Tar baby

Today my grandson and I were discussing what the GOP is going to do with its crazies. He said he had agreed with a lot of their positions until he began investigating and found they were lying about a number of things. When I pointed out there were some sane Republicans, he asked what they were going to do, start another party? I said they were hooked on the heroin of the crazy vote that they picked up as part of their Southern Strategy; just look how the pundits pointed out that Boehner lost his leadership position b/c he shook hands with Obama and think what burden Christie bears: he HUGGED Obama!
Are you saying that is b/c Obama is Black? my grandson asked. It’s not that, he insisted, it’s b/c they think he has the mark of the beast, etc. It goes back to the Southern Code, I explained. Blacks were not supposed to touch Whites. He was doubtful. So when we got home, I presented the scenario to my wife and asked her what that “went back to”. She just said, “Tar baby”. That meant nothing to my grandson, so I asked her to explain. “It’ll rub off”, she said.
I told him the L.A. riots targeted Korean groceries in part b/c the Korean women behind the counter would not tough a man’s hand taboo in their culture and they would put the change on the counter instead. Blacks interpreted this in terms of their experience in the South where store clerks would not put the change in their hand, rather throwing it on the counter.
I told my grandson that in order to interpret events, you need to know their histories, incl their cultural contexts.
People have changed, there’s no doubt. I was looking at a line of White people in the front row as Colbert’s band played a heavily rhythmical number and they were all – I mean all – clapping on time!

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