Tar Baby, Tar!

Tar Baby

I haven’t been following politics all that closely of late (far too boring for words), but some things are simply irresistible.

As to whether Poilievre is a racist, we can’t possibly know that with absolute certainty when the likelihood that he’s nothing more than an odious nincompoop (as many MPs are inclined to be, sadly) is just as probable, if not more so.

29 Replies to “Tar Baby, Tar!”

  1. Well, I happen to think we are all a little racist, even though most of us do not want to be. The only way to eliminate it is to recognize it in the first place.

    That said, I know the phrase has a perfectly legitimate connotation, but once he learned people were offended, an apology should have been offered. Instead, his little supporters are out there complaining about Marlene Jennings, and suggesting she had no right to be offended in the first place.

    What is it with these people that they do not want to ever allow that they might have possibly been wrong?

  2. Unfortunately I find myself in the sad position of being one of Mr. Poilievre’s constituents. Given his dreadful history of such comments I would say that if he is not a racists he is the next worst thing: a man so horribly insensitive to the issues facing minorities and people of colour that he makes racism acceptable. Either way, he has no business being in any position of public trust.

  3. Is Marlene Jennings demanding an apology from Lloyd Axworthy, who said the same horrible racist thing? If not, then she should be quiet.

  4. It was brought up as a Point of Order after QP – he was informed that it was a racist remark. If he didn’t realize it (when reading from his PM notes), he simply could have said he did not realize it could be used that way and apologize to anyone who may have been offended. Not hard.

    PMO notes….no one including the PM realize how it could be taken? I don’t think so, even if Poilievre may not have.

    Some think it’s a diversionary tactis to get the eye off Chalk River, economy, etc. I don’t know.

    Welcome back by the way – hope things are improving for you.

  5. RT, Welcome back.

    Gayle, I totally agree with you.

    Patrick, You asking Pierre to apologize because he is …“too fucking stupid to recognize this as a bad idea”. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  6. Welcome back, Red. I hope you’re sufficiently rested. If not, don’t feel obliged. Nothing has gotten any less stupid.


    Is Marlene Jennings demanding an apology from Lloyd Axworthy, who said the same horrible racist thing? If not, then she should be quiet.

    Is that how manners work in your world, Barb?

  7. No, Ti, that would be “applying your outrage equally”, as opposed to merely against partisan opponents.

    But what Barb is overlooking is the context of Poilievre’s language as opposed to Lloyd Axworthy’s. The context of Poilievre’s language — referring to issues of paternity — lends itself immediately to the racist connotation of the term. Axworthy’s, by my view, did not.

  8. Ti-Guy,

    I also think we are roughly at the same level of stupid.

    Can somebody either teach Pierre some manners or ask that he appear in public with a sock in this mouth?

  9. Can somebody either teach Pierre some manners or ask that he appear in public with a sock in this mouth?

    Despite the wording of his little speech, the sad fact that the whole episode was primitive and stupid. It was just a lame-brained attack on Ignatieff via Dion’s Green Shift.

    I despair for this country. His constituents love this stuff. Whenever I hear that, I want to nerve gas Nepean.

    And now the media is busy dishing up every instance of “tar baby” ever uttered by anyone in the last ten years. This country has become officially too stupid to exist.

    Vive le Québec libre, mes anciens compatriotes. I’m moving to the Saguenay.

  10. Digital information now allows us to easily search phrases such as “tar baby” and then create an article that appears knowledgeable and erudite but is simply the lazied thing the writer could have done.

    Didn’t Paul Simon (The Boy in the Bubble) say that these are the days of miracle and wonder?

    Journalism has been trying to die for many years.

  11. Welcome Back!!!

    I read on the previous thread that you are going to post less and take this all a bit slower. Which I approve of, although I hope you keep posting a bit. Sooo, maybe it’s the new meds kicking in, but what’s this about feeling less alone? Hmmm?

    Anyway, back to the subject at hand, did you read the whole quote? “On that side of the House, they have the man who fathered the carbon tax, put it up for adoption to his predecessor and now wants a paternity test to prove the tar baby was never his in the first place…he wants a paternity test to prove that this tar baby is not his.”

    Can someone explain to me wtf Harper’s issue is with adoption and continually referencing it when discussing Dion? And how can anyone think they weren’t being racist when they were clearly referring to Dion’s daughter, who is an international adoptee and definitely not white.

    I mean, hello, between Harper’s own comments in the House, years ago to Stephen Taylor incident, to the chatelaine article, and all that “I have a real family” crap from Sweater Boy last fall, the new immigration bill, which will prevent international adoptees’ children from becoming citizens (which, btw, means that Dion’s grandchildren will have a difficult time becoming citizens, god forbid she dare go on vacation while pregnant…)—what in fucking hell is the PMO’s issue with adoption? And I’m sorry, I know most of you don’t take it that way, but, change the words to another issue and see if sounds slightly obsessed.

