Let’s hear it for Rachel Jeantel. After all, without her spectacular performance last week on the witness stand in the show trial of George Zimmerman, we would never have learned that surly racists are neither surly nor racist. Indeed, when a black woman refers to someone as a “creepy-ass cracker,” she’s not allowing her bigotry to betray her; she’s simply behaving in a culturally appropriate manner.
Lest you think I’ve stepped into the rhetorical ring with my gloves unlaced, I have backup. According to a blog post by someone named Rachel Samara on a website called GlobalGrind.com, Jeantel is neither an ignorant bigot nor living proof of the desperate state of Americans trapped in the labyrinth of intellectual, moral and financial poverty endured on a daily basis by the heart of the Democratic voter base:
Rachel was authentic, nervous and extremely herself. … But let’s be honest. Rachel Jeantel’s attitude is exactly what I would expect from someone from the hood who has no media training and who is fully entrenched in a hostile environment.
That is a load off my mind. I might have wandered aimlessly through the rest of my life laboring under the misapprehension that it’s a character deficiency to behave like an extra in a hip-hop video shot on a really small budget.
And soon-to-be-erstwhile Food Network diva Paula Deen must be dancing a jig of joy. After all, if living down to the worst stereotypes about a subset of the population is actually cultural celebration, then Deen’s rather unfortunate deployment of the dreaded “n-word” wasn’t a demonstration of innate racism; it was merely a reflection of Deen’s cultural upbringing.
In fact, by liberal reckoning, a person is nothing more than an aggregation of his background and upbringing. The next time someone takes offense at an offhanded remark, remind him that you’re not to blame; the accumulated traditions of your tribe are to blame. To put it in terms Jeantel and those paragons of journalism at Globalgrind.com might understand: “See, what hat happent wuz, I dih-ihn’t say nuttin’ raciss. It wuz my cultural traditions… yo.”
When Bill Maher calls former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin a “c*nt,” he’s not being a misogynist pig; he’s simply adhering to the accepted cultural standards of smug, liberal douchebags. When MSNBC host and race-pimp Al Sharpton smears feces on a teenager, he’s not resorting to absolutely appalling means in an effort to make a cheap buck; he’s just behaving in a culturally appropriate manner for a parasitic race-baiting carnival barker. When Alec Baldwin calls a retired black police officer a “coon,” he’s not being a blathering hypocritical jackass. Well, he is; but we should hardly expect more. Consider the culture in which Baldwin grew to jackass-hood. Hollywood is overflowing with blathering hypocritical jackasses. Finding an enlightened soul in Tinseltown is a taller order than sitting through Sean Penn’s video diary from his last trip to Venezuela. “Gangsta” rappers have been using the “cultural” excuse since the first time a hip-hop hero smacked up his “ho.” Rap is… Well, take away n*gger, ho and bitch, and rap would be semaphore in 4/4 time.
If Jeantel should be lauded for being “authentic, nervous and extremely herself” on the witness stand last week, then everyone should use the same get-out-of-scorn-free card. We can all just stroll through life like a bunch of gibbering Tourette’s sufferers. And if anyone is offended, we can just direct his complaints to the proper culprit: our culture. “I’m sorry, Chairwoman Wasserman-Schultz; but where I’m from, we call greasy-headed skanks ‘greasy-headed skanks.’ In fact, I’m personally offended that you’re not more sensitive to my cultural heritage. You’re racist.”
But that’s as idiotic as Samara’s blog post. To quote Jeantel one more time: “That’s real retarded.” And to quote Personal Liberty’s own Sam Rolley in MSNBC Lauds ‘Articulate’ Use Of ‘Black English’ By Inaudible, Mumbling Witness In Zimmerman Trial:
“Ain’t nobody got time for that.”