Obama Racism Watch: GOP Rep says associating with him is like touching a “tar baby”

The latest dispatch from a post-racial society. Via Think Progress:

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.”

A spokesperson for Lamborn said, “Congressman Lamborn regrets any misunderstanding. He simply meant to refer to a sticky situation or quagmire.” Look, I think your everyday Joe Shmoe could perhaps reasonably claim they didn’t know the derogatory history of the term.

But a politician? When the Oxford American Dictionary makes note of its racist connotations? When not one, not two, but three members of his party have found themselves in hot water for using the phrase in recent years? (As Paul quipped at Shakesville, “Learned nothing from Romney, Davis, and McCain, I see.”) And when he’s using the term in reference the first African-American president of the United States?

Yeah, there’s really no excuse.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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