Now used as an insult to black people, the tar baby was originally a jet black baby doll (becaue it was made out of tar) used to trap Br'er Rabbit Rabbit in an American folk tale.
Tar baby can also be a term used to describe a "sticky" situation.
It's not racist to call an actual tar baby a tar baby! That's like saying it's racist to call Ritz "crackers" or chocolate sandwich cookies "Oreos"!
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