    Like change it to the word “pickles” and trust me, if he mentioned pickles over and over and over again, someone would start to ask wtf his issue is with pickles.

    So I want to know, is he adopted? Is he a secret birth father? Is some member of his family adopted? Does he have some strange problem with it? In Ontario tomorrow all the records are being opened, and it’s a huge event. He grew up there. Is he terrified of some secret coming out? A bunch of us on an adoptee board were puzzling over this earlier. We have bets placed on what kind of strange shit he’ll say next.

    Seriously odd…..

  12. …what in fucking hell is the PMO’s issue with adoption?

    They probably feel that it’s un-Canadian and élitist. Perhaps even European.

    The Romans invented it, remember. Says it all right there.

  13. Sir Francis,

    Immediately before my comment, Ti-Guy said:

    “And now the media is busy dishing up every instance of “tar baby” ever uttered by anyone in the last ten years. This country has become officially too stupid to exist.”

    My comment was responsive. I am in agreement and also added it was linked with lazy journalism. My Paul Simon quote was a metaphor on the ease we now have to do what was previously near impossible.

  14. Before I go any further, welcome back RT! Even if it is on an intermittent basis.

    Also Sir Francis, adoption is nothing. You can pretty much credit the Romans for creating the modern day state. I guess that makes the entire western world elitist for basing our nations on much of Roman legal codes, representative government, language, architecture, et al (wow even used Latin in this post!) By the way I agree with your thought, just widening it up.

    As for the topic at hand I’m with you RT in that Poilievre is not a racist, just the next biggest moron in the CPoC after Rob Anders. Though at least Anders has been keeping his mouth shut in the HOC for a long while. I think he said it with all the double entedres well thought out, willing to take a ‘hit for the team’ in order to distract everyone from the $50 billion deficit, Chalk River, implosion of the auto-sector, etc.

  15. Gayle points out “we are all a little racist”. I would go one step further and take the “a little” out of the statement. We are racist, period. Our collective racism is an ingrained addiction with some of us further up the ladder of recovery than others, but for the foreseeable, racist we are. A cheap privileged holiday in other peoples misery.

  16. Seems to me, uh, we have bigger fish to fry than a pretty equivocal phrase. I hadn’t actually heard the comment used in a racially prejorative manner.. and I’ve heard a lot of stupid shit in my day. (I am from Alberta, and my brother lived in Tennessee).

    Sort of like being in grade 1 when one kid hears another saying “poop” under their breath and just HAS to tell the teacher.

    Seems like what’s been accomplished is that ignorant racists have just been given another phrase that many of them probably never had the brains to think of on their own to now add to their simple-minded arsenal of epithets.

    BTW – “redneck” is now officially racially offensive, so, use the term at your own risk. I will not hesitate to use the “r” word.

    Oh – btw – welcome back R/T! Hope the break has been a good re-charge.

  17. Aurelia — As you can tell, I have a lot of pent up commenting to get out.

    Yes, I had noticed that. 😉

    thought you would write about George Tiller? Still can’t believe it…

    Sadly, it was all too predictable — a point made quite explicitly by many liberal, so-called “pro-choice” pundits this evening. Given all of the inflammatory rhetoric directed towards the man (“Tiller the baby killer”), hateful vitriol, ludicrous distortions of fact, and the relentless condemnation of him as a veritable spawn of Satan and “Hitlerian” mass-murderer, underwritten by a frenzied current of incitement for some fatal retribution to be exacted in the name of the deprived “unborn” and “life” in general… Well, the outcome was inevitable, and what little uncertainty involved was merely a matter of time and place. All that was needed to bring things to fruition was the right sort of unhinged maniac to fulfill the twisted fantasies of the callously cynical, gleefully deranged loudmouths who purport to dominate the “commanding heights” of morality in a certain corner of the media.

  18. Tory@York — Good to see you back and posting, hope the move went smoothly.

    Thanks. Nice to be back.

    The “move” was perhaps the easiest ever (out of the dozen or so I’ve made) given that I happily divested myself of practically all my possessions beforehand. What a lot of useless clutter!

    Now, if I can get down to a laptop, a sleeping bag, a decent pillow, and whatever can be packed into a suitcase, I’ll be quite happy. All the rest is just a bothersome encumbrance…

  19. “BTW – “redneck” is now officially racially offensive, so, use the term at your own risk. I will not hesitate to use the “r” word.”

    You bubble-headed booby! You realize what you’ve done?

  20. KEv — how could you miss him when he wouldn’t go away?

    LOL. Ouch.

    Hey, come on… I did much better than past attempts at not blogging. No posts for a month and just a handful of comments on the last thread from April. That’s not too bad!

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