You are here
Home > Posts tagged "Song of the South"

The Wondrous Tale of Brer Lamborn, Brer FOX & Obama the Tar Baby. Uncle Remus and Racism in Colorado Springs.

COLORADO SPRINGS- If US Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) remembered one thing from the Uncle Remus stories, it was not to touch that Tar Baby! You know, the one Brer Rabbit mistook for a cute black infant who would not tip his hat to his better. Or was that a Porch-Monkey? Colorado's 5th District is unclear about the distinction if the local media and Fox News are to be believed. Either term refers to a poor person whose sticky problems become your "quagmire" if you ignore your natural prejudice to their skin color and you let them touch you. Can a representative of bigots be bothered to know if a racial slur is offensive? According to Lamborn, he can't. More important, the congressman reiterates --as he professes his apology to people taking umbrage at racism he hadn't intended to express-- is: NOT TO TOUCH THAT OBAMA!   To be clear, Doug Lamborn hasn't apologized to his constituents, he's only claimed to have sent President Obama a letter, assuring all that Obama, the black untouchable, will have the grace to forgive him as "a man of character".   And so this Uncle Remus tale simply goes on... The story so far Lamborn calls black US president a Tar-Baby, public outrage ensues, Gazette newspaper lends support to Lamborn's excuse that Tar-Baby wasn't used in racist sense. Protests held by NAACP, community groups and local progressives, all which Lamborn refuses to meet. Lamborn office erects sign NO PROTESTS. ACT II: Lamborn office calls for his supporters to rally, presumably under the "no protest" sign. His office issues a press release: AP, Fox News, national and statewide outlets report before the fact that LAMBORN SUPPORTERS RALLY. Huffpo and Springs activists scramble to get images of said protest sanctioned despite "no protest" sign, find none. Local TV station KOAA which had depicted rally with a photo, hours before it was alleged to happen, omitted to mention photo was from file, conveniently unfocused and likely of a past year election event. With every shenanigan, the theme resounds: the Colorado Springs establishment supports what Doug Lamborn said about Obama being a Tar Baby. Racism in Colorado Springs No one is in denial about the unsavory support behind Doug Lamborn. So does Colorado Springs support his bigotry? Does the Tea Party shit in Acacia Park? You should see those clan gatherings, you can't find a parking space for blocks, then it's a sea of hate-filled white faces, with Doug Lamborn right there up front. The comment section of every local media blog overflows with indignation that "Tar-Baby" is being construed to be racist. Commentators assert their preference for Freedom of Speech over Political Correctness. BTW, Colorado Springs is as segregated as Chicago, with black neighborhoods, churches and schools. Many lives never cross the path of another of different ethnicity, so we're blameless actually when we conclude there's no racism here. Except toward Hispanics, grouped conveniently with illegal immigrants, who don't count, by definition, according to our favorite definition: legality. Same as used to apply to slaves. The

Doug Lamborn won’t touch President Obama because he says he’s a Tar Baby

That line probably gets lots of laughs at Tea Parties, but over Denver airwaves, Congressman Doug Lamborn's likening President Obama to a "Tar Baby" got, I'll say it, sticky. Yeah, the expression meant "intractable quagmire" when Mitt Romney used it to describe an cost-prohibitive subway project, but Tar Baby's primary allusion to a negative African-American stereotype got Romney in trouble. Now like a banana peel gag irresistible to Republicans, "Tar Baby" is how Doug Lamborn chose to describe, not a hole in the ground into which you pour money, not a trap set by a clever fox to lure the Uncle Remus progenitor of Bugs Bunny, but to describe his Teabag constituents' poster child usurper, risen from America's untouchable class, our first black president.   You dopey Tea Party Klan jester, you won't shake Barack Obama's hand because it's black. You're a racist sneak, unfortunately egged on by the bigots endemic to your backwater district. I hope you find that the rest of Colorado will make your "Tar Baby" remark a real tar baby for you. Lamborn says he meant "quagmire" and a supportive media is referencing the dictionary to assert his usage was correct. But the instances for which Romney and John McCain apologized were quagmires, not personifications, least of all OF Obama. A physicist can say he's got a problem that's real bitch, but not if he's talking about his wife. I think it's fairly disingenuous to say the primary definition of Tar Baby is a quagmire. That's like concluding Fag is a cigarette. Yes, but that's when neither are used to describe a person. Curiously the local media helpfully mention that "Tar Baby" was a plot device in Uncle Remus, popularized by Disney in Song of the South. No mention that it's the only animation that has not been reissued, because it's widely regarded as offensive on racist grounds. Lamborn has apologized to President Obama and assures interviewers that he's confident his apology will be accepted. Isn't it ironic that he won't touch Obama with a ten foot pole, yet can count on the man's magnanimity? Of course he's right, the president opposes nothing, why take issue with racism? But I believe Lamborn will have lost his value to even his Tea Party Klan associates. Having his apology accepted, it's going to be impossible for Lamborn to belittle Obama with even a pea-brain pretense of credibility.

Top