Rachel Jeantel: “Creepy Ass Cracker”
By Albert N. Milliron
Following the Rachel Jeantel testimony in the George Zimmerman murder trial, several writers and commentators tried to explain to us white privileged Americans the reasons we don’t understand Rachel. The basic conclusion, is that we can’t understand her simply because we are not black.
We were told that the Term “Cracker” and “Nigga” are not racial terms but instead terms of endearment. White folks should accept being called, “cracker” with pride as in Florida, Cracker means something totally different. We further we instructed that Black folk don’t call law enforcement in fear of being murdered by those who were to protect them.
Additionally, we are were told that Jeantels’ reaction to the defense lawyer would be understood if we understood black culture better.
But here is the thing, I live in a mixed neighborhood in Columbia, SC. Just to help you in the north who think the south is still segregated, let me scan around my desk to each family in my “hood”. Next door on my left is a mixed race couple (black and white), across the street is an Asian family, next to them lives a Latino family, next to them is a single black women who is a deputy sheriff, and my other neighbor is a single white man.
We all seem to have little problem communicating around here, I have never come across anyone here calling each other “Nigga” and I have never been referred to as “Cracker.” (at least to my face) Crime is much lower then in most sections of the city.
So I guess I don’t understand, being white and all.
I have included two articles that seek to set us “Crackers” straight. Basically they are saying that our issues with Miss Rachel Jeantel is really our hidden coded racism and just a big misunderstanding of her demeanor. We are told, we need an African-American to explain it to us. So here are two articles that should enlighten you…. Then you shall understand!
Why Black People Understand Rachel Jeantel by Christina Coleman
If ever I thought myself objective and unbiased, the George Zimmerman trial is definitely not that moment.
So let’s cut to the chase. Any attorney, jury member, judge or white person in that courtroom is not going to understand Rachel Jeantel. And I don’t expect them to.
In fact, I certainly, like my fellow writer Rachel Samara, understand why white people wouldn’t like Rachel.
She’s hard. She’s black. And your assumptions about her background and lack of education make you feel like you are better, somehow. That her testimony, no matter how powerful and impactful it may be to this trial, is implausible. Weak, maybe? Let’s impeach her.
But maybe the reason white people don’t understand Rachel Jeantel has something more to do with white privilege then, what they would call, Rachel’s capricious nature.
Let’s for one second try to understand why Rachel is “angry” (read emotional), “hood” (read blunt), and “unintelligent” (read multilingual).
The thing is, what white people see in Rachel has little to do about her own issues, and more to say about the America that white people are blind to. Let’s take her testimony on not calling the police, for example.
Rachel told defense attorney Don West that she didn’t call the police after she heard the scuffle between Trayvon Martin and the man that was following him for numerous reasons. First, she believed that he was right near his “daddy’s house,” and that Tracy would help him. She also was under the impression that, if it were a life or death situation, someone would certainly come to his aid. But as West continued his questioning, riddled with nuances to throw Rachel off track, the glaring subtext of this all became clear.
Don West doesn’t understand why Rachel didn’t call the police when she heard a struggle. Rachel, who is a black woman, doesn’t call the police. Why? Black people and police officers don’t mix.