Why 'Cracker' Can't Compare to the N-Word

A witness testified this week during the George Zimmerman trial that Trayvon Martin used the word "cracker." Kathleen Parker writes in the Washington Post that the term is not equal to the n-word.

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George Zimmerman's last pretrial hearing (pool/Getty Images)

Discovering the bigger racist, Kathleen Parker writes at the Washington Post, seems to be the real goal at the heart of the George Zimmerman trial. When Rachel Jeantel, friend of the late Trayvon Martin, told the jury this week that Trayvon said a "creepy-ass cracker" was following him, her words played into that very discussion. But Parker writes that "cracker" and the n-word are not in similar territory. 

For those needing a refresher course, here are just a few reasons why cracker doesn't compare to the N-word. Cracker has never been used routinely to:

* Deny a white person a seat at a lunch counter.

* Systematically deny whites the right to vote.

* Deny a white person a seat near the front of a bus.

* Crack the skulls of peaceful white protesters marching for equality.

* Blow up a church and kill four little white girls.

Need more? Didn't think so. Cracker may be a pejorative in some circles. It may even be used to insult a white person. But it clearly lacks the grievous, historical freight of the other.

Read Kathleen Parker's entire piece at the Washington Post.

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