In the latest addition of “umm, that’s racist,” meet Sen. Frank Ruff of Virginia, a GOP state senator who invoked the racial slur “tar baby” to condemn the Affordable Care Act. Ruff made the comments during an appearance at a breakfast meeting of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce. At the time, Ruff was arguing against extending the state component of the Affordable Care Act with federal funds. All states have that option under the health care law.
On the use of “tar baby,” the Virginia Pilot notes:
Ruff reputedly compared reliance on promised funds to provide health insurance for thousands of low-income Virginians to a “tar baby.” He said doing so would leave the state unable to later detach itself from the program if its terms become unfavorable for Virginia, several people at the meeting claimed.
And not long after, he gave the typical “I wasn’t being racist by using this racist term” retort:
In a brief telephone interview Wednesday morning, state Sen. Frank Ruff said he “meant nothing racial…at all” by using the term “tar baby” during a health care policy discussion this week.
Ruff, a Mecklenburg County Republican, told the Virginian-Pilot that he perceives the phrase to mean “a sticky situation” and nothing more.
But the senator said he is aware his use of the metaphor caused offense — Ruff said he called Danville Mayor Sherman Saunders, who is African American and was present for the remark Tuesday, and left a message of apology.
Ruff is a 64-year-old man from Virginia. I have a hard time believing he doesn’t know a little bit of the history behind the term “tar baby.” And even if he didn’t — which again, I highly doubt — why would you use that to describe a “sticky situation” instead of, oh, I don’t know, the term “sticky situation” itself. Better yet, how about all of these Republicans stop using hyperbole when discussing the Affordable Health Care Act altogether?
Frank Ruff, you can fall through the biggest trap door of life and fall face first right in to a tar pit. You and all of your other racist cohorts in the GOP.
Here are other examples of Republicans pretending not to know what their use of “tar baby” really means (via The Huffington Post:
Back in 2006, then-White House Press Secretary Tony Snow deflected a question about the government collecting phone records, saying he didn’t “want to hug the tar baby of trying to comment on the program.” During the same year, then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) apologized for using the term to describe a troubled Boston highway tunnel project.
Ruff knew what he was doing when he said it, only these days it’s a lot harder for your ilk to get away with just throwing out racially charged language without even a nominal level of repercussions. As a southern boy, I prefer my racism delivered straight, no chaser.
So don’t invoke “tar baby” in an argument against policy pushed by a Black man and then cower when called on it. Own your bigotry. It’s the least you could do. Speaking of bigots who owned their hatred, Fred Phelps died. In honor of his life, everyone go have gay sex in his memory. And if you want to include the Frank Ruffs of the world in your celebration, do it with a Black person.
Until the next racist, y’all.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
1 of 31
2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
2 of 31
3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
3 of 31
4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
4 of 31
5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
5 of 31
6 of 31
7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
7 of 31
8 of 31
9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
9 of 31
10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
10 of 31
11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
11 of 31
12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
12 of 31
13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
13 of 31
14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
14 of 31
15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
15 of 31
16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
16 of 31
17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
17 of 31
18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
18 of 31
19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
19 of 31
20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
20 of 31
21. Bae #retailtherapy
21 of 31
22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
22 of 31
23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
23 of 31
24. Diggy Simmons
24 of 31
25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
25 of 31
26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
26 of 31
27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
27 of 31
28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
28 of 31
29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
29 of 31
30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
30 of 31
31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
31 of 31