In a world where the biggest racial slur is “white,” it seems fruitless to argue whether “cracker” is also a racial slur, since no one who isn’t a liar would deny that it’s a contemptuous term aimed exclusively at white people. Anything white is bad, so “cracker” is even worse.
Then again, we also live in a world that’s one giant gas chamber of gaslighting, where whites not only are the sole race capable of racism since they alone hold institutional power — a power so indomitable that they can hardly even mention being comfortable that they’re white without having their lives destroyed — they aren’t even a race at all, since “whiteness” is an utterly debunked social construct. People of Color, however, are real and suffer every day under the thumb of a white supremacist system which is so sly and backhanded that it has declared white supremacy to be the biggest threat to its existence.
Are you following any of this? I don’t think you’re supposed to, but I hope at least you can strangle a laugh or two out of its grim absurdity.
Since cultural socialist egali-totalitarianism exists as a leveling force to raise the low and bring down the high and pummel everything into the same indistinguishably pukey gruel, one of the innumerable ways in which it’s moved the goalposts — fuck, at this point, the goalposts have been shuttled way out of the stadium and are sitting in some rotted-out parking lot ten miles from the playing field — is to declare that when it comes to race relations and comedy, one is never to “punch down” at the less powerful.
You’re also never to “punch down” at Jews despite their outsized wealth and cultural power, but as I said, I sincerely doubt that any of this is supposed to make sense. I strongly sense it’s all supposed to drive you crazy and then mock you for acting crazy when you finally start pointing out all the contradictions.
The first time I came across the word “cracker” was in the 1970 film Five Easy Pieces, where Jack Nicholson’s character Bobby Dupea, a chronically underachieving child of a tony and wealthy Pacific Northwest musical family, berated his well-meaning-but-stupid partner Elton as they sat eating lunch on the job at a Texas oil rig: “It’s ridiculous. I’m sittin’ here listening to some cracker asshole [who] lives in a trailer park compare his life to mine.”
It was clear as a front-porch dinner bell to me that “cracker” was a derogatory term aimed at poor, stupid, classless, hopeless white Southerners. But at least back then, it was also understood that crackers were on the shit side of the cultural power equation.
Fast-forward half a century, and you have a millionaire 30-year-old socialist Turkish Muslim streamer claiming that when he uses the word “cracker,” all the fragile snowflake racist-ass white-supremacist bitches need to stop their privileged moaning because not only has he been called “cracker” by people who mistake him for a white European, it’s only a term used by the “powerless,” despite his millionaire status, the Armenian genocide, all those white slaves the Ottoman Turks owned over the centuries, and, hell, all that Islamic sexism and homophobia.
Hasan Piker, aka HasanAbi, is the 30-year-old nephew of the fat, greasy turd named Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks news show and network. He was born in New Jersey to parents wealthy enough to raise him in Istanbul and connected enough to get him a broadcasting job with his multimillionaire uncle once he returned to the United States. By sitting in front of a camera and reading comments from Reddit, he rakes in about $200,000 a month and purchased a $2.7-million house in West Hollywood, California this past August. Despite all this, he was able to attend last summer’s infamously downtrodden Met Gala wearing a MAKE THE RICH PAY T-shirt.
Piker earns all that golden hummus on the streaming site Twitch, which temporarily banned him in 2019 for claiming that America “deserved” 9/11. He recently received another temporary ban — only for a week, although he’s milking his imagined persecution for all it’s worth — for reasons that Twitch did not specify but for which he insists, and which several sympathetic news outlets ran without question, were accusations of “anti-white racism for using the term ‘cracker.’”
A few days before his temporary ban, Piker says that two of his moderators, which he did not hesitate to inform us were black and brown, were banned for saying “cracker,” which led to a livestream wherein Piker says that “cracker” is not really a racial slur because of white supremacy and systemic racism and oppression and every other nonsensical excuse that’s been drilled into the heads of the easily persuaded in order to justify the systematic defamation of white people. On the stream that led to the ban, Piker said:
I’ve been called a cracker more times than every single one of you fucking pasty little cracker bitches in my chat, okay? Stop crying about this fucking term, okay? Recognize that the person who is calling you a fucking cracker is literally powerless . . . they’re doing it [as] someone who’s been historically oppressed blowing off steam.
Hmm. The spoiled Turkish socialist who makes about $2 million a year called white people “pasty little cracker bitches,” but would have us believe he’s the powerless one. Am I getting anything wrong about everything that’s wrong with that?
Over the centuries, nearly every iteration of the pejorative “cracker” has cast the defamed in an inferior position. It’s only very recently — when all terms regarding white people have been reframed to depict them all, no matter how dissolute and toothless and poor and dysentery-addled they may be, as innately powerful and deserving of being punched both literally and figuratively — that anyone has even dared to link the term “cracker” to ideas of supremacy and privilege.
The earliest instance I’ve seen of the slur was class-specific rather than race-specific in “pre-16th century England, referring to the lower class whose diet primarily consisted of biscuits called ‘crackers.’” Then again, that was so long ago that England only had classes rather than all those races it now has.
In the 1500s, it seems to have been most often used to describe a loud, boorish, gauche, obnoxious person — a wisecracker, if you will — as evidenced in this line from Shakespeare’s 1595 play King John: “What craker [sic] is this same that deafs our ears with this abundance of superfluous breath?”
Switch the venue to America, and the first instances I can find of “cracker” all come from the 1700s, and never to describe anyone in a position of wealth or power.
