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Friday, February 3, 2012

READER'S POST #8 - MSNBC Interviewer Discusses the "Cracker Counties" of the Florida Panhandle

 By: 32slim32

On Tuesday morning (Jan 31), the Politico’s Jonathan Martin, was on MSNBC with Chuck Todd and gave us this analysis of the Republican Presidential primary for Florida:
JONATHAN MARTIN, POLITICO: Chuck, one last thing on the map, though, if I could. I think the other reason why north Florida is going to be fascinating to watch tonight is because it's going to give us a sense of what's ahead in March, when this primary does move to the deep south states, because as you know, Chuck, a lot of the counties in the panhandle, in north Florida, the cracker counties, if you will-

MARTIN: -more resemble Georgia and Alabama than they do Florida. So, it's going to be interesting to see if Romney can really show some signs of strength in and around places like Pensacola, Panama City, Tallahassee and Jacksonville.
The cracker counties?  I am sure there must be a couple Ritz, Saltine or Zesta factories there where they produce crackers. Right? I mean, what else could he possibly be talking about?
Juan Williams on Monday (Jan 30) wrote an article cluing us in on key racist “code words” or euphemisms. The secret code words are:
Entitlement Society
Poor Work Ethic
Food Stamp President
‘References to a lack of respect for the “Founding Fathers” and the “Constitution” also make certain ears perk up by demonizing anyone supposedly threatening core “old-fashioned American values.”’
Maybe Juan can help us out and let us know if “cracker counties” is some sort of “code word” or if it just refers to a certain geographic location that just so happens to produce a lot of Ritz crackers.
Hey, maybe we could ask MSNBC’s own Ed Schultz if this is some sort of “code word”, since he sees racist comments everywhere. For instance when Rick Perry said “….that big black cloud that hangs over America, that debt….”, Schultz was quick to inform us that the “big black cloud” was 0bama. Of course Schultz conveniently edited out “that debt” in order to make his point.
After perusing through a few of the Mainstream Media websites, apparently “cracker counties” has no racial context whatsoever. None of them seemed to be alarmed by it.
What I find particularly odd is the media using actual numbers instead of percentages. Stick with me here. Florida has the second highest population of African Americans with 2,999,862 which is 16% of their population. (source: 2010 census) What Mr. Martin is trying to say (I believe), is that the “cracker counties” have a more white population than the rest of Florida and they closer resemble Georgia and Alabama. The main problem with that is Georgia has the 4th highest population of African Americans with 2,950,435 or 30% of their population and Alabama the 15th highest population of African Americans with 1,251,311 or 27% of their population.
Now if the panhandle of Florida is where the “cracker counties” are and the state as a whole is 16% black, it would be safe to assume that the “cracker counties” have less than a 16% black population, right.  My question to Mr. Martin is; how exactly would a county that has less than 16% black population more closely resemble states that have 27% and 30% African American population? How does that work Jonathan?
It really doesn’t make any sense. Does it? I think the stupid schmuck just wanted to say “cracker counties” and try to garner a little attention.
What do you think? If this was said on another cable network, like, I don’t know, say, Fox, would this be more of an issue? Or do they just mass produce Ritz and Saltine crackers in the panhandle of Florida?
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  1. Slim -

    As much as I looked for something that showed the area of the Florida panhandle in question being typically called the 'cracker counties', I could not. I think it is context. As it is acceptable for blacks to use the 'N' word when referring to other blacks, perhaps it is viewed as acceptable for a white to use the term 'cracker' for an area he thinks is primarily white. I do tend to agree with you though that, let's say Bill O'Reilly or, better yet, Rush Limbaugh had said that, it would be a media massacre.

    1. Whatsamattausa - I also tend to agree on this one. I don't like the use of any of these words in any public arena regardless of who said them. If Al Sharpton said something about the "N"-word sections of a region it wouldn't make it white. This reporter said the "cracker counties" like it was okay. I don't think it is, and I tend to agree with you and 32slim32 - that if anyone on the "right" would have said that, it would be curtains. Though it's irrelevant, why in the world would that guy choose to use that particular description, anyway?

    2. Whatsamattausa, the thing I found most laughable about it was it happened on the ultra race baiting network M-BS-NBC (as Chris Matthews rightly called it one day).

      I may have to go buy a lottery ticket today (maybe you should too), If you and I are in agreement on this. LOL.

      Have a great day Whatsamattausa.

      By the way Whatsamattusa and LME, I believe my score was closest on the Super Bowl I picked the Giants to win 27-23. Final Score Giants 21-17.

    3. Slim -

      I thought you hit it right on and checked this morning. You were closest and did have the spread right on. I think you should win an The Elephant in the Room car magnet!

      On my way to get the lottery ticket! :)

    4. HAHAHA! Yes, 32slim32, that was pretty damn good. Way to pick them. You can get a car magnet. Just visit the Elephant in the Room store. I think I gave you the link, lol.

      I did have one thing correct. I was at a Super Bowl party and at about the 2-minute warning I said that the Patriots would absolutely let them score. Sure enough, the party looked at me like I had three heads. :-P

      Hope you guys have a great night!