In an interview with Piers Morgan Monday, Rachel Jeantel — the friend of Trayvon Martin who was on the phone with him the night he was murdered by George Zimmerman — lamented the fact that she didn’t use the n-word during her testimony. She then described the difference between the n-word with an “er” and the n-word with an “a.”
According to Jeantel, “n***a” can be used to describe a male — any male — and is not racist. Morgan pointed out that this is the form rappers use, and that this form came into use “around 2000.”
“But n***er is a “racist word,” Jeantel said. “I’d advise you not to be by black people, because they’re not going to have it like that.” She then said this use isn’t confined to just her community, but to an entire generation.
“Not young people, old people use that, too,” she said.
While some may disagree with Jeantel’s attempt to differentiate the two words, Rush Limbaugh took the explanation as a greenlight to use the “a” form of the word.
“So, ‘n***a’ with an ‘a’ on the end, I think can [say it] now, isn’t that the point? Because it’s not racist. That’s the point,” Limbaugh said. “I could be talking about a male–a Chinese male, guy at the laundromat. I could be talking about a man, that’s what she said it means.”
Limbaugh also cited Jeantel’s explanation of the term “creepy a** cracker/a,” which she said means someone who “acts like they are police” or a “security guard.”
This isn’t the first time Limbaugh has used the “everyone else is doing it” defense to justify his use of a derogatory term. In March 2012, after he called Sandra Fluke — the attorney who testified before House Democrats about the importance of insurance plans covering contraception — a slut, he tried to excuse his behavior by saying, “You talk about a double standard. One of the greatest illustrations of it is that rappers can practically say anything they want about women, and it’s called art.”
What do you think of Rachel Jeantel’s comments about the difference between the n-word with an “er” or an “a”? Do you think Rush Limbaugh is being deliberately obtuse by saying he can now use the latter based on her definition?