Russell A. Mebane - African American Science Fiction Writer
RSS

Recent Posts

I thank God for my wife!
The Black Experience of GTA Five
"Young Justice" Cancelled? Ethnic Issues?
Here's another short story from me
Christian Mercy & Forgiveness: An Education

Categories

"Rape & Killing"
anime
Barney
Batman
black websites
bookstores
Chris Dorner
Christianity
elmo
family
global warming
gun violence
Holidays
Inspirational
Jacksonville
lesbians
logic and reason
Mark Sanford
racism
Ruins of the Fall
Squirrels & Puppies
video games
Young Justice
powered by

My Blog

Why Whites Don't Understand Racism

 In my travels, I've realized something about White Americans:  they have no clue what racism is.  By racism, I mean discriminating against another person based on their perceived race or ethnicity.  I understand that most of this ignorance is purely circumstantial.  They don't understand about racism because for centuries White Americans have been the majority group in their country.  Add to this the immense size of the continental U.S. and voila!  You've got cultural ignorance.  Why should a White American understand any culture outside of their own?  This country has thousands of square miles of people like themselves; people that listen to the same music, eat the same food, and speak the same language.  In this kind of environment, it's only natural to see a different culture or people as foreign, evil, or inferior.  The worst part of White American racism is that it's so natural that many White Americans miss it, even when it's directed at them.  The best example of this is Cracker Barrel. 

Cracker Barrel is a national restaurant chain that's very popular in the U.S. region popularly known as "the South".  Now if you're a White American you probably don't see anything wrong with that last sentence.  Let me elaborate.  "Cracker" is a racist term for a White person, particularly White Americans from the South.  The term is an abbreviation of "whipcracker", referencing the slavery period in the U.S. when Whites owned slaves.  It's made more derogatory by the fact that slave masters usually did not whip their slaves.  They used lower class White Americans for this task.  Thus when someone directs this term at a White American, they're insinuating that the subject of this barb is a White person of a lower class (or possibly stupid), even when compared to other White people.  In simpler terms,  "cracker" doesn't mean "White American".  It means "stupid White American". 

Now do you see what's wrong with Cracker Barrel being popular in the South?  Is it popular with the Black Americans who coined this turn-of-phrase?  No.  Indeed, I and many of my Black countrymen tend to feel uncomfortable in Cracker Barrel because of the LARGE number of White patrons at this restaurant.  Cracker Barrel is EXTREMELY popular with middle and lower class Whites here in the South.  They put them in business parks and near airports.  Eating at Cracker Barrel is not even seen as shameful or particularly significant to its White patrons. 

Let's compare this with other races and ethnicities living in America.  Do you know of a popular food chain amongst Black Americans known as "Nigger Chicken"?  How about a Mexican restaurant called "Beaner Burritoes"?  "Chink's Chinese Cuisine"?  No?  Why not?  Because those restaurant names would deeply offend  patrons of other cultures or even their target markets.  I can personally vouch for "Nigger Chicken"'s imminent destruction in under a month.  

Yet there it is:  Cracker Barrel.  You might wonder what kind of food they serve at Cracker Barrel to attract so many Southern Whites.  Well, the answer is simple:  Southern food.  Here's a menu.  If you click on the link you'll notice the reference to "pancakes n' such", not "pancakes and other things".  It says "pancakes n' such" in an attempt to emulate the vernacular of Southern Whites, y'know to make y'all feel  right at home.  The restaurant also has a store which offers items reminiscent of a time when certain Whites cracked whips, when the term "cracker" was at its most relevant.  The restaurants are even designed to look like brown wooden shacks, the kind that would be inhabited by lower class Southern Whites, not the plantation mansions the slave masters lived in.  This business appears to do everything in its power to appeal to the "cracker" demographic. 

However, I have yet to see a single White person say anything negative about this restaurant or its name.  Of course, one could say that the "cracker" in Cracker Barrel refers to the crisp bread treat one feeds to parrots on pirate ships.  To these people, I would suggest moving to San Francisco and opening up "Fred's Faggot Furniture" and boast how your furniture is made from real faggots.  I'm sure that once you explain to the local populace that you were simply referring to bundles of sticks (the original definition of "faggot"), everyone would let you run your business in peace and even buy from your store.  Not really.  You might want to refer back to the fate of "Nigger Chicken" two paragraphs up.

