“This is just about waving a tar baby in the air and saying that something else is a problem,” Bachmann said in an interview Wednesday with The Shark Tank, a conservative news organization that covers Florida politics. “I have never seen a more irresponsible president who is infantile in the way that he continually blames everyone else for his failure to first diagnose the problem and second to address the problem. It’s always everyone else’s fault.”
She said her message for the president is, “Get over it,” and stop blaming everyone else.
The term “tar baby” is a racially loaded phrase coined in the “Brer Rabbit” tales. The term generally means a “sticky situation,” but has also been used as a derogatory term for a black person.
Oh yes she did! And she’s not the first!
Last year, when Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) said that associating with President Obama was “like touching a tar baby,” I wrote this:
Same goes for Michele Bachmann. I’m long past the point of listening to the excuses of those who believe that being called “capital R” Racist is the Worst Thing Evah, and who refuse to take responsibility for the racist shit that they say. Just STOP SAYING AND DOING RACIST SHIT.
Also? I’m going to need Michele Bachmann to stop saying and doing stupid shit. Seriously. What does “waving a tar baby in the air” even mean? As Ta Nehisi-Coates pointed out in 2006, “tar baby” refers to a trap:
The concept of tar baby goes way back, according to Words@Random from Random House: “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 term itself was popularized by the 19th-century Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris, in which the character Br’er Fox makes a doll out of tar to ensnare his nemesis Br’er Rabbit.
One does not “wave a tar baby in the air,” Chelley. What’s wrong with you?
Look — I’ll allow for the fact that some people don’t know that “tar baby” is derogatory. I will not make such an allowance for Michele “Slavery Wasn’t That Bad” Bachmann. Her use of the term smacks of “snicker, snicker, I’m going to use tar baby because I’m talking about oil, and when I get busted I can ‘wink wink nod nod’ my way out of it.”
No. Just stop it with the “tar baby” crap already.
Okay, fine. I’ll buy that. But just this one time. I hope Romney and his surrogates — *ahem* Ted Nugent — understand the rules of the game. They don’t get to accidentally-on-purpose use the words “tar baby” and “Obama” in the same sentence and brush it off a second time. There are no “tar baby” mulligans in this game of Take Back the White House from that Black Guy. Them’s the breaks.
For example, let’s say Romney and friends get stuck in Coon Valley and find themselves without water for days on end. Too bad! They do not get to make a pit stop at Tar Baby Lake because they will have already used up their “I didn’t know tar baby was offensive” card.
Now, if they can make it past Tar Baby Lake, Romney and friends are free to buy fresh water and other supplies at the Santorum Memorial Anti-Government Nig-uhhh Grocery Store before making the final trek to Don’t Re-Nig Mountain. Once they reach the peak of that mountain, they will have reached the NI-CLANG! event horizon, at which point — well — I don’t know actually. Up until now, the NI-CLANG! event horizon was entirely theoretical. Few have ever lobbed these sorts of slurs at a sitting president before. I mean, plenty of people called Andrew Johnson a scalawag back in the day, but everybody knew it was true, so it was no big deal.
What I’m saying is, we’re in uncharted territory, people. I hope you’re prepared.
ABL aka Angry Black Lady aka Imani Gandy is a recovering attorney with a burning love of fire and perfectly-constructed sentences. The “anger” portion of her moniker stems not from her displeasure at the hellscape that American politics has become, but rather is a symptom of the pituitary tumor which has been indefinitely detained in her brain since 2006. When she’s not pointing out that people are wrong on the Internet – or writing for Balloon Juice, The Grio, The Team Uterati Wiki Project, or RH Reality Check -- she likes long sits on the beach. Also, she thinks gravity is a real downer. You can follow her on Twitter at @AngryBlackLady.
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