Brer Tony Backpedals

Tony Snow told Hugh Hewitt that White House critics misinterpreted “hug the tar baby” as a racial slur and are ignorant of American cultural history.

On Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Snow said he doesn’t want to have to “explain a hundred and fifty years of American culture,” so he’s pulled ‘tar baby’ from the “toolchest of rhetorical devices.”

Not everyone hears ‘tar baby’ as a benign historical reference to Uncle Remus’ tale of Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit (The Wonderful Tar Baby Story).

The Black Commentator cites a different contemporary meaning: “A tar baby is a black person you can’t get rid of.”

There’s more than just fairy tales tales and children’s stories lurking in the last 150 years of American cultural history. The White House should stop ignoring America’s strange fruit.

— Sam Robinson

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3 Comments on “Brer Tony Backpedals”

  1. David E. Gallaher Says:

    At least Joel Chandler Harris was not so grim as the Grimm brothers.

    Sharing personal history here:
    Many years ago, I spent a night at the home of Georgia’s “official” Uncle Remus.
    Yes he was a white dude!? This was in Eatonton, the hometown of the author of “The Color Purple.”

    An old, old friend of mine was the understudy to the little girl in the Walt Disney movie, “Song of the South.”
    She still lives in Sinincincinnati when she is not gallivanting around the US.


  2. Oh for Pete’s sake, what a ridiculous leap. I have never heard the phrase tar baby used in any context other than the Joel Chandler Harris one.
    And to then suggest that this phraseology means that the White House is ignoring a history of lynchings? Come on!

  3. Natashia Says:

    For the love of God… go here for this kind of thinking: http://www.mauricesbbq.com/politics/index.html


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