Rep. Charlie Rangel, part-time politician and full-time mustachioed cad, can't be bothered with social graces—referring to Laura Ingraham as a "pretty girl" on national television (which totally discredits all the work she put in to becoming a vassal of Satan); his various campaign offices-cum-rent stabilized apartments, the censuring debacle—these are just a few examples from recent memory.
Should we be surprised, then, that he was ostensibly under the impression that "cracker" is not a rather un-PC reference to (Southern, usually) white people, but a term of endearment?
"I thought that was a term of endearment," he says to HuffPo's Marc Lamont Hill, who promptly erupts in incredulous laughter. "You...thought 'cracker' was a term of endearment?" he asks.
"They're so proud of their heritage, and all the things they believe in," Rangel said, eyebrows waggling, hair fixed in place, forming a Kewpie-esque swoop like a scoop of graying soft serve.
"If I offended them by calling them a 'white cracker,' for that I apologize...with the names I've been called, I never really put 'cracker' in that category," he explains, adding further that he would like to have dinner with anyone he offended. Marc, fingers to brow ridge in the universal gesture of chagrin, chuckles.
Rangel originally dropped the cracker bomb in 2013, surmising that the Tea Party could be overcome the same way as segregation. “It is the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police," he said at the time. "They didn’t care about how they looked. It was just fierce indifference to human life that caused America to say enough is enough. ‘I don’t want to see it and I am not a part of it.’ What the hell! If you have to bomb little kids and send dogs out against human beings, give me a break.” In other words:
For what it's worth, this is the first instance of the "cracker" tag on Gothamist. We had a good run.