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Not everyone hears ‘tar baby’ as a benign historical reference to Uncle Remus’ tale of Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit (The Wonderful Tar Baby Story).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