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.”
The voting rights ruling it issued yesterday, Shelby County v. Holder, is one of the very worst Supreme Court decisions of all time. Leaving aside the practical effects of the Court’s holding, which are likely to be awful (Texas has already won the race for “first state to enact a change to its voting laws that wouldn’t have been approved by the federal government if the Voting Rights Act could still be enforced”), the opinion is a travesty as a matter of basic legal reasoning.
The easiest way to explain Justice Roberts’ opinion to non-lawyers is by analogy. Suppose, hypothetically speaking, that in 1965 the drinking age in 41 states had been 21, while in nine states it was 18. Suppose further that alcohol-related traffic deaths involving teenage drivers were three times higher in the states with the lower drinking age.
Now suppose Congress passed a statute requiring any state that had an unusually high percentage of traffic deaths involving teenage drunk drivers to raise its legal drinking age to 21. Not surprisingly, the nine states in which the drinking age is 18 would all fall into this category.
Deen’s apologists have argued that she’s from the Deep South and she just doesn’t know any better about racism, bless her little heart. It’s part of her background.
Yet funny how that background/upbringing excuse didn’t fly for whites when Michael Vick went to jail. Of course in Amerikkka dogs are more valued than black people so what else is new.
There is one other why Deen deserves to lose everything for reasons other than racism, morality, human decency, etc. Bad business.
Taking racism and social justice out of the equation for the moment, the fact is the Paula Deen name was a successful brand. A brand that was successful because it appealed to a wide demographic of loyal customers including blacks.
With any good business, you always want your brand/product to be marketable and universal. You want it to appeal to buyers across the demographic spectrum. Diversity isn’t just PC, it’s just good business. The more people you appeal to, the more money you make.
Colin Ferguson, born in Kingston, JA, to a wealthy business couple, is known as the infamous LIRR Shooter. On December 7, 1993, Ferguson purchased a ticket for the east-bound train at the Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. This train stopped at the Jamaica Station in Queens. Ferguson boarded the third car of the east-bound Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) commuter train from Penn Station to Hicksville, along with more than 80 other passengers. Ferguson, who sat on the southwestern end of the car, was carrying his handgun and a canvas bag filled with 160 rounds of ammunition.
As the train approached the Merillon Avenue Station, Ferguson waited for the black passengers to depart before he drew the gun, dropped several cartridges on the ground, stood up and opened fire at random. During the next three minutes, Ferguson killed six people and injured another 19. Some passengers mistook the gunshots for caps or fireworks until a woman shouted, “He’s got a gun! He’s shooting people!”
Roughly 26 people were shot and six died from their injuries.