In March 2015, a Fraternity chapter in Oklahoma called Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) found themselves under fire for their racist chant, claiming that “there never will be a nigger SAE,” all while proudly boasting that “you can hang them from a tree”. Wow.
With racism denial and weapons of mass deflection deployed to comfort the average white person from shame or guilt, an interesting question came up: Would a black fraternity get punished or expelled had they have chanted a parallel using a word such as “cracker”? From a superficial basis this is a very stupid question, but unwittingly provides the basis of this article. This smoke screen implies a huge detachment from reality: people genuinely think that the word cracker is on equal terms with the word nigger. So from here I must explain to everyone, specifically whites, how privilege/status systems work and how and why two epithets are not equal. Equating cracker inflicted upon whites with nigger inflicted upon blacks (or non-whites with its associated variants) is like comparing, not without irony, Skittles to a hand gun.
First and foremost, with black males with no criminal record getting default treatment as white criminals when applying for a job, it’s safe to say that the negative sentiment override America suffers from would infinitely punish a set of black fraternity members had they’ve been busted with a video chanting cracker. The Afrophobia would most certainly be augmented with Hannity’s fear-pushing on Fox News similar to the nonexistent “knock-out game” scare. All of the men would then be deemed criminal, thugs (which is White America’s polite euphemism for the n-word anyway) and subsequently punished ruthlessly. So far as the bread of the question, all in it’s obliviousness with reality, the question is answered here. Just in case you were born yesterday, um, yes… a black fraternity would be punished. If unarmed, innocent black children such as Tamir Rice can be killed with Emmett Till-like impunity, yes actual deviant black men would be punished, suffering punishment 3-5 times more severe than a group of white males doing the same infraction, statistically speaking.
To all those who are on the privilege spectrum of whiteness: Cracker is in no shape, way or form equal to the n-word. It is not. Nor will it ever will be. Stop playing. Stop with the delusion. Unless the moon explodes and aliens take over what’s left of the planet, you will NEVER be oppressed, suppressed, or persecuted just because you are white. Nonwhites do not have the sociopolitical power to oppress you as you do nonwhites. Nor do we have the stomach for it, in a collective sense.
Yeah, I get it; being of the privileged on any social spectrum shields you from the realities of the minorities; understood. But that doesn’t mean that being sociologically dense is a permanent thing. As a black male Christian heterosexual (9/12 points based on the graphic above), I am completely aware of the following: male privilege, Christian dominance and heterosexual privilege. You don’t have to be a woman to understand or exercise empathy towards women, for example. You don’t have to be a Muslim or Atheist in America to understand the preference for anything that’s remotely Christian. You don’t have to be gay to realize that gays are not out to “recruit” you or your children into homosexuality. You don’t have to be black to understand institutional racism.
Whites have more control over American society in comparison to nonwhites. Males have more sociological capital than females do in America. Christians have more socio-politcal power than any other religious or nonreligious group in America. Heterosexuals overwhelmingly have more social power and authority over gays in America.
With that said, epithets from the nonwhite, the female, the non-Christian, and the homosexual HAVE NO POWER. With a gay guy informing me that their slur for heterosexuals is “breeder”, it would be silly to equate that word to the f-word, faggot. It just simply doesn’t work, and anyone acting like they are upset are only imitating behavior of the oppressed, suppressed, persecuted.
The first thing about the word nigger over cracker is the fact that nigger was specifically invented to demonize human beings, while the word cracker was invented to facilitate a specific type of food. The problem blacks and whites alike have with the n-word is the fact that it’s so crude and disgusting of a word that it offends to tongue; it’s referred to as the “n-word”. There’s no campaign to remove the word cracker from American vernacular. No one goes to the grocery store and refers to crackers as “c-words” because the word causes so much pain. Any positive or neutral concept of the n-word is slang, connotative definitions. The neutral, positive definition of the word cracker is a denotative definition, meaning it’s the original intent of the word that doesn’t get removed without making the whole word archaic.
Even further is the fact that the n-word is an ideology. The n-word isn’t just a word, it’s a way of thinking about people while robbing them of their humanity and individualism on an institutional, systematic level. The n-word’s use has long been the key identifier of an overt racist, and with that said bigots have learned to NOT use the word, with many people in power positions are trained by lawyers to NOT use the word. From there, our modern racial bigots have learned how to BEHAVE appropriately. This means that the word nigger as an ideology is more likely to manifest in euphemistic language, forms of nonverbal language, and actions such as support of unfair practices in the public and private sector, law enforcement, and legislative voting processes. With context, the word “thug” becomes the go-to word for the modern day politically correct racist.
So no, let’s stop pretending that the word cracker is on the same playing field as the n-word. To do so is to be intellectually dishonest, and we’re all tired of that.