Magazine August 19, 2013, Issue

Meet the Cracker

An old epithet gets a new life

As the Zimmerman case proved, a defining characteristic of the American mind is the care we take with our racial vocabularies to make sure they specify where we land in our national free fall known as “This is who I am.”

Earlier generations of blacks had no trouble finding interesting and clever ways to identify the Southern white racist. For instance, they called him a “peckerwood,” a deliberate inversion of a familiar word to describe the way he treated them: Like a woodpecker drilling into a tree, he was always at them, but switching the syllables gave them a protective cover

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Carolina Comeback

Ever since Pat McCrory became North Carolina’s first Republican governor in 20 years, a stream of media coverage has portrayed the Tar Heel State as “the Wisconsin of 2013,” to ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Sins and Commandments in Language I was thinking that I was the only one bothered by the all-encompassing use of “inappropriate” to avoid an honest confession of sin. Even my pastor, ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We’re traditionalists on sex scandals: They ought to include sex. ‐ In July, President Obama gave another in his long series of speeches that constitute “a pivot” to the economy. ...
Athwart

Rahs and Rah-Nots

Michael Shulan, creative director of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, said he almost didn’t include the famous photo of firefighters raising the flag because it was too “rah-rah.” One “rah” is ...
The Long View

The Al-Irshad Group

Transcript from the Al Jazeera Political Talk Show The Al-Irshad Group: Sunday, August 4, 2013 Host Al-Irshad: “Issue One! Weiner-riffic! In the aftermath of a series of degrading and degenerate scandals ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

NO VOODOO No mystical sixth sense do I possess. I hardly handle normal senses well. No vision have I ever had of Hell. Jesus does not drop in at my address. My life has been ...

Recommended

The Latest