Tar Baby bites Mitt Romney

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posted on Jul, 31 2006 @ 04:35 PM
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Well, it happened to Tony Snow, and now it's happened to Mitt Romney. The Republican governor of Massachusetts is being excoriated for his use of the term "tar baby". He was referring to his takeover of the troubled "Big Dig" project in Boston, which has faced many problems since it's inception.


BOSTON — Gov. Mitt Romney has apologized for referring to the troubled Big Dig construction project as a "tar baby" during a fundraiser with Iowa Republicans, saying he didn't know anyone would be offended by the term some consider a racial epithet.

In a speech Saturday, Romney, a Republican considering a run for president in 2008, acknowledged he took a big political risk in taking control of the project after a fatal tunnel ceiling collapse, but said inaction would have been even worse.

"The best thing politically would be to stay as far away from that tar baby as I can," he told a crowd of about 100 supporters in Ames, Iowa.

www.foxnews.com...


Emphasis added

Black leaders were outraged at the term, claiming it had racist undertones.

The same arguments that applied to the Tony Snow incident, in which Snow was chastised for using the term back in May, apply here. And the main lesson seems to be that our language must by necessity remain stuck in the 19th century so as not to offend some very sensitive egos.




posted on Jul, 31 2006 @ 10:41 PM
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I really just don't understand how anyone can be stupid enough to use that phrase. I know its supposed to mean a big mess that, one you touch it, it sticks to ya. But, seriously, the 'other' meaning is just too nasty, really idiotic from a guy that wants to keep his political career alive.



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 04:56 AM
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The question tht comes to my mind with these "tar baby" references is how they even land in the public forum. I certainly know what the term implies, but I've never heard it used in serious conversation in all my years (personally). It is also not a term that I would ever consider using in discussing an issue, merely because the term would never come to mind.

So what is wrong with this picture when it slips out of the mouths of public figures "accidentally" with out thinking it through. Why is it even part of their vocabulary?



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 06:14 PM
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Originally posted by Relentless
The question tht comes to my mind with these "tar baby" references is how they even land in the public forum. I certainly know what the term implies, but I've never heard it used in serious conversation in all my years (personally). It is also not a term that I would ever consider using in discussing an issue, merely because the term would never come to mind.

I think it's because of the nature of the occupation - politics. Certain arcane terminology tends to crop up more in one occupational field than others. I'm sure that the same is true in medicine, engineering, and other fields.

Politicians are quick to assess the political danger of any situation, so to label something as a "tar baby" is not out of the norm for them.


So what is wrong with this picture when it slips out of the mouths of public figures "accidentally" with out thinking it through.

It's a byproduct of reading from a script as opposed to off-the-cuff remarks. Chances are much less likely that the term would have made it into any prepared speech.



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 02:42 PM
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If it was meant as a racial slur then he deserves to be smacked upside the head.

If it was meant one of the many other ways that the term is used, then he should
be able to say it without any problems from anyone. Just because some people
aren't educated in this country and they don't understand the English language,
and/or it's many phrases and meanings, is no reason for the rest of us who ARE
educated to intellectually bring ourselves down to the lowest common denominator.


The uneducated need to be raised up to understanding basic English ... don't bring
the educated down to not being able to speak clearly (and innocently!).


Obviously it wasn't a racial slur. Obviously it was meant referring to (to
paraphrase Nygdan) - a big mess that once touched will stick nastily.

Those social leaders who are upset by this really need to get an education and
they really need to go after REAL racism .. which this is not.




[edit on 8/3/2006 by FlyersFan]



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 02:51 PM
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i think everyone just needs to stop playing the race card. racism perpetuates its self by being talked about. i dont get offended every time a black person asks for the cheese and crackers. the term "tar baby" has been used for a messy situation way before it was used as a racial slur. these archane terms only offend people because they let it. its obvious he didn't mean it as a racial slur.



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 02:58 PM
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If it is considered racist to refer to a fake rabbit made out of tar, so be it.


Interestingly enough, a racist reference I did find to tar baby is that black people use it to refer to others of darker skin.

While it shows some obliviousness to political correctness and cultural sensitivity, to me it shows more of a lack of intelligence for people to put things in context. If Al Sharpton is so concerned about the plight of African Americans, maybe he should stop doing those ads for a certain advance-loan / check-cashing place. Yup. Exploitation only goes one way.



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 03:06 PM
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I recommend the more politically correct phrase:

Adhesive baby

or possibly

Glue baby

or maybe even

sticky baby

putty baby

Mucilage baby...fixative baby...pasty baby...

Any of those? will they work?



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 03:10 PM
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Maybe if you change the term "baby". It has been found offensive to pre-toddlers.



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 03:22 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
our language must by necessity remain stuck in the 19th century so as not to offend some very sensitive egos...


..... and some people who REFUSE to educate themselves and understand that the
term has MANY meanings.
You nailed it jsobecky. Everyone must 'dumb
down' to the lowest level since the idiots at the bottom don't seem to want to
educate themselves to better understand the spoken word here in the USA.



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan
Everyone must 'dumb
down' to the lowest level since the idiots at the bottom don't seem to want to
educate themselves to better understand the spoken word here in the USA.


All hail the Lowest Common Denominator! The future of America!



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 04:43 PM
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Originally posted by hogtie


Maybe if you change the term "baby". It has been found offensive to pre-toddlers.


You know, I thought about that too..
So, can we go with "Adhesive Age Deficient Pre-Adult Homo Sapiens"
Because THAT rolls off the tongue, unless of course, it sticks to it!



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 05:25 PM
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Originally posted by spacedoubt

Originally posted by hogtie


Maybe if you change the term "baby". It has been found offensive to pre-toddlers.


You know, I thought about that too..
So, can we go with "Adhesive Age Deficient Pre-Adult Homo Sapiens"
Because THAT rolls off the tongue, unless of course, it sticks to it!




I bow to your powers of sensitive lexicography. Bravo!



posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 03:34 AM
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For a moment there, I thought I was watching the Algonquin Round Table at work. Heck. I even thought I read the posts of Dorothy Parker chastising the American public for being UNEDUCATED about Joel Chandler Harris even though his work has been criticized for appropriating African-American images and words while making money from them. But yes, for being proclaimed by President Theodore Roosevelt as one of the "most beloved men in America", I guess we ought to forgive the Georgian writer for his use of "tar baby" just like we forgive those who trespass against us.

Sigh....but this isn't a discussion about "high literature". This is just a thread devoted to Confederate apologists patting themselves on the back for bringing back an antiquated, rather infamous term, praising others who use the term despite its infamous leanings and giving politicians a pass for adopting the term even though it is found to be derogatory to a segment of the American population.

But then again, I don't even know why I would equate this thread to the Algonquin Round Table. Among its members at the venerated hotel were finer and more appreciated voices of literature than a Civil War era plagarist.





[edit on 4-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 06:03 AM
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He was referring to the Big Dig which has turned into the biggest fiasco this country has seen in a long time!!! If "Tar Baby" can be used in the context of a "big mess" i dont see what the problem is, but that's just me. To be honest, i think the furthest thing from that mans mind was to offend some. He's got a huge problem.



posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 07:29 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
I even thought I read the posts of Dorothy Parker chastising the American public for being UNEDUCATED about Joel Chandler Harris even though his work has been criticized for appropriating African-American images and words while making money from them. But yes, for being proclaimed by President Theodore Roosevelt as one of the "most beloved men in America", I guess we ought to forgive the Georgian writer for his use of "tar baby" just like we forgive those who trespass against us.


I'm fine with the term tar baby being banished when Toni Morrison gives up all of her royalties for her book called... Tar Baby. Quite frankly, she's the one that uses it as an epithet. The subject of this thread used it as its original meaning in the Brer Rabbit story. Is this another word that only certain people can use?

[edit on 8/4/2006 by hogtie]



posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 08:32 AM
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.... uneducated .... refuse to be educated .... just want to whine .... refuse to
understand or admit that a phrase can have multiple meanings. Pick one.

There is absolutely no reason why Americans must 'dumb themselves down'
and not use perfectly innocent English language phrases simply because a few
people in the population have decided they don't want to understand the
multiple meanings it has.

BTW ... I'm a yankee through and through. Born and raised in Connecticut as
were my parents and their parents before them. I got stuck living in Alabama for
nine years and anyone who has read my posts for the past 2+ years knows
full well that I HATED living in the south. At this moment I actually have the
Northern Union Flag flying in front of my house .. that's right .. a replica of the
one from the Civil War in which the UNION flew fighting against the Confederates.

(I'm into historical flags and have many from the Revolutionary War as well.
NO I don't have any Southern Civil War Flags!)

So Ceci .. once again you get it completely wrong in a MAJOR way. You couldn't
have gotten it any more wrong.



posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 09:12 AM
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Ceci, with all due respect, i wish you'd get over yourself. Seriously.

Be a content African-American. I'm a content Hispanic and i dont care what is said. I'm happy with myself.

Go to counseling or something. There is every race, every nationality on this board and for some reason a little thing like "Tar Baby" turns into the bogeyman.

I got an idea. Lets talk about fat, unemployed people. That would let us know who is fat and who is unemployed. Ya think???


Those who come back screaming will definatedly fit the bill


Whad'ya say???

Dont let the slightest phrase get to you- you're going to be the only one going to an early grave. In clean vocabulary i'll say "Who gives a Gosh Darn what anyone thinks? This is the Internet. The ones that claim to be lilly white probably are Not
The ones who claim to be thin...weigh 500 lbs....The ones with the beautiful avatars most likely are homely. This is a fantasy world...Dont let it get to you.

I for one, have 3 eyes, weigh 900 lbs, dont shave, have long flowing hair under my armpitts (Willie Nelson in a head lock) my seat is bolted to me so i sleep sitting...eat 5 chickens a day sitting at the computer.......OR i could be normal, pleasant, and an ordinary human being.

I wish you'd stop the whinning about anything to do with race. WHO GIVES A FLYING FLUCK what anyone thinks??????

/rant



posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 06:50 PM
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dg,just because I disagree about the use of tar baby I have to go to counseling?

By all due respect, get over yourself. You know you'd be outraged if someone told you the same advice over your feelings about the Castro regime in Cuba. In that way, someone could propose you are turning him in to the bogeyman.

And you know, we each have one.

As for FlyersFan: stop being a yankee wannabe. You can put your credentials out there as long as you want, but it doesn't absolve you of your lack of empathy for Black people. So just accept it as it is. Admit you just don't get it and just claim you support a Civil War era, two-bit plagarist.


[edit on 4-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 06:53 PM
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Ceci, be my guest. Indulge. You're taking years off your life by dwelling in things not important.

Take care~





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