Niggardly Tar Baby Criticism
Dan Froomkin notes that the press corps was downright niggardly in criticism over Tony Snow’s use of the racist term “tar baby” in a press conference yesterday, noting that he “He got away almost scot-free using a term — ‘tar baby’ — that many consider racist.”
Now, many consider the use of the term “scot free,” which they mistakenly think a term of derision for people from Scotland, offensive. So, really, Froomkin is just a pot calling the kettle black. Plus, as Stephen Spruiell explains, Froomkin is being rather niggardly in his fealty to the 1st Amendment.
This whole thing reminds me of a classic 1999 column from William Raspberry.
Boy, where could you go with that one? Would Christmas carolers be charged with homophobia for singing “Don we now our gay apparel”? Can our kitchens no longer be spic and span? Are we forbidden to sing doo-wop, lest we expose the chink in our armor?
A smart-aleck black friend of mine used to refer to those little mites that burrow into your skin and itch like the devil as “cheegroes.” I thought it was funny.
Later in the piece, he counsels us “not to be so quick on the treegro” in these situations. It’s good advice.