Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jun 29 04:50:27 UTC 2013

I recall that this came up in discussion previously, but, with the
Zimmerman trial, the word "cracker" is back in the news and for all the
wrong reasons. There is a lot of push from the right to bring in
"cracker" as a slur, to give a quasi-justification for Zimmerman
shooting Martin as defense against a race-based attack. But there is
also a pushback from a number of Southern bloggers who suggest that
things are not quite what they seem.
> As a frequently self-identified Cracker (or Crackro-American, as Roy
> Blount, Jr., an adopted Georgian, called it in his 1980 book about
> Jimmy Carter's meaning to the home folk, entitled Crackers), I guess I
> need to weigh in on this and register that yes, "Cracker" has a
> different meaning in Georgia and parts of Florida than it apparently
> has elsewhere. I remember the term "Georgia cracker" as a
> value-neutral term from the earliest days of childhood. Atlanta's
> beloved minor-league baseball team (before the Braves arrived) was the
> Atlanta Crackers. Since Georgia politics and culture were mostly
> segregated in those days, the term was attached to white folks, and
> perhaps more to po' white folks, in contrast to the snooty Gone With
> the Windcultural legacy of the planters.

Ed Kilgore (who wrote the above passage) then cites another blogger,
Tommy Christopher:
> As it turns out, in the area in which Rachel Jeantel was raised, the
> word "cracker" isn't a racial slur at all, but rather, a proud nod to
> the region's history, and one’s own ancestry.
> A whole mess of white people like to get worked up about the word
> "cracker," some in the mistaken belief that this will somehow result
> in permission to use the n-word.

Christopher even quotes Wikipedia:

> In reference to a native of Florida or Georgia, however, it is
> sometimes used in a neutral or positive context and is sometimes used
> self-descriptively with pride.

I am not suggesting any resolution on this. I just thought I should
relate the issue.


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