Still, there is Cracker Barrel: a business that profits from Southern White culture and puts the most derogatory word for them in its name.  I'm sure there are other arguments Whites would make to defend this institution.  There are still Blacks that fervently defend the casual use of the word "nigger".  Both groups tend to be lower class and/or culturally ignorant.    Yet, I have come to understand the cultural ignorance of White Americans.  Why should the most powerful group of people in this nation be offended by a simple word?  Even a word meant to offend.  Black Americans made up a word that means "stupid White American".  Really?  How novel!  Blacks can use words!  Whites seem to be completely oblivious to the very notion of racial offense.  Thus, whenever I hear about some White person in the news catching Hell for saying something culturally insensitive, I believe them when they say they didn't think it was a big deal.  I know they didn't think it was a big deal.  They eat at Cracker Barrel.  


Buy "Squirrels & Puppies: Dark Morality Tales" - now in the iBookstore!



8 Comments to Why Whites Don't Understand Racism:

Comments RSS
Joanna Banana on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 6:48 AM
Ok, so here I go defending the name. Maybe I will just prove your point...If I thought that they were calling me a "white cracker" I would find offence and I have been called one on several occasions, sometimes in jest and sometimes with the intent to offend. But since the word does have another valid use "crisp bread treat" and in the context of the old country store where men would sit around an actual barrel that crackers were delivered to the store in, I don't see a problem. Nigger does not have any place anymore and I would say the art of faggotting is obscure by now. I still call my crisp bread treats "crackers". I imagine my great grandfather was a “cracker- barrel sage” and I embrace it instead of being offended by it because it has nothing to do with the term “white cracker“. I just don't find that in this example racism is being directed at me. My Black American friends typically don't need to eat at Cracker Barrel since they have an Auntie, Grandma, Mama or friend who would happily cook them some great (southern, country, soul, down home) food that tastes a lot better and their dollar stretches a lot farther. Unfortunately, many of us white folk don’t have these extended family and friend networks anymore.
Reply to comment
 
writing service review on Friday, June 01, 2018 12:38 AM
I often notice that people got disappointed and blame things around them for the failure. In reality, their wrong decision make them a laughing stock. You are kinda such people as you also reacting your life as a video game.


Russell Mebane on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 11:45 AM
I think you've helped to prove my point. Minorities in America expect to be treated poorly. To defend against this, they've learned to anticipate racism in order to better fight against it. Since Whites in America rarely find themselves in a socially defensive posture, they're unprepared when racism does occur. I alert you of a possible slight against your people and you brush it off. Michael Jackson wrote a song called "They Don't Really Care About Us". He uses the word "kyke" in it to speak against ethnic slurs. Michael Jackson is not an anti-semite, nor does the Jewish community believe him to be an anti-semite. They still censored the word in the song and wouldn't allow the video to be played in the U.S. Why? Jews are a minority and they become passionate at even the smallest racial slight, as do the other minorities. White Americans lack this passion. I doubt that the CEO of Cracker Barrel is trying to offend Whites. It's less of a "Hey you! Cracker!" and more of a "What's up, my crackas". Still this behavior would be frowned upon amongst educated minorities. It would be crude humor at best. It could be my point would be extremely hard to prove without someone actually starting a "Nigger Chicken" or a "Fred's Faggot Furniture".
Reply to comment


Joanna Banana on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 7:44 PM
It is simply not a slight. Old men at country stores used to sit around empty barrels that used to hold crackers. The crackers were one of the few mass-produced foods that were made in those days and they would pull a barrel up and start a game of checkers around one. The men would sit for hours talking about times gone by, making up stories etc. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Restaurant (the whole name). Is supposed to envoke this image. Sure, they used pickel barrels too, but Pickel Barrel would not really sound too great. Again, there is not another use for kyke, chink, etc. I agree that we don't as a whole have a lot of racism thrown at us and we are not sensitive to it. However, I see nothing wrong with calling a cracker a cracker : )
Reply to comment


Russell A. Mebane on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 11:35 PM
Fair enough.
Reply to comment
 
Megacon Mania on Saturday, March 16, 2013 8:05 PM
Russell: If you 'anticipate racism' , won't you surely find it?


Russell A. Mebane on Sunday, March 17, 2013 11:02 PM
I'll admit anticipating racism can create oversensitivity, but just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that no one's out to get you. :)
Reply to comment


resumeservice australia on Sunday, August 06, 2017 1:23 PM
Why whites don’t understand racism for the more and wonderful topics always with this russellmebane blog. The ignorance is purely circumstantial abbreviation on the great methods always insinuating that the subject.
Reply to comment

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Website:
Comment:
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint