other people. And because of that, they would rather attack than be curious and find out.

Only one person did that: dgtempe. She asked me straight out. She did not condemn me. She did not say I had issues. She simply asked me, as you are doing.

Other posters felt that they had to brow-beat me to their opinion. I did it on the "English as a National Language" thread and bowed out, hoping someone else would take up the reigns and continue the discussion. But, without a "straw lady" to lynch, the entire thread fell apart. Unfortunately, that's what I find happening on a lot of threads here. Without focusing aggression on a particular figure in a thread, the topic just dies.

No one can possibly take a step back and simply discuss the topic. But it takes someone to reach out of unilateral thinking to do that. And it takes a more courageous person to not "finger-wag" or "dispense advice" or "admonish" and simply listen. It ultimately takes the bravest person to acknowledge the other side of the argument and ask questions, even when those inquiries hurt you. Not many people are willing to step outside themselves and see another's point of view. Instead, I think it is more comfortable to condescend and make jokes instead of reaching and grasping for those feelings buried inside.



ceci, I'd really like to know what you want from the other posters here. Your comments are as valid as anyone else's. ALL of us have had other posters tell us that what we're talking about is a "non-issue" or that it's worthless or stupid somehow not worthy of being discussed. That's part of being a member here. That's part of life.


You're right here too. But, I would never tell a poster to their face that their ideas are "lunacy" or "idiotic" or that they "had issues".That is something you just don't do in a debate. But as I'm finding out, sometimes it is someone's way or the highway. Some people cannot see your point of view no matter what. Their belief system is too rigidly set in. And sadly, this goes back to unilateral thinking, or how whaaa puts it, "one-dimensional" thinking.

I would like people to understand where I am coming from, that's all. Nothing more. Nothing less. No accusations of "Anti-White racism". No attachment of "issues". And of course, a treatment of equality in all feelings here. I would do the same if people paid me as much respect. And that is why I admire you, Benevolent Heretic. You listen with patience, kindness and awareness.

We can agree to disagree, but that same respect is there.















[edit on 24-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 25 2006 @ 07:18 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
I'm still looking for what is being defined as "real racism" here.
No one can give me a good definition ...


I did. Pages ago!

The ICERD (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination) defines it here -

www.sahrc.org.za...

The dictionary says this ... rac·ism (rā'sĭz'əm) n.
The belief that race accounts for differences in human character
or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

And considering that definition I'd say that YOUR statement is racist.

Originally posted by ceci2006
And why do Caucasians feel they have to give advice when
there are issues such as this one?




[edit on 5/25/2006 by FlyersFan]



posted on May, 25 2006 @ 11:55 AM
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Words or combinations of same can mean many things depending upon context. We all know this. Personally, I don't find the term offensive, at least the way it was used by Mr. Snow in his statement. If he used it to describe his next door neighbor, obviously my thoughts would be much different. It is all in the context.

Ceci. I both like and respect you alot. as you know. But I think you've picked the wrong fight here. I've read and listened to Tony Snow for several years, and whilst I don't always agree with him, this I do know, he's no racist. He meant it exactly as he said it, nothing more or less.

Having said all that, I might feel differently if my exposure to racism was as a black man rather than white, southern rather than westerner (northwestern). I do not think so, but maybe.

I hope my comments are helpful, and in no way offend, because that was definitly not my intent.



posted on May, 25 2006 @ 12:09 PM
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Don't worry about it, seagull. I have decided not to answer this thread for a while. I am only concentrating on topics that are non-racial now. So, this is my last post.

Thank you very much for your response because I respect and like you as well. I look forward to reading your future posts.



posted on May, 25 2006 @ 12:15 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
I'm still looking for what is being defined as "real racism" here. No one can give me a good definition and probably can't because they can't even describe it in their own words. Can you?


Real racism? That's when someone judges you on your ethnic appearance alone and makes that the sole factor for making a decision about you. Some decisions can be logically made taking race into account without being what you would call racist. If a white male robs a store and drives off in a red truck, police will be looking for white men in red trucks. You may be pulled over because you fit this profile, but this is not racism. It's called common sense. Is it racist and sexist to only pull over white men? Of course not. You see there are other factors that influence the decision.

This movie is the perfect example of racism. People are making judgments based on one factor. The appearance of others.

Tony Snow wasn't even talking about people. Is it racism if I refer to African folklore to make a point? Think about this. Is drinking wiskey racist because Irish are stereo-typed as whiskey drinkers? I guess if you're not in that group and you make reference to anything that group does, it's racism. At least by some people's standards it is.

[edit on 25-5-2006 by dbates]



posted on May, 25 2006 @ 12:23 PM
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Thank you, dbates for your contribution. But I am serious. I am not going to address this topic nor others about race any more. I'll just let others call people "vermin" and "trash" and "tar babies" for now on.

So, Tony Snow is off the hook. I've made my peace about it. And, I know that my experiences are not to be validated.

Like Cynthia McKinney, just refer to me by describing the "nut's about the crack".



posted on May, 26 2006 @ 02:18 PM
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The term "tar baby" goes back to Joel Chandler Harris' "Uncle Remus" stories. The story about the tar baby refers to a doll made from tar - which when one of the characters in the story grabbed it on a hot day was very sticky and wouldn't "let go" of the character.

Calling Tony Snow a racist because of his use of the "tar baby" metaphor is simply one more way in which liberals argue in bad faith. It's bulls--t and nothing but.

Snow was purely and simply saying he didn't want to get involved in an inextricable discussion on a matter which was unlikely to be resolved to anyone's satisfaction - which is what a "tar baby" is in modern colloquial English.

This is one more case of liberals conveniently finding racism where none existed - like the incident back in the early 1990s of an attorney working for the city government of Washington, DC who was fired for using the word "niggardly" in a speech.

The word "niggardly" means "stingy." It has absolutely nothing to do with race - not even an imputation (it is derived from the Old Norse word "niggard," meaning "miser") - but this guy lost his job because someone in his audience was either determined to find racist content whether it existed or not, or was just incredibly ignorant about the meaning of a word in the English language.

The scary thing is that someone was highly enough placed in the government of Washington, DC to fire someone who hadn't done anything wrong, based on the fact that he or she didn't know enough to crack a dictionary or thesaurus to determine what the word "niggardly" meant. The people of Washington DC have a really stupid person making very serious decisions for them - which is what they should have been upset about.

And someone else is now straining at another non-existent gnat now in order to invent a racist incident that didn't happen.

This is bulls--t.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 11:43 AM
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Well...

I see the problem here as people coming from different backgrounds. First off, I will say that it doesn't appear that Snow job's comment was meant to be racist. HOWEVER, you must understand that people have different connotations for the same word.

I am aware of the dual meaning of "tar baby." However, the one that comes to mind first is racial slur. For Ceci, this appears to be the same way. The fact that Snow is white doesn't help either.

So, as a soundbite, this thing makes you say "what did he just say?" But, when you put it in context, you get an understanding.

Seems to me that most of the white posters are clueless on this concept. Let me give you an example. A lot of my uncles are truck drivers. When I was a lot younger, they would jokingly call me, my brother, and my cousins things like "watermelon" and "color boy." Back then, I just thought that was their way.


But when I got older, I realized that this was because their fellow truckers constantly referred to them with these terms. And, I realized they were racial slurs. Now, it pisses me off that they had to work in such conditions. For this and worse things, I admire my older relatives. They lasted a lot longer than I would have in those times.


But, Snow didn't say this as a racial slur. However, that does NOT automatically mean he's not a racist (not saying he is, spin masters
, and you know who you are).



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 07:00 PM
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I was at a homeowners association meeting last month and we had four directors elected during the meeting. After their election I commented in front of sixty or so people that with an even number of directors there was the distinct possibility of a mexican standoff.

Did I offend any Mexicans with the comment? After a little research after the meeting to ensure the correct usage of the term I noticed that some DO consider it offensive.

Moral of the story? Sometimes you say things in public that sound good and proper in your head but might have been better worded. I could have used another term rather than mexican standoff. Snow could have used a better term than tarbaby.

Bottom line is we are all humans and in public speaking none of us can be absolutely perfect.

[edit on 31-5-2006 by ATS christopher]



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 03:51 AM
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Originally posted by truthseeka
Well...

I see the problem here as people coming from different backgrounds. First off, I will say that it doesn't appear that Snow job's comment was meant to be racist. HOWEVER, you must understand that people have different connotations for the same word.

