Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dear White America: N*gger And Cracker Aren't The Same Thing.

Since this topic has surfaced recently during the George Zimmerman Trial, often followed by cringeworthy analysis, I figured I'd break this down to the very last compound. I mean, seriously, CNN did this.

Boo. Lemme explain for anyone confused.

Okay, here's a very simple test for all of you who think there's a "double standard" for the two offensive terms, N*gger and Cracker.

Let me walk up to your wife (guys), whisper sweet nothings in her ear, and suggest we continue the evening at a hotel. I'm fairly sure she'd smack me in the mouth, and possibly even call the police. She'd be well within her rights, because I'm a stranger.

Now you go to your wife and say the exact same things I just said. She'd probably be flattered, and would likely be lining up someone to babysit overnight right now. You'd be in for a fairly nice evening, because you're her husband.

You can say the word n*gger as much as you'd like, to anyone you'd like. It's called free speech. You are free to do so. You are not, however, free from consequences. See the example at the top for clarity. Please note that I don't use the word n*gger because I think it's pretty ignorant. I would venture to say an overwhelming majority of black people do not use the word with any regularity. A few hundred rappers and comedians is in no way indicative of 30+ million people any more than Larry The Cable Guy and Michael Richards are indicative of all white people.

The word cracker has not been used to systematically oppress whites in this country. The word n*gger has been used to systematically oppress blacks. Simple as that.

There is a double standard, as is the case for many words. You don't have to like it, or even abide by it.

If you'd like to trade this double standard for a few that black people have to endure (redlining, subprime mortgages, racial profiling, being followed in stores, having people clutch their purses when they sit next to you on an airplane... yes, an airplane!) then I'm pretty sure we black people would consider this a fair exchange.

Until then, just accept it as-is. Or don't. And suffer whatever consequences might follow.

Question: Are n*gger and cracker the same thing? Equally offensive? Who should be allowed to say what?

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