Tar baby has become short hand for a situation better avoided than confronted.
It comes from a children's story in which the dark skin and seeming ignorance (caused by a lack of schooling) of slaves were explained by the idea that black children were baptised in tar, which made them dark and dumb.
Tad: Shall we?
Tarbaby usually falls between 'stovepipe', 'yardape', and 'spearchucker'.
The word 'tarbaby' is guaranteed to get you in a fight with a person of negro descent if it is overheard. 'Silverback' is also a good one.
"Ha ha ha! Your team has a tarbaby quarterback AND a tarbaby coach! Hahahahahahahaaaa. Good thing there's no swimming event in football!"
Tar baby can also be a term used to describe a "sticky" situation.