I am aware of the dual meaning of "tar baby." However, the one that comes to mind first is racial slur.


For you.

For countless other people who actually read or heard Joel Chandler Harris' original story, though, the meaning is not racial slur but a sticky problem that just won't let go.



For Ceci, this appears to be the same way. The fact that Snow is white doesn't help either.


In other words, Tony Snow is assumed to be more likely to have made a racist comment because of the color of his skin? Just how is this assessment itself not racist?

Snow is the victim of a double standard in which he is assumed to be guilty until proven innocent because of the color of his skin. This is just as bad as any racist judgment leveled at a person of color for the same reason.



So, as a soundbite, this thing makes you say "what did he just say?" But, when you put it in context, you get an understanding.

Seems to me that most of the white posters are clueless on this concept. Let me give you an example. A lot of my uncles are truck drivers. When I was a lot younger, they would jokingly call me, my brother, and my cousins things like "watermelon" and "color boy." Back then, I just thought that was their way.


But when I got older, I realized that this was because their fellow truckers constantly referred to them with these terms. And, I realized they were racial slurs. Now, it pisses me off that they had to work in such conditions. For this and worse things, I admire my older relatives. They lasted a lot longer than I would have in those times.


But, Snow didn't say this as a racial slur. However, that does NOT automatically mean he's not a racist (not saying he is, spin masters
, and you know who you are).


What about all the racism directed toward Asian-American store owners, Jews, and other members of "non-protected" ethnic groups?

I personally am a Cajun-American born and raised near New Orleans. We make fun of ourselves a LOT. No one knows more highly derogatory Cajun jokes than Cajuns. Why?

Because the jokes are funny and we're secure in the fact that they are not real descriptions (or perhaps not complete) descriptions of us and our ethnic group (Cajuns were estimated in the 1970s to be the most highly-educated ethnic group per capita in the United States of America).

And we drink a lot. So what? When people all over the world need oil wells sunk under a mile of ocean, who do they call for help? Us. Who did Bill Clinton call when he needed to get elected in two very close elections? James Carville, that crazy coonass from Carville, Louisiana.

I think it's time to stop jumping on things people say without intending to be racist just because the opportunity presents itself to falsely charge someone of having meant to say something racist.

Tony Snow got bum-rapped on that charge, and everyone ought to realize it. Save the energy for genuine problems such as the emergence of religious intolerance as an impetus for terrorism (such as 9/11).



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 10:45 AM
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It is total Bullsh*t, Tony's bs that is. A person in his position does not spout racial slurs in ANY form. Unintended or not he should be apologing for his ignorance not fumbling with words when called on to explain what he meant by the remark.

Tony's been on the talk show circuit so long it's in his nature to be provocative and irresponsible in his chosen profession. He thinks he can shape public opinion with his sly innuendos but should NEVER be allowed to get away with the kind of remark that does carry a very real racial connotation. Watch for his twisting of words, it's a ploy of their trade. They love to deflect attention from the real issue by stirring the pot with comments such as this which serve the duel purpose of 1) deflecting attention (from the NSA scandals--which he never did answer satisfactorily), and 2) manipulating opinion.

I love the concept of a 'tarbaby' and find it extremely ironic that the African folk tale is very much a euphemism for this very situation. It is so very unfortunate that certain groups had to use it for hateful means that a wonderfully wise piece of lore will become lost to racist provocateurs conjuring hate and hoping for violent reactions to further their wicked ways.



Originally posted by ATS christopher
I was at a homeowners association meeting last month and we had four directors elected during the meeting. After their election I commented in front of sixty or so people that with an even number of directors there was the distinct possibility of a mexican standoff.

Did I offend any Mexicans with the comment? After a little research after the meeting to ensure the correct usage of the term I noticed that some DO consider it offensive.

Moral of the story? Sometimes you say things in public that sound good and proper in your head but might have been better worded. I could have used another term rather than mexican standoff. Snow could have used a better term than tarbaby.

Bottom line is we are all humans and in public speaking none of us can be absolutely perfect.


Bottom line is you have a nice little strawman arguement that sounds good but begs the question: When was the last time being called a Mexican Standoff (or any kind of ethnic "Standoff") was considered a slur? Or was meant in a hateful manner?

"Hey there, Mexican Standoff, you're momma wears army boots." Never heard it.

