Prerequisite reading to this blog would be: What White People Don’t Understand About Rachel Jeantel & What Black People Understand about Rachel Jeantel.
With that well said by my GG colleagues, this is really NOT going to make sense to most white people but I’m going to try my best to articulate my position without offending. Black people, forgive me for saying “they” at times when speaking of “us.”
As defense attorney Don West cross examined Rachel Jeantel, she stated while on the phone with Trayvon Martin, he described the man following him (George Zimmerman) as a “Creepy Ass Cracker.” Mr. West then proceeded to ask Rachel if she considered that statement to be racially offensive and she said “no.” Not believing his own ears he quizzically ask the question again and again in different ways and each time she said “no” giving him a look of “what don’t you understand, the n or the o?”
This is way deeper than Ebonics or how white people use the word ghetto. This is the thick residue of slavery. Cracker is a term to describe the “cracking” of the whip. Most slang in general comes from description. Chris Rock once joked that Black people don’t distinguish between sects of white people; ain’t nobody got time for that. To Blacks, who grew up in a segregated environment (and I’m speaking of contemporary times), whites represent authority and people on TV. People like Rachel Jeantel, who likely have few white friends if any, have a non-trustworthy alien perspective. The white people they do interact with are mainly teachers, landlords, employers, police or other forms of state supervisors. They know that “good” white people exist but that comes with a description too, such as, she’s a “nice white lady,” he’s a “funny white guy,” or “play that funky music white boy.” It’s usually followed by the phrase “I like him” or her. That’s because for many marginalized Blacks, a nice white person is an anomaly, just like a nice slave master. That’s why peer whites who they really like, will get the highest hood badge of honor of being called “My Nigga!” Don’t get me started.
As a result of our slave rooted dialect, if a black person ask another black person who’s following you (in the motherfucking rain at that), “Creepy Ass Cracker” is a perfect sketch artist description. Regardless of the fact that George Zimmerman is of Hispanic background (I speculate he doesn’t even check that box in a census survey) doesn’t matter. If a black person approaches another black person (in the rain), 9 times out of 10 it’s beef or a robbery. It happens every day and it’s never national news. Had that been a Black person following Trayvon, he probably would have said “Some Nigga in a ___.” That blank would probably be a description of a car, clothes, tattoo, etc.
It’s basically a different culture of common sense like, why would Trayvon start a fight with that creepy ass cracker who he don’t know when he was just laying game trying to get some milkshake from me? Furthermore, if that was Zimmerman screaming, why would he be screaming like a bitch, while getting beat up by someone underneath him, yet, have the mental and physical fortitude to reach for his gun, aim at the heart, pull the trigger and then abruptly stop screaming?
I have sooo much to say about Rachel Jeantel’s testimony as it relates to her knowing Trayvon, her value in America and her place in history. I laugh while I type but it’s only to break the harsh reality of this past week’s events.
The essence of the racist remarks from both Rachel Jeantel and Paula Deen stem from the exact same traditional superiority and inferiority complex that plagues this country and the world. It also supports the theory that Blacks do not have the power to be racist. Rachel Jeantel might be the best cook in the South but even if she started speaking “proper” English, she has lottery odds to reach the status of Paula Deen.
BTW Don West, if some creepy ass cracker approaches me, it’s not a sucker punch, it’s the real stand your ground defense. #codeofthestreets #takethat!
T. Better Baldwin is a creative mercenary and ethical lobbyist who was born, raised and resides in New York City.