Dearest all white people,
First, I’d like you to note how I included that three-letter modifier when I addressed talking to every single white person—the unsoaped-leg Lauras and the bath cloth-resistant Beckies. Those still lingering in flip-flop season because you barbecued your Nikes and broke a strap on your Birkenstocks boogieing to Jimmy Buffet at the Blue Lives Matter rally. People with toes peeking out of car windows and wraparound sunglasses perched on the bills of their camouflage Crimson Tide caps. MAGA Maggies and Bernie Bro Bretts. The Kaepernick haters and the climate change deniers. The ones with an affection for the anthem and a fondness for flags. The dog-mouth kissers and the tree huggers. The Proud Boys and the Hollaback Girls. The soccer moms and Nascar dads. The cop-calling Karens and frat-boy Chads. The loud wrong, silent majority of paleface, suntanned, snowflakes— whether you’re circling back, unpacking, reaching out or leaning in—this is for you.
I’m talking to all the white people.
Are you enjoying that legal marijuana? Like that stimulus check? Are you happy you could finally get healthcare with a preexisting condition or that you could visit Planned Parenthood for your reproductive care? Were you worried about how your 23-year-old child would get healthcare before you realized you could just add him on your insurance plan? Is your water clean? Did you mail in your ballot?
Black voters did that.
We know you’ve been busy not wearing masks while a global pandemic stalks you like a reality host clawing a checkbook in fingers that smell slightly of diet coke and hydroxychloroquine. Or perhaps you’re preoccupied with open enrollment season for that healthcare you despise but wouldn’t give up for all the pumpkin spice tea in China, which is why it’s understandable that you can’t take the time to thank us for saving you from yourselves.
Don’t bother. We’re used to it.
Forget about the fact that no one in America has more “economic anxiety” than the people whose labor, wealth and freedom you stole and tossed on your pile of privilege. Forget about the fact that COVID-19 and trigger-happy cops attacked our communities disproportionately while you appealed for law and order at your superspreader MAGA rallies. In spite of your silence on white supremacy and support of an irrefutable white nationalist, we decided to put on our capes and pull you from the burning flames of the dumpster fire you built, lit and fueled with unrepentant racism disguised as patriotism.
And still, we saved you.
But we’re not here to condemn you, nor are we trolling for praise. Instead, we want to tell you why we paraded to the polls and did the right thing:
We did it because you hate America.
You claim to love “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” but despise Black lives, the right to choose and anything that makes people’s lives easier. You ballyhoo about the Constitution but want to evict the huddled masses who made it a nation of immigrants and the natives who were here when you hopscotched across their open borders. You resist criminal justice reform, counting votes and any semblance of liberty and justice for all. So, as usual, we rescued this country.
We do it every time.
We are the ones who made this land a democratic republic by putting our necks in nooses for the right of all people to participate in democracy. Our cotton-picking labor made this country a superpower and our fighting prowess made it a force to be reckoned with around the planet. We wrote all the music, choreographed the dances and created the civilization that you refer to as “American culture.” In fact, there wasn’t an America until we made it. How do you think those white men whose faces adorn your money became wealthy and independent enough to tell the most powerful country in the world to go fuck themselves?
Slaves, bruh. They owned slaves.
But this is not a history lesson. There are books for that (we know you whitewashed them, but still…I forgot—you get all your history from monuments). Instead of harping on why we did it, I’d like to focus on something else. Lemme show you how Black voters collectively built a dam that protected this country from the more insidious whimsy of your people.
Yes, this is the “all” part.
Black people do not love Joe Biden or the Democratic Party. We don’t hate them, but it’s not like we were waiting for a 77-year-old white man and his political party to pull out a sword and beat back 401 years of white people white people-ing. Black voters chose Biden because we knew he could beat Donald Trump. And never forget that we chose him. Most Black voters voted for Biden in the Democratic primaries and most white voters voted for someone else. It has been more than a half-century since a Democratic president has won the white vote.
The reason Black people are reliably Democratic is that Black people vote for all of us. Not only do we vote with the collective benefit of this country in mind, we cajole, coerce and convince other Black people to do the same. Even the small percentage of Black voters who support the GOP unquestionably know that the rest of Black America thinks they’re on some fuckshit. If you don’t believe me, look at Ice Cube’s Twitter feed or Candace Owens’ edges. Shit, look at me. Before the 2016 election, I wrote 1,305,732 pieces explaining how Donald Trump was trash and a single article about how I couldn’t cast a ballot for Hillary Clinton. Which one do you think I still hear about to this day? At least once a week, someone lets me know the fuckshit I was on.
Meanwhile, all white people vote according to their specific individual interests and beliefs. Progressive white voters vote for progressives and conservatives vote for the white nationalist part with the elephant logo. I’m not saying that progressive white voters are responsible for Donald Trump because they couldn’t talk their mee-maw out of believing Fox News’ report that COVID-19 was created by George Soros’ Chinese mask factory to fund the Clinton Foundation’s child sex ring. All I’m saying is this:
If Black people can convince 90 percent of Black people to put on pants or a bra, leave their homes in a global pandemic and consistently vote for a country that kicks them in the teeth and a party that doesn’t break its neck to appease us, then white people can convince white people to stop being so goddamned racist.
You’re not trying hard enough.
Fuck all those performative tweets and those virtue signals from inside the safety of the self-affirming, progressive echo-chamber. We need y’all to come get your Karens. So put on that Walmart bra, slide on those Wranglers and get out in those wypipo streets like you actually believe Black lives matter. Go MAGA-shame your mee-maw and give Cindy the side-eye the same way Black people do.
The next time you’re getting a free breast cancer screening, cashing your stimulus check or loading up your handmade, artisanal bong with legal marijuana, remember that the healthcare, the OG Kush and those cancer-free tig ol’ bitties (or small, we don’t bitty-shame at The Root) were provided for you by the brave voters of Black America.
And all we ask is that you go as hard at your people as we do at ours.
Every damn time.