A friend of a Florida neighborhood watch leader who gunned down an unarmed teen last month says that people shouldn’t judge his pal for using a racial epithet because in some parts of the U.S., “people proudly call themselves coonasses.”
After reviewing a 911 call George Zimmerman made before killing Trayvon Martin, many believe they hear the shooter calling the 17-year-old a “fucking coon.”
On Monday, MSNBC host Chris Matthews asked longtime Zimmerman friend Joe Oliver if he was surprised that he would have used this kind of language.
“To me, it’s a matter of interpretation of whether he saying ‘coon’ or ‘goon,'” Oliver replied. “There are a lot of parts of this country where people proudly call themselves coonasses. In Louisiana, in particular.”
According to Dictionary.com, “coonass” is a vulgar, disparaging, and offensive offensive term sometimes used to describe Cajuns in Louisiana and Southeast Texas. It is thought to come from the French word “connasse,” a vulgar term for a woman, similar to whore, bitch or cunt.
Oliver continued: “On the other hand, you know, I’m a 53-year-old man and I don’t know too many people younger than 40 who use that term as a racial slur. As far as the other word, ‘goon,’ I’ve been informed by my 17-year-old daughter that that among her peers is a term of endearment.”
In an interview on ABC on Sunday, Oliver had first suggested that Zimmerman had used a “term of endearment” before killing Martin.
Authorities told the Orlando Sentinel on Monday that Martin had been the aggressor even though Zimmerman was heard on the 911 calls saying he had been pursuing the teen.
Zimmerman said he was walking toward his SUV on February 26 when Martin approached him from behind and attacked him after the two exchanged words. Zimmerman reportedly claimed to police that he shot Martin in self-defense.
Witnesses have apparently corroborated some of Zimmerman’s story, but no one has come forward to say they saw the initial punch, according to the Sentinel.
Martin’s parents and lawyer have said that Zimmerman, who is still free, should be arrested for pursing Martin despite 911 dispatchers urging him not too.
Watch this video from MSNBC’s Hardball, broadcast March 26, 2012.
— with earlier reporting by Andrew Jones
The View’s audience boos Mick Mulvaney’s confession — and laughs when he denies video evidence
The audience on "The View" reacted in anger and then mockery to White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney's confession to Ukraine quid pro quo -- and then his denial of what he plainly said on video.
President Donald Trump's chief staffer admitted during a press briefing that the White House held up congressionally approved aid to Ukraine as leverage to get the foreign ally to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory.
"We do that all the time with foreign policy, and I have news for everybody," Mulvaney told reporters. "Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy."
The View hosts shudder at creepy-crawly accounts of bedbugs at Trump’s club hosting G7
President Donald Trump awarded a government contract to his struggling Florida resort to host next year's G7 summit, and "The View" co-hosts cringed at accounts of the club's bedbug infestation.
The White House insists the president won't make money off the deal, but whatever free advertising he's getting from the most likely unconstitutional venture is being undercut by reminders of a settlement Trump Organization reached with a guest who was bitten by bedbugs.
GOP lawmaker hammers Trump for Ukraine server conspiracy theory: ‘Are we trying to exculpate Russia?’
Rep. Francis Rooney (R-OK) on Friday signaled that he was taking House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump far more seriously than many of his Republican colleagues.
During an interview with CNN's Poppy Harlow, Rooney said he was very disturbed at the president's efforts to prove a debunked conspiracy theory about Ukraine purportedly being behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee in 2016, despite the fact that all evidence that has been uncovered points directly to Russia as the true culprit.
Harlow then asked him what he made about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) comment that "all roads" in the Ukraine scandal lead back to Russian President Vladimir Putin.