Haley Barbour called President Barack Obama’s policies “tar babies” on a post-election conference call for clients of his lobbying firm, two sources familiar with the call told POLITICO.Naturally the entire local media jumped into the briar patch as well as they gave the story prominent coverage. Senator Kenneth Wayne Jones defended Br'er Haley on WLBT while WAPT and WJTV covered the story. The Clarion-Ledger jumped in as well. Meanwhile some columnist on Talking Points Memo called for a boycott of all things Br'er Haley. The Clarion-Ledger published the column as well. Did I mention he is white?
The former Mississippi governor made the remark as he was taking questions from 100 or more clients of the BGR Group during an hourlong call on Thursday morning. According to a person on the call, Barbour was noting how rare it is for Americans to elect a president from the same party as a commander-in-chief leaving office after two terms.
“And then he said there is no one who will run for president who will endorse Obama’s issues, because Obama’s issues are ‘tar babies.’”
Barbour, in an email to POLITICO, acknowledged making the comment.
“If someone takes offense, I regret it. But, again, neither the context nor the connotation was intended to offend,” wrote Barbour, who is known for his political savvy, but whose folksy Southern style has occasionally drawn allegations of insensitivity on fraught racial and cultural issues.
The term “tar baby” is often used to describe a sticky situation. In 19th century popular fiction, the “Tar-Baby” was a doll made of tar and turpentine used to entangle Br’er Rabbit.
But it has also been used at times in the past as a racial slur, according to Random House. When political figures have invoked it in recent years, there has been disagreement about how racially charged the term is.
“The Oxford American Dictionary defines the term as ‘a difficult problem, that’s only aggravated by attempts to solve it.’ This is exactly what I meant and the context in which I used the term,” wrote Barbour... Rest of article
Well, the Kingfish discovered after talking to a few reporters that they had no clue what a tar baby was as they had not read the Uncle Remus story or even heard of it. Needless to say, none of them have seen it on Song of the South as the movie not been released in over thirty years and probably never will be again. So since everyone is huffing and puffing over this story and many don't even know what they are talking about, here is a clip that tells the story in question.
Racist comment or not? We report, you decide.