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Associated Press Tries To Exploit “Tar Baby”

From the ever politically correct Associated Press:

Mass. Governor Sorry For ‘Tar Baby’ Comments

POSTED: 3:55 am HST July 31, 2006

BOSTON — Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is apologizing for referring to the troubled Big Dig construction project as a "tar baby."

Romney made the comment during a speech at a fundraiser with Iowa Republicans on Saturday. Romney told the crowd "The best thing politically would be to stay as far away from that tar baby as I can."

Romney said he didn’t know anyone would be offended by the term some consider a racial epithet.

Black leaders were outraged. The term dates back 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.

Romney is considering a run for president in 2008 and acknowledges he’s taking a political risk by taking control of the project after a fatal tunnel ceiling collapse but said inaction would have been even worse.

The fact that a phrase has been wrongly co-opted by some for use as an epithet doesn’t make it so. (Or a lot of words would be off-limits.)

From the Oxford English Dictionary:

tar-baby

(a) the doll smeared with tar, set to catch Brer Rabbit (see quot. 1881); hence transf. , spec. an object of censure; a sticky problem, or one which is only aggravated by attempts to solve it ( colloq. )

1881 J. C. Harris Uncle Remus ii. 20 Brer Fox..got ’im some tar, en mix it wid some turkentime, en fix up a contrapshun what he call a *Tar-Baby.

Meanwhile, more from our watchdog media at the Associated Press:

Police Search For Witnesses in Illinois Tourist Shooting

MIAMI (AP) — Authorities urged witnesses to come forward Monday and provide information in the fatal shooting of an Illinois tourist who was killed while asking for directions.

Police believe several people witnessed 54-year-old Ronald Gentile’s killing Saturday afternoon, but only one has provided any information. That hasn’t been enough to find the suspect.

“People are telling us they want to take the streets back from the criminal element, but don’t seem to realize we can’t do it alone,” Miami police spokesman Lt. Bill Schwartz said Monday.

Authorities say Gentile – a furniture salesman from Homewood, Ill. – was here celebrating his son Paul’s 17th birthday. He dropped the teen off at his restaurant job at a shopping mall and the two planned to meet later Saturday to watch “Superman Returns.”

Police believe Gentile pulled over in the Coconut Grove area to ask for directions when a man dressed entirely in black approached the car, robbed and shot him.

“We are speculating that because he was not familiar with the area, he stopped to ask for directions," said Miami police spokesman William Moreno.

Police say Gentile was seen exiting his rented white Chevrolet Cobalt, running a short distance, then collapsing. He was pronounced dead en route to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Authorities would not say where or how many times Gentile was shot. Schwartz said a diamond ring, a gold bracelet, a necklace and a wallet were stolen from the victim.

“There are many businesses and many people in the area,” Moreno said. “There are many witnesses, and only one stayed with the victim. We are asking those witnesses to realize that this is a human life, a great father.”

The victim’s family pleaded through the media to find the killer.

“This is a horrible crime,” said Gentile’s ex-wife, Cathy Girten-Gleber. “We are his family. We loved him. We need to find the person who did this.”

Shootings of tourists panicked many Florida vacationers in the early 1990s, but have subsided significantly since. The state’s tourism industry took two years to recover after 10 tourist-related slayings in 1992 and 1993; six of the killings were in the Miami area.

You see, the AP would like to help the Miami police get witnesses. They are, after all, crusaders for justice.

But not to the point of mentioning the fact that the perp is black.

That would be a tar baby, don’t you know.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, July 31st, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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