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The “N” Word, The “C” Word: Selective vs Convenient Outrage

Friends,

Consevative Libertarian blogger Talitha McEachin

Consevative Libertarian blogger Talitha McEachin

I don’t use pejoratives of any kind towards any group, but last year when I wrote the series “The Top 10 Things that Black & White People Want to Know about One Another but Won’t Ask” for CainTV , one of the blogs was about the use of the “N word“. I literally talked to thousands of white & black people about how they felt about the pejoratives used towards them (“nigger”/”cracker”) and overwhelmingly, black people were offended by the word “nigger” (some from whites only & some no matter the race – I happen to be in the latter group), while white people were not so offended by “cracker” or “honky”. In fact, less than 10% of the white people I surveyed were offended. Some even laughed at the notion that they should be quite frankly.

Looking back on those threads throughout social media, the emailed responses I received, and recorded responses from people I spoke with, it is amazing how many of the same people who said they weren’t offended a year ago, are suddenly offended & sensitive to it, in the aftermath of Paula Deen drama & in the wake of the George Zimmerman trial. It’s a glaring difference. I’ll never, ever tell anyone what should & should not offend them because that’s for each person to determine for themselves, but the difference of one year is astonishing….and very telling. If black people who are offended by Paula Deen’s use of the N word, yet not offended by intraracial use of it are demonstrating “selective outrage” (as many on the right love to point out & I would agree to an extent), then white people who were not offended by “cracker” a year ago, yet are suddenly offended now, are demonstrating “convenient outrage”. Some want to be offended, so they can feel better about disparaging Rachel Jeantel & her admission that Trayvon Martin used the term “creepy a** cracker” and defend Paula Deen’s use of the word, or give her a pass. What’s the best way to do that that with ease? Suddenly pretend to be offended by a pejorative which some could have cared less about only a year ago. As the 18 year old daughter of a friend so eloquently expressed to me:

“I’m not offended by being called a honky or a cracker because neither of those words have long and bloody histories of disgusting hatred and oppression behind them. Had they been used during some sort of inhumane torture of my people I might get mad. But they weren’t, while most racial slurs against people of color were. A POC using a name against a white person won’t do much to the white person besides hurt their feelings, if that. White people using racial slurs exhibits deep roots of xenophobia and racism, things which will continue to hinder the progression of equality until they are abolished.”

 Pejoratives used by persons outside of the acceptable use community are often frowned upon and punished severely in our society. White people can call one another “honky”or “cracker” but blacks can’t do it without the possibility of being offensive. The same is true for the N word when used by non-black persons, “spic” when used by non-Hispanics, “hymie” when used by non-Jewish persons (although I have never heard a Jewish person call another Jew a “hymie”), heterosexual use of the words “fag/faggot” – even women can call one another bitches, but if a man does it there’s hell to pay.

These are just linguistic, social etiquette nuances which we have created and allowed to flourish for so long. The only exceptions I found in my research, was familiarity with the user & that’s almost always with people under the age of 30. It’s not fair, it’s not right, I don’t like it, but to ignore this about the English language & hurl accusations of hypocrisy or “selective outrage” is simply dishonest. The bastard (spoken) English language is one of the most confusing, inconsistent & manipulated languages spoken. Our dictionaries are not the problem, we are.

Just an observation…

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Posted by on June 29, 2013 in In The News, Pop Culture, Society

 

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What White People Don’t Understand About Rachel Jeantel

Friends,

As you all probably already know the murder trial of George Zimmerman has begun. There has been quite a bit of discussion of the prosecution’s star witness, Rachel Jeantel regarding her demeanor, courtroom etiquette, honesty and diction. One of my Facebook friends shared this with me and I concur with her assessment that it’s a worthy read. It is from the Global Grind website and written by staff writer Rachel Samara:

A predominantly white jury is not going to like Rachel Jeantel. Let’s just be real here.Rachel Jeantel

The 19-year-old Miami native is an easy target for obvious, yet shallow reasons. But let’s not forget why she’s actually on the stand in George Zimmerman’s second degree murder trial. Rachel was the last person to speak to a living, breathing Trayvon Martin. The guilt, shame and sorrow she must feel is something most of us will never be able to comprehend. You could hear it in her voice, see it in her jittery body language. She is feeling the wrath of this highly publicized case.

Rachel was thrown head first into this murder story, unwillingly. And although she had repeatedly said she did not want to be a witness, did not even want to believe she was the last person Trayvon spoke to, Rachel took the stand for all the right reasons. She was asked to by the family of her deceased friend and feeling part of the burden for his death, she wanted to help.

Rachel was raw, emotional, aggressive and hostile, and she was unapologetically herself.

And if the 5 white jurors (excluding the 1 Latina) are like most white people I know, they are unfortunately not going to like Rachel. They won’t understand her, especially not her defensive nature, and this will unfortunately work against her. Even though it shouldn’t.

I can imagine George Zimmerman’s defense is just hoping some of those 5 white jurors have some prejudices (as most people do), or hell, are even racist, because if they are, their tactic to make Rachel out to be less intelligent, rather than less credible than she actually is, might actually work.

Less intelligent and more confused.

Less intelligent because of the “language barrier” and more confused because of the lawyers’ failure to understand who Rachel is, where she comes from, what kind of life she lives.

It seems the middle-aged white men on both sides of this case are totally unaware of what Rachel’s life is like – a 19-year-old high school student of Haitian descent who knows nothing more than the few block radius she has grown up in. The cultural differences here are exponential.

But if the lawyers, and especially the jurors, were really listening, they would see that although she comes off aggressive, Rachel was consistent. Yes, the defense proved she had lied in the past, but she didn’t deny it. On the contrary. She was very honest about it, and even led us to sympathize with her reasoning for it – she did not want to see Trayvon’s body, she did not want to face Trayvon’s mother and she wanted to wipe her hands of the situation because of the emotion and trauma. She was the last person Trayvon spoke to and she wanted everyone to understand what that means. This is in no way easy for her.

Rachel is the prosecution’s key witness, but I am going to call her the misunderstood witness. She holds vital information that both the defense and prosecution need, but these middle-aged white men questioning her do not get it. Sadly both the prosecution and the defense [but more so the defense] have an extreme disconnect from her reality, like I said. The constant text messaging between her and Trayvon is normal for two high school kids who may like each other, the nonchalant use of racial slurs like “cracka” and “n*gga” are slang (as Rachel put it) and that doesn’t mean it comes from a racist place.

Trayvon was just 17, his life consisted of text messaging, high school, PS3, girls and not much else. He had a lot of growing up to do, a lot of experiences to take in, so much more to learn, but sadly, he will never get a chance to do any of those things.

Rachel on the other hand will get to, but with her immaturity displayed on the stand for the whole world to see, she quickly became a joke. Maybe we were picturing Trayvon’s alleged girlfriend to be a bit different, but nevertheless, Rachel still is the last person, aside from George Zimmerman, that Trayvon had any contact with while he was alive on this earth. Rachel’s mumbling, hostility and that reference to the show First 48, among other things, threw us for a loophole, but let’s remember, she is just a teen. This is what she knows. This is far from a Lifetime movie, this is her life. In the flesh, but still on our TVs.

To continue reading this article, please click HERE.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on June 28, 2013 in Featured Guest blogs, In The News

 

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