Mass. Gov. Romney Apologizes for Remark

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http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/R/ROMNEY_RACIAL_REMARK?SITE=7219&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2006-07-31-08-37-35

BOSTON (AP) -- 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.

Black leaders were outraged at his use of the term, which dates to the 19th century Uncle Remus stories, referring to a doll made of tar that traps Br'er Rabbit. It has come to be known as a way of describing a sticky mess, and has been used as a derogatory term for a black person.

"Tar baby is a totally inappropriate phrase in the 21st century," said Larry Jones, a black Republican and civil rights activist.

"He thinks he's presidential timber," Jones said. "But all he's shown us is arrogance."

Romney's spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, said the governor was describing "a sticky situation."

"He was unaware that some people find the term objectionable and he's sorry if anyone's offended," Fehrnstrom said.

White House spokesman Tony Snow sparked similar criticism in May when he used the term in response to a question about government surveillance.
 

JonJ

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Totally stupid.
I guess I have to apologize every time I watch "Song of the South" which happens to be one of my all time favorite movies.
 
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JellyFish

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It's a perfectly legitimate term to use. Any kind of racist interpretation is with the person who thinks that, not with the person using the term. And clearly, in Mitt's case, there was ZERO racist intent.

I think some folks need to lighten up and stop acting like whining victims around minor things like this. It makes it much harder for those who face *real* racism.
 
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JellyFish said:
It's a perfectly legitimate term to use. Any kind of racist interpretation is with the person who thinks that, not with the person using the term. And clearly, in Mitt's case, there was ZERO racist intent.

I think some folks need to lighten up and stop acting like whining victims around minor things like this. It makes it much harder for those who face *real* racism.
I believe you've hit the nail on the head. Good insight JellyFish
 

Chris

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Yea, like all those liberals who insist on using the racist term "Saturday Night Special".

Just because they elected to drop the word "******town" from the front of the phrase does not eliminate the pure racist origin of the word.

At least Mitt was using an old term that has been bastardized. Of course, the media always puts such a niggardly effort into their reporting that it's no wonder that they dwell on this issue.
 
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And you can tell that he's never lived in the south. As when I read that he used the word Tar Baby...that's the first thing that I though of...

But then, in the South racism is a little more rampid than in the North.

But in the south, if you use that phrase, it means a black person.

Now, that still doesn't mean that it should have been read that way. As Jelly said, it only was because that's what the other person wanted to hear.

Hell, the context alone shows that he wasn't meaning that if you just listened.
 

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Nashmack said:
Still, I'd say he just lost a lot of black votes.
It's not as though he was going to get many anyway. The blacks that vote for him are the ones that are smart enough to know what he was saying.

On WRKO this morning, someone equated the "tar baby" comment to a white person sitting in a restaurant next to a black person who asks the waiter for more "crackers".
 

hminsky

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Governor Romney then went on to ask a reporter from the Associated Press if he could "bum a fag" off him.
 
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Jose

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Does anyone remember the treasury official who used the word "niggardly" in its literal sense in a press conference and was cricified by the race pimps?

What's worse is that all the race baiters and pimps knew *exactly* what the word meant and that it was being used in the appropriate context. But who are they to pass up another opportunity to whip up the ignorant blacks into a frenzy?
 
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Jose said:
Does anyone remember the treasury official who used the word "niggardly" in its literal sense in a press conference and was cricified by the race pimps?

What's worse is that all the race baiters and pimps knew *exactly* what the word meant and that it was being used in the appropriate context. But who are they to pass up another opportunity to whip up the ignorant blacks into a frenzy?
Truth is stranger than fiction...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niggardly

David Howard incident
On January 15, 1999, David Howard, a white aide to Anthony A. Williams, the black mayor of Washington, D.C., United States, used the word in reference to a budget. This apparently upset one of his black colleagues (identified by Howard as Marshall Brown), who incorrectly interpreted it as a racial slur and lodged a complaint. As a result, on January 25 Williams forced Howard to resign.

However, after an internal review into the matter and pressure from the gay community (of which Howard was a member), the mayor offered Howard the chance to return to his position as Office of the Public Advocate on February 4. Howard refused but accepted another position with the mayor instead.

