I am saying he was probably substituting the word as a word for joker, or maybe crackpot, which means they are crazy. I think you are making too big of a deal out of it. I lived in Tennessee for 2 years and Arkansas for 3 years and never heard the term.
The term was used a lot in GA in the late 60s and early 70s, when I was in school. In junior high, I was assaulted by a group of black males who constantly referred to me as "cracker girl" while they were attempting to do "things" to me. You can see why this word definitely has negative connotations for me.I am not alone, however. Many Southern readers have posted comments on blogs and articles about Matthews' use of the word. As I said, perhaps Chris didn't know the implications that go with the term - in the minds of many Southern whites.
It's all about arrogance and elitism! He thinks he will ingratiate himself with people of color. That it will make him above the ignorant masses. He truly does not see that racism in any form is abhorrent.
Is cracker racist in the US ! It isn't in the UK where somebody who was described as crackers would be considered mildly nuts or if described as a cracker would generally be an attractive woman or something good.
A poor, white person in some parts of the southern United States who, perhaps, could only afford to eat crackers. The most common explanation for the origin of this phrase is that it is from corncracker, or someone who distills corn whiskey (cracking corn is to crush it into a mash for distillation). The song lyric "Jimmy Crack Corn" is a reference to this. In the song a slave sings about his master got drunk, fell, hit his head, and died. And the slave "don't care." The usage, however, is probably not the origin of the term cracker. More likely is that it is from an early sense of crack meaning to boast. This sense dates to the 16th century. A 1766 quote in the OEO2 gives the origin of cracker as boastful. (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language) a small firework a slang term used by 19th century Georgian slaves to refer to the cracking of the slavemaster's whip. a white person (Dictionary of Afro-American Slang by Clarence Major)
What your realy saying is this: Only a minority can define racism, race baiting, etc. That only a minority can discuss racially charged issues frankly without being accused of being racist. The only exception would be if the speaker is using a negative description of his own race, and that race is the majority. RIGHT. GOT IT. Your often witty and fair. Here your showing a side that's NEITHER.
Actually, this is merely speculation, LMC. I cannot believe everyone on here has not read my article about us crackers. Shakespeare mentioned "craquors," or something similar, which meant "boastful people". Not meaning me, of course!
Well actually, in the midwest, cracker was always a racist term used on white people...it was just recently I found out what it meant. But we always knew the "intent" of it by the way it was used. There was a lot of racial tension in MI when I was growing up. Understandably so, given the history of this country. And Matthews is from Philly, right? I bet he knows too.
Actually listened to that segment of his show- he was not referring to race- he was referring to people being nuts! People my age (and his) have always used that term as meaning nuts or bonkers or a little crazy. The segment had nothing to do with race, but with people talking on the campaign trail about resorting to second amendment remedies, birthers, truthers, the whole group of nuts...
So he did use the term as a noun to be synonymous with "birther." It may not be the kindest, most flattering term he could have chosen. But it is not the worst epithet he could have used either.
The problem lies in the fact that "birthers" are not exclusive to the south. Unfortunately, there is no linguistic equivalent of "cracker" for ignorant white persons in northern or western states (whereas we know there are "birthers" outside of the south).
Right, MM - that was part of my point. There are birthers all over the US - not from just the ignorant, inbreeding, white trash South. The descriptors I used are the same ones that are often implied with the term "cracker" to many people. Maybe Matthews didn't realize that. I hope that's the case.
probably true. I was listening to AM radio in New Orleans last year. There was an black reverend who was VERY anti Obama and definitely a "birther". Before you ask, he described himself as black. Think his name is Coleman.
Only Chris Matthews knows for sure what he meant by the use of the term "crackers" but his larger point (as is so typical in these kinds of "war of the words" disputes) was that Obama continues to be personally attacked for spurious reasons. He was asking if the upcoming Health Care Reform discussion would also be personal against Obama.
And Chris was fueling this crazy birther fire just a week ago, which shocked me. He asked why Obama wouldn't post his long-form birth certificate if he had nothing to hide. I was so surprised that I posted a thread about it here. Maybe if the pundits ignore the birthers, they'll go away. Same with Palin.
