Tuesday, August 2, 2011

You Can’t Touch That

Yet another Republican uses a racially-tinged word as if he had no idea what it means.

Appearing on the Caplis and Silverman radio show last Friday, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) said, “Now I don’t even want to have to be associated with [Obama], it’s like touching a tar baby and you’re stuck, you’re part of the problem now. You can’t get away.” The term “tar baby” is often considered a slur towards African Americans. Indeed, the term has such a derogatory history that the Oxford American dictionary revamped its definition to reflect the word’s racial undertones.

I’m posting this not because I think everybody who reads this should be shocked and outraged that in this day and age someone in politics would use a term like “tar baby” and not be aware of its history. It’s not because Mr. Lamborn has a visceral reaction to working with President Obama, as if there’s something icky about even being associated with him, even though that kind of attitude is more of a maturity level of a sixth-grader. And it’s not because I care that some folks in Colorado — a state I used to live in and still think of as a great place to visit — have elected a jackass to Congress.

The point is that Mr. Lamborn is a member of the party that keeps reminding us that they are the responsible ones, they are the adults, they are the ones who know best how to run the country and bring back prosperity and freedom and white bread to us all. And they’re totally not racist; how dare you suggest that.