(MEDIAITE) — In the third part of Piers Morgan‘s extensive, exclusive interview with Trayvon Martin‘s friend Rachel Jeantel about her testimony in the George Zimmerman trial, the host asked his guest if there was anything she wished she’d said on the stand. Jeantel answered with one word: “Nigga.”
Jeantel explained to Morgan that “the whole world say it’s a racist word” but the version of the word that she testified Martin had used in reference to Zimmerman, spelled “n-i-g-g-a” doesn’t mean what most people think it means. It doesn’t mean a “black male” as Morgan assumed, she said, but rather any kind of man, including “Chinese” for example. Morgan helpfully pointed out that that’s the version rappers use in their music.
“But nigger,” Jeantel said, stressing the “-er.,” is a “racist word.” She said “I’d advise you not to be by black people” when you say that word, Jeantel explained, “because they’re not going to have it like that.” And this is not just in her community as Morgan posited but in the entire “generation.”
Jeantel was clearly attempting to illuminate a conundrum that has plagued media coverage of race, not just during the Zimmerman trial but for decades, begging the question, does America need another CNN special on the “n-word?”