In a 1766 letter from colonial officer Gavin Cochrane to the Earl of Dartmouth, he explains that crackers were a rootless criminal class:
I should explain to your Lordship what is meant by Crackers; a name they have got from being great boasters; they are a lawless set of rascalls [sic] on the frontiers of Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia, who often change their places of abode.
In Anthony Stokes’s 1783 book A View of the Constitution of the British Colonies in North America and the West Indies: At the Time the Civil War Broke Out on the Continent of America, he classifies crackers as the descendants of white convict laborers who have become “the most abandoned set of men on earth”:
The Southern colonies are overrun with a swarm of men from the western parts of Virginia and North Carolina, distinguished by the name of Crackers. Many of these people are descended from convicts that were transported from Great Britain to Virginia at different times, and inherit so much profligacy from their ancestors, that they are the most abandoned set of men on earth.
In his 1790 memoirs, Benjamin Franklin mentioned “a race of runnagates [runaways] and crackers, equally wild and savage as the Indians” who found refuge in the “desert[ed] woods and mountains.”
Another etymological explanation of the term “cracker” arose in the mid-1850s and claimed it derived from the term “corn-cracker,” referring to the poor whites of the plantation-era South who cracked corn merely to feed themselves. An 1854 Home Companion sneers that “The classes called the ‘Corn Crackers’ are scarcely above the Russian or Polish peasantry in mental cultivation.”
Again, I’m not getting a strong white-supremacist elite power vibe from any of this.
From the mid to late 1800s, the term “cracker” was frequently used to describe Southern cowboys, especially in Georgia and Florida, who cracked whips to drive beasts of burden across the land. According to Bill Ferris at the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina, this iteration of “cracker” first arose in the 1700s to describe itinerant cowboys who used whips to push livestock through the piney woods north of the Gulf of Mexico. “They were basically poor people,” Ferris says. “White people. A class of people who were landless.”
A 1912 entry in An American Glossary claims:
The whips used by some of these people are called “crackers”, from their having a piece of buckskin at the end. Hence the people who cracked the whips came to be thus named.
As far as I can tell, it is only recently that people have begun to claim that “cracker” referred specifically to white slave-drivers cracking whips across those precious and sweat-glistened Black Bodies that black nerds such as Ta-Nehsi Coates and Ibrahim X. Kendi keep salivating over. Before that, every last appearance of the term “cracker” referred to a group of poor, uncouth, powerless white people.
One would think that socialists, in what once seemed to be their quest to build a multiracial proletarian rainbow coalition, would defend poor outcasts of any color, but modern socialism, despite its race-denialism, has become entirely racialized and seems hell-bent on convincing whites and blacks that they share absolutely nothing in common.
But like I said, I don’t think any of this is supposed to make sense.
Starting in the 1900s, black Americans seem to have carried the cracker baton with the highest level of hateful glee right into the present, excusing it with the invisible force field which declares that since all white people are racist, it’s not racist to express racial hatred toward whites. Malcolm X’s 1964 speech “The Ballot or the Bullet” teems with spiteful C-bombs:
And these Negro leaders have the audacity to go and have some coffee in the White House with a Texan, a Southern cracker — that’s all he is . . . this old cracker who doesn’t have free elections in his own country. . . . Once you gain control of the economy of your own community, then you don’t have to picket and boycott and beg some cracker downtown for a job in his business. . . . It’s time for you and me to stop sitting in this country, letting some cracker senators, Northern crackers and Southern crackers, sit there in Washington, DC, and come to a conclusion in their mind that you and I are supposed to have civil rights . . . you’ve got to be ready to die if you try and force yourself on the white man, because he’ll get just as violent as those crackers in Mississippi, right here in Cleveland. . . .
Nearly 30 years later, at New Jersey’s Kean College, Malcolm’s descendant in the Nation of Islam, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, referred to Pope John Paul II as “a no-good cracker.”
Despite the endless attempts of the usual suspects to inject anti-black hatred into the fatal 2012 encounter between Trayvon Martin and “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman, the only hint that either one of them said anything tinged with racial animus came from the trial testimony of fat black warthog Rachel Jeantel, who says that Martin told her over the phone that a “creepy-ass cracker” was following him.
Moments later, Martin would start slamming that creepy-ass cracker’s head into the cement. But it’s to be understood that between the two, Martin was the black one and therefore powerless, and to suggest anything otherwise is to endorse white supremacy.
Earlier this year, in a case of mistaken identity, a North Carolina family who’d recently moved into their home walked outside to find “DIE CRACKER” spray-painted on one of their cars.
But surely I’m not attempting to draw some white-fragility analogy between any alleged and probably imaginary white suffering and the UNDENIABLE AND SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN agonies that black people endure every nanosecond of their waking hours and in their haunted dreams due to the intransigent coldness of anyone who wants to allege that, say, the landless and uninsured descendant of white indentured servants who just lost his job in some backwater Alabama town because Indian immigrants just purchased the last mom-and-pop grocery store/gas station in a 25-mile radius might possibly have less true privilege than some snot-nosed Turkish millionaire who attends fashion balls in a MAKE THE RICH PAY T-shirt?
Why is it that when some drunk driver commits involuntary manslaughter, no one rushes to say, “Hey, it’s not the same as first-degree murder, so it’s not really a crime?” But if one merely points out the palpable anti-white hatred that throbs with every irregular heartbeat of modern discourse, they’re told to shut the fuck up and stop whining because, you know, NIGGER!
I’ve never seen a guilt-tripper who wasn’t guilty of something. I say we make that snark-poisoned Turkish dolt cough up every last one of his pennies to the descendants of the Armenian genocide.
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