Back in the late 90s, my husband (then boyfriend) and I lived in an Apartment on Alice Street in Oakland California. There was an elderly gentleman who lived on the top floor and each time he would pass us in the hall or on the sidewalk, we would hear him say, “Cracker ass cracker.” To this day, it remains a memory that we both laugh about. Admittedly, it was much funnier to my husband, who is a full-blood American Indian, originally from the mid-west. Our elderly, black neighbor nailed me before I even knew what I was. I am a cracker and proud of it.
Although it has become a term frequently used by black people to refer to white people, the term cracker was originally used by wealthy, white Southerners to make poor, white Southerners feel inferior and themselves, superior. Cracker originally referred to the poor, white Southerners, frequently sharecroppers, who would, along with poor blacks and American Indians, all go to the grist mill to crack corn and turn their corn into corn meal for Southern favorites like corn bread, hush puppies and hoecakes.
JJ Grey tell us the truth about the term cracker here:
So, just as I proudly claim my Choctaw heritage, I proudly claim my cracker heritage too. My cracker-ness is yet another reminder of how we are really all in the same boat. We are all still going to the same metaphorical grist mill together, cracking our corn, trying to make it in a world run by elite psychopaths who would rather see us pit against each other, divided and conquered, than eating corn bread and greens together, singing the Blues and dancing into deep, dark, hot, wet, Southern night.