Finally people on the right have begun to see that there may be an aspect of racism at the heart of the Trayvon Martin case – and predictably, it’s against accused killer George Zimmerman.
On Wednesday prosecution witness Rachel Jeantel, who was on her cellphone with Martin while he was being pursued by Zimmerman, actually testified that Martin told her he was being followed by “a creepy ass cracker.” But it wasn’t until Thursday that it blew up the right wing of the Internet – when Jeantel offered the badgering defense attorney Don West her opinion that the term isn’t racist.
From Glenn Beck’s the Blaze to the Breitbots to smaller right-wing shriekers to Twitter trolls everywhere, white grievance-mongers seemed less bothered by the fact that Martin allegedly used the term, than by Jeantel saying it wasn’t a slur.
For the record: I have been known to say “Jesus Christ on a cracker,” and I want to make clear I am not praying for the Son of God to jump a white person.
My God, don’t these people get tired of themselves? So much of the trumped-up racial upset on the right, generally, is about language: If black people can use the N-word, why can’t we? (Even Paula Deen tried to use that as self-defense at first.) Now we’re moving on to: If the N-word is racist and forbidden, words like “cracker” should be, too.
But “cracker” has never had the same power to demean, or to exile, or to sting. No social order has ever been devised whereby African-Americans oppress people they deride as “crackers.”