It seems like everybody is so desperate to be politically correct; in fact, you can’t even say the word “Monday” without turning heads these days (see this previous post! One of the original racial slurs was the word Cracker, often said by an African American referring to a Caucasian. Unfortunately, the slur has an ugly history.

It started back in the 18th century (or earlier) when slavery foremen in the South would use whips to discipline their slaves. Such use of the whip was called “cracking the whip,” another expression that has stuck around. The townspeople dubbed the foreman “Crackers” because of the frequency they used the whip on the slaves.

Today, the term is actually less offensive than it was back then, and some Caucasian people even refer to themselves as Crackers, meaning they have lived in the south for generations. In 2008, former president Bill Clinton even used the term on an episode of Larry King Live, describing the group of voters he was hoping would vote for Obama. The term “white Cracker,” however, is used less often these days but is most definitely a slur used to demean whites.