The Howard incident led to a national debate in the U.S., in the context of racial sensitivity and political correctness, on whether use of the word niggardly should be avoided because of its potential association with the extremely pejorative racial slur ******, despite the entirely separate and unrelated etymologies of the two words ("******" derives from niger, the Latin for "black").

Moral of story: Gay white aide + black mayor trumps straight black aide
 
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It seems to me Tony Snow got into trouble recently for using the same 'tar baby' phrase in the same way Mitt did. [rolleyes] Idiots making judgements drive me crazy. The niggardly thing was the height of it all!
 
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I'd say he got it right. People need to pick their battles and not assume that everything is a racial slur! Move on already.
 

dwarven1

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C-pher said:
But then, in the South racism is a little more rampid than in the North.
WTF does "rampid" mean, Chris?? Or were you trying to type "rampant" had a fingerfart? [wink]

Your friendly neighborhood spelling police.
 

JonJ

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dwarven1 said:
WTF does "rampid" mean, Chris?? Or were you trying to type "rampant" had a fingerfart? [wink]

Your friendly neighborhood spelling police.
It's a hybrid. Lots of something real fast rampent + rapid=rampid
No?
Get with it. It's NESbonics.
 
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Coyote33 said:
No matter which way anyone spins it, Mitt has gotten HIMSELF into one now.
I disagree. Everyone running for office is allowed a few buys. He apologized. This will soon be forgotten.
 

KMaurer

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I guess I better get with the program. I'll start by sending nasty letters to whatever company is running those stupid commercials with the lunatic whale in a kilt, then go after the network with the re-runs of Hogan's Heroes. Next it'll be whoever just posted that insulting, racist cartoon of a leprechaun here. I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to find insufferably offensive to my Dutch and Russian ancestors, but I'll manage to get upset over something. Maybe if I send my letters on legal letterhead they'll throw some money at me to try to get me to go away. [rolleyes]

Ken
 
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uncalled for Sir

I have to say...I have a much bigger problem on any day with the word "******town" than I do with what Mitt said, given its context.

What in hell is that supposed to mean anyway? I don't understand at all how using that expression aided in conveying your point, whatever it was. Would you be kind enough to share?
 

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Moga, Please read this. It explains what he meant.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturday_night_special

Some believe that the term derives from "******town Saturday Nights."[7] In an essay titled "Gun Grabbers: Masters of the New Plantation," Vin Suprynowicz argues that the term developed from police slang: "... the origin of this term for the inexpensive handguns most useful for self-defense to a black or Hispanic resident of the inner city is the old, derogatory police slang '******town Saturday Night,' referring to inner city weekend violence not meriting much attention, since it mainly occurred among the black folk." [8] Among the authors citing some variation of this same origin are William R Tonso, professor emeritus at the University of Evansville and the author of many articles arguing that gun control is a racist plot by whites against the black race [9]; Barry Bruce-Briggs, author of "The Great American Gun War"; and Dave Kopel, editor-in-chief of Journal on Firearms and Public Policy.
 
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Maybe I'm totally out-to-lunch here, but I think we ONLY have a problem of context.

I've heard the term used often enugh, and for both usages. But never have I heard the term used to discribe a sticky situation (where the more you try to get out of it, the more stuck you get) where it's used as a jibe for people of color.

And I've heard people call a black person a "Tar baby" but never have I even seen any context of a "sticky situation".

in the words of George Carlin: "On TV it's ok to 'prick your finger', but never 'finger your prick'!"

A little more on-topic, You can mention that Hitler rounded up and murdered Gypsies durring the holocost, but yet I can't use the term "Gypsy Cab" when talking about an unlicenced taxi.

Am I wrong here?

-Weer'd Beard
 

KMaurer

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Ah, but this is Massachusetts, and Mitt is a white Republican with serious aspirations for higher office, so anything's fair. If he's reading Cinderella to a group of young kids and doesn't skip over the part where she "pricks her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel", they'll be accusing him of child pornography.

Ken
 
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