The incomparable Rachel Jeantel, the person Trayvon Martin spoke to on his phone just before he was shot and killed, last night explained why George Zimmerman was wrong to feel his life was in danger and he needed to go for his gun.
It was just a case of "whup-ass", she said on television. Her interviewer, the dense-Brit CNN host Piers Morgan, failed to immediately grasp her meaning and let the moment slip by. But if by some strange twist of fate millions of Americans were watching (they were not), any of them would have immediately understood her statement.
Translated from Jeantel-ese: "Hey white boy, take your beating and shut the f*#k up."
Seriously. It was just a case of "whup-ass". You s'posed to take it, cracka.
Ms. Jeantel explained everybody in the 'hood understands what a whup-ass is. It's not getting bashed, not getting beaten so badly you might die, it's just getting your ass "whupped." Consequently, the question arises in Ms. Jeantel's mind: What's your problem, white boy?
The theme that seems to be coming out of the black community, as encapsulated in Ms. Jeantel's illuminating phrasing, is that black people never got their forty acres and a mule, and now they demand adding a white-boy whup-ass to the list, let's just say as compounded interest on a long over-due bill.
There are more civilized ways to express this feeling, of course. You'd never hear NBC's star anchor Al Sharpton or the NAACP's Ben Jealous put it precisely in Ms. Jeantel's indelicate phrasing, but the promise that "this ain't over" sends the same message.
Why did George Zimmerman have to shoot Trayvon dead? He was just getting a whup-ass, you dumb cracka. And how is it that he's so dumb he didn't realize that A) he had it coming, and B) ain't no biggie?
Scan the news reports and you will see Rachel Jeantel's view of white-boy-whup-ass is widely shared. In Baltimore a beating of a Hispanic accompanied by shouts of "this is for Trayvon!" Another in Memphis. Add to that the violent demonstrations in L.A. and Oakland, where demonstrators reject the right of (white) George Zimmerman to defend himself while getting his ass whupped. Add to that peaceful demonstrations in Times Square and elsewhere that also object to Zimmerman's sense that the ass whupping he was subjected to warranted a defensive response.
There is more to the Rachel Jeantel interview that should horrify and amuse Americans who recognize a foreigner's tin eared response to an American issue. Piers Morgan asking how to spell "cracka" (please note, Ms. Jeantel cautions, it is not "cracker", nor is the n-word ending in 'er' the same as the n-word ending in 'a'.)
Mr. Morgan missed the jaw dropper of his own interview. The real story here is the extent to which black people believe she hit the nail on the head: George Zimmerman was just getting his ass-whupped and that was no reason to kill his ass-whupper in self defense.
Is it clear now, white boy?
And as a somewhat related post script, yesterday in Chicago on his way to visit his five month old daughter, sixteen year old Joseph Brewer, Jr. was shot multiple times in the back and died.
We have yet to hear this was someone's "child" and therefore demonstrations are in order.
Are we left to conclude that once a sixteen year old has a "child" he doesn't qualify as someone's "child" himself, and therefore the streets are calm?
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