Why should Obama capitulate at this point? He was sworn into office in January 2009 and it is now January 2011. The chances of an ineligible candidate for POTUS receiving his party's nomination are extremely remote. The chances of the United States electing and swearing in someone who has not been vetted for their citizenship are even more remote.
If I were Obama, I would ignore the birthers. If I felt so inclined, I might -- MIGHT -- post my long form birth certificate on the very last day of my term. With the caption, "Now will you shut the F@#$ up?"
I have an uncle who is a birther.....and while his "racial" identity is strongly white....he is Armenian....the son of an Armenian Genocide survivor who was orphaned...
This guy sends around all the nutjob conspiracy chainmails like "Obama Worships in a Mosque"...."Obama is a Muslim Agent"...I have written several hubs in response to this ridiculous right-wing chain-email garbage...
I wouldn't use the term "cracker" on him, or on Orly Taitz...who is an idiot and is deranged...
I, instead, just identify these types as fools...those who like to ferment hate without putting any mind to the consequences of their actions...
Chris Matthews is white right? And he's calling other white people crackers. To my way of thinking this is no different than black rappers calling other black folks n*****. It may be impolite, maybe even pejorative, but it ain't racist.
Mikelong, Do you think that such conspiracy emails centered on ridiculous personal claims against Obama are telling? In the absence of substantive arguments/claims against Obama's performance as POTUS, these right wingers proliferate the only thing they can, ridiculous personal attacks. I almost wonder if the fact that the birther and Obama is a Muslim are still so prevalent is actually a GOOD sign? If these folks had a legitimate charge they would have brought it forth by now !!
Very true, William R. Wilson. Matthews was not even referring to all white people. He was only referring to a small segment of the (mostly) white population who are birthers. I believe his use of the term "crackers" was a way of identifying the demographic that is most likely to be "birther" which is certainly not ALL white Americans! It was also very effective use of language. Birthers = crazy right wing whites.
I believe you, CJ Wright. Obama did not receive the vote of every Black person in America! Without knowing Rev. Coleman's brand of religion (assumed to be some type of Christian) I will say the pulpit is an inappropriate forum for that kind of discussion and his personal views. Was the station a "Christian" station perchance? Separation of Church & State, anyone?
If you know anything about Rev. Coleman or others like him who are preaching Obama hate from their pulpits, I hope you WILL answer, Julie2! I certainly don't doubt this kind of thing goes on in churches. Not my church, tho!
My church (when I go) never preaches hate or tells us how to vote or think. It's also very non-judmental, which I really like. For example, back in the late 60s or early 70s, when it was a real no-no to be a pregnant, unmarried teen, we threw a baby shower at the church for such a girl. I think every woman in the church came! The Baptists down the block heard about it and didn't like it one bit. lol
That was really nice of your church to have done. I can only imagine the uproar from the other church... I was born and raised Catholic and they would not allow that in the church I attended back then.
When I got divorced some of the congregation found out. I was on line to receive the Eucharist when an elder from the church comes next to me and tells me that I can no longer receive the Eucharist to get off the line and sit down in a very nasty tone and this "child of God" used words a Catholic Christian should not be using. I said a few words to this person and left. I did not return to that church again.
Habee, that is a perfect example! I'm so happy to hear your church exercised compassion and love. The ones that I really, really cannot understand is that church that pickets funerals of servicepeople. To me, that is not only unAmerican, but unChristian and despicable. Do they think that makes people listen to them more?
I'm not aware of whatever event took place except from reading the post here but it is plain how the treatment of other people as effected not only the lives of the victims but for millions of people down the line of life.
I hope that we have learned that evil done here is now doesn't mean it's done forever.
How sad it is that some people still believe that trying to make others look small elevates themselves.
Some people are able to rise above the petty action of others and I take my hat off to them. I try to do likewise but it does twist my insides still people who can keep from jumping in the mud with others continue to be a role model for me.
I watched the State of the Union and I agreed with some of the proposals that Obama put forward. I do doubt his ability to achieve them but all in all I watched the man that is the President of the United States...