I am writing this as a Caucasian. I am white in that "I don't know how I ended up white" way.
My paternal grandparents were a French - Indo Chinese (called French N-words) married to a Blackfoot Native American, my maternal grandparents were German enough that they spoke it, but grandfather claimed "some" Dutch and Irish also.
I grew up in a small town where the line between us and them was not racial, but monetary. "They", on the other side of the tracks were the doctor and his family, dentist, lawyer and funeral home owner. Pretty much everyone else had ziltch. It was the way it was, and as a child raised in such a way, that it wasn't even acceptance of the other colors, because acceptance implies hesitation and forethought. I had never had a reason to include anyone separately, because I never learned a difference.
As I grew and moved to this state, I did learn that others thought differently then I. This was rather a white city. As a teen I was still the same person I had been raised to be, and if I was calling someone a name, or disliking them, it was personal. Something that person had done individually. The names would have been @$$hole or idiot, never based on race.
We have raised our children in this place, where things have changed around us. The junior high they attended is about 15% white, and has children of about 20 different races making up the majority of the school.The elementary school was about the same. The high school is more "white" but that is because more of the other races drop out before high school. One of the reasons the junior high is as it is, is because of the white exodus. Even though the people still live in this neighborhood, they drive their kids to "whiter" schools. I find this strange, because it is the neighborhood they live in, yet they apparently think something's wrong with it.
It was a few years ago, I first heard an adult use the word "cracker" as a racial word. I was in a meeting in the school board, we were discussing new reading book curriculum and they mentioned something about the racial make up of the school district, just statistics, and a woman who happened to be sitting close to me said "Isn't it funny were all a bunch of Crackers in here?" I filed that in my brain under the "ummm" file and went on about my life.
Last evening our junior high daughter (our youngest) came home from girl-scouts. She told us how one of the girls had been calling another "cracker", and the mom was standing there and didn't say anything. My daughter is probably only one of two "white" whites there (having married a blond haired blue eyed man, we did end up with one blond, and this daughter is it). She said the scout leader then told the girl how in scouts there are no "colors", everyone is a girl scout, a sister, and it was unacceptable for her to use a racial name. My daughter was dumbfounded that the mother objected to the leader saying this. Saying it's not "that" bad.
I asked my daughter what she thought, and she said she never thought about that word before, but when the girl was saying it, it made her feel weird in a bad way, inside. So we talked a little about it, and how THAT was what made it wrong. That is what makes it racial, the girl was using it to include everyone of a certain color as her target.
I don't claim to have perfected parenting, not by any count. We have raised 4 children, they have never had a line such as racial to judge people by, we have had such a parade of "friends" through here that a birthday party looks more like a United Nations meeting. It is just the way it is. I once had a neighbor ask me during a daughters birthday party, "Aren't you afraid of letting that wheelchair kid in your house? What if something happens to him?" That wheelchair kid was one of my daughters best friend, and actually he had been coming over for years, but I guess the neighbor had been to busy to notice.
I just wonder... in the real world, outside my little mind, is "Cracker" offensive? I, when I first heard it used, it was by a white woman, and it didn't bother me. When my daughter heard it, it made her feel bad, so it was offensive.
Just tell me what you think, try to play nice and follow the Code of Honor.