Snow made his double-entendre racial slur knowing very well that a professional gasbag in his business should know what he's blabbering on about. Being in the employ of the AMERICAN PEOPLE he damn well needs to show better respect for ALL our citizens, not just his privileged white kind.


* * *

Sorry Ceci. I would've joined the fray earlier but was out of commission the past few weeks--then it took me awhile to catch up with this thread.

You have every right to be angry and the knuckleheads that don't get it need to think a little harder about the effects of their participation in our society as it is known today.

[edit on 6-6-2006 by psyopswatcher]



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 01:24 AM
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Does anyone rememnber that song "Shaving Cream"?
.......anyways..
There is a very good reason the Disney movie was driven out by Black America.
Pick out one story of many, but the overall message was that of a happy old slave who was content with his status and spent the day, la-la-laaaaa, happily telling cute animal stories to the massa's brat. Yessah, he was a happy negro .... and I believe there was lemonade.

"He didn't MEAN anything by it" is NO excuse!
Tony Snow has proved a very serious point;
Our government serves a population it doesn't know or even put forth an effort to understand!
If they cannot grasp the very basic sentiments of it's own population, what the hell are they doing overseas?
Didn't anyone tell him? Wasn't the man briefed on 'things you just don't say' in and around the Chocolate City?
I grew up outside the Beltway, so I KNOW what happens when you let white people 'slip up'. Your name eventually starts with an 'N'!!!!
Slurs beget violence and those of us terrorized by them in the very RECENT past, are NOT amused.
Now, are we going to educate these people or should I just go and 'n-word'-rig my car, go to the flea market and jew-down a vendor?
What?.......
I admire mechanically inclined people and boy, I just love people who can save a buck!
Ah-haaaaaaa.....

Even Snow's argument was flawed. The 'tar baby' WAS the problem! Nobody ever called me 'Brer Rabbit'. (brother rabbit wouldn't fit since I'm a woman, but ....you know what I mean)
Would you have this bafoon speak for your governement?

Perhaps we find a Press Secretary with a better command of the English language? This man thinks a phrase using the words 'tar baby' is honoring my culture and he's representing our government! WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU? and the people in his circle?

Can't we have someone who isn't critically lacking in cultural education, class and dignity.
Not some idiot dancing around the podium yelling...
"Whoo-Hoo, look at me, I'm the press secretary, I can say stuff like 'TAR BABY' and
get away with it.
What a Homer!

How about a bit of cultural enlightement?
Those on DC who presume to speak for us have to make some changes...

Let's start with the Washington DC football mascot!
...
You know, I could have gone my whole life without remember the pain those words caused me. Worse than 'n-word', so much hate....

Thanks a lot Tony, you freakin' MORON!



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 03:20 AM
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>>What I have to say is this: Pick your battles. Tony Snow did not use the term "Tar Baby" in the racial connotation. But regardless of how he meant it, I think it's clear that you took offense to it.

C'est la vie. This is life. People say things and others take offense. It happens in life. Even when the speaker does not intend it to be offensive.
...................

I looked up Tony Snow's bio and find it hard to believe that he didn't know the term 'tar baby' was offensive.

Ok...go with it, he was born in Kentucky, raised in the burbs of Cincinnati, got a BA in philosophy '77 and never heard tar baby used in a derogatory manner.
And I suppose he never knew why he never said it on Fox...
en.wikipedia.org...

Ok let's stretch the imagination and suppose Tony Snowjob didn't know any better.

The correct thing to do when 'inadvertently' insulting an entire race, is to
1. Acknowledge your mistake
2. Beg forgiveness from those you have offended
3. Stricken the offending verbage from your vocabulary and encourage others to do the same.

The incorrect response to such a mistake would be

1. Defending your use of an insulting epithet
2. Misinterpreting an old fable.
3. And then claiming superior knowledge of Black American Folklore and suggest that those who were offended are ignorant of the term and its history.

and to further this point.
The US government has demanded China explain the Tianenman Square protest!
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

The Chinese government said the request is rude.
If you understand a little bit about Asian people, you would know that rudeness is a serious offense. They use great effort to avoid offending others.

Don't people see that our leaders and their inability to interact effectively with other cultures is a huge problem in a world that is constantly shrinking?

Do I have a solution?
Yup.
I'm working on a cultural education program for kids.





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