After Rachel Jeantel's recent testimony in the trial of George Zimmerman, a lot of white people are suddenly wondering out loud why it's o.k. to call white people 'crackers,' while other racial epithets are out of bounds. Prominent blacks are being hounded by media types looking for the elusive 'double standard,' which is so effective in selling newspapers. "What if there were black crackers?" Rush Limbaugh demanded to know. "Would it be o.k. in that case to call black people 'crackers'? Or would that be hate speech?"
The question of the acceptability of crackerhood even reached the White House. In response to a question from a pursuing Fox News reporter on the White House lawn, the president stopped and said, "While some may see humor in calling John Boehner a 'cracker,' I do not. It would be impolite and even childish," Obama said with a barely repressed grin. "And I certainly wouldn't call him a 'creepy ass cracker.'
"But, Mr. President, no one has called John Boehner a cracker until you raised the issue just now. Are you saying that the Speaker of the House is a cracker?" the reported asked, sensing a new scandal that might serve to revive outrage against the Obama administration. "No, I didn't -- read the transcript, cracker," the President said grinning and getting into his helicopter, one hand cupped behind a substantial ear.
Later, at a press conference, a sniggering Jay Carney took on the press, who were looking to start a brawl between the President and the Speaker of the House. "Some people," Carney explained, glad for once to be the one dishing it out, "may find the word 'cracker' offensive. But it's just colorful, short-hand for 'white.' Crackers are white -- at least the kind made with bleached flour. It's a metaphor. You could also call white people 'clouds,' or 'Charmin,' or 'lint.' Obviously some of these words carry unpleasant associations and would probably for that reason be found as offensive as the word 'cracker.' But let's back off the fake outrage, crackers. The day that the crackers emerge from slavery, we can discuss the racial sensitivities of whites. In the meantime, the President intends to let the cracker crumbs fall where they may.