Cracker Nation, a new, common interest political group on Facebook, the world’s largest social network, exploded this weekend following reports of New Black Panther Party leadership urging the killing of “crackers,” and the Department of Justice abandoning a 2008 voter intimidation case levied by white voters.
The term “cracker” is a racist pejorative typically directed toward poor, white Southerners. Wednesday, Fox News aired video of Minister King Samir Shabazz, a leader of the Philadelphia New Black Panther Party, shouting in the street: “You want freedom? You’re going to have to kill some crackers. You’re going to have to kill some of their babies.” (“Racial Threats From Man Justice Thought Should Get Slap on Wrist”)
Friday Fox News reported that “Former Justice attorney J. Christian Adams testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on Tuesday that his former employer not only abandoned the voter intimidation case for racial reasons last year, but had instructed attorneys in the civil rights division to ignore cases that involve black defendants and white victims.” (“Karl Rove on Black Panther Case: White House ‘Thumbing Its Nose’ at Voter Rights”)
Cracker Nation was formed on Saturday. Matthew Morgan, creator and administrator, posted that 1,000 members had joined within the first four hours of the group’s creation. Cracker Nation seems to have a broad purpose, with a description that states “Crackers of all varieties unite!!” The group is largely white, but not exclusive. Self-identified “crackers” of mixed ethnic heritage have joined, and some described themselves as “graham crackers.”
In establishing cracker identity, members of Cracker Nation have adopted derivatives of “Cracker” as middle names (e.g. Matthew “Cracka” Morgan), and posted images of crackers in their Facebook profiles. Saltine and Ritz crackers are the most common but one creative member of mixed race used a chocolate-covered cracker to express her heritage and sentiment. Maritza Gomez expressed in a Cracker Nation wall post: “I changed my profile pic today to reflect that I’m a Cuban Cracker!! Any Cubans out there?? You know how good those Cuban crackers with Cafe con leche are!!!”
Members of Cracker Nation provide many messages. Some are creative and artistic, offering cracker humor, cracker flags, and crackers emblazoned with the colonial symbol of American liberty, the rattlesnake. Others contain links to various news articles. Some express a general disgust with the Obama administration, while others express outrage with New Black Panther hate speech. Cheryl Russell exclaims in a Cracker nation wall post: “I think I’ll be a fire cracker and if they try to kill me I will explode in their face!!!!!!”
Although some members posted concerns that the group would meet the disapproval of Facebook and not survive, Cracker Nation is still thriving. On Sunday Morgan requested assistance with administration and optimistically posted on the Cracker Nation wall “If this site does go down I have back up plan!” Cracker Nation now has over 4,000 members.
Fox News, “Karl Rove on Black Panther Case: White House ‘Thumbing Its Nose’ at Voter Rights”
Fox News, “Racial Threats From Man Justice Thought Should Get Slap on Wrist”
Matthew Morgan, Facebook, Cracker Nation