Oscar Bustamante/GMG/The Root

I am currently suffering from the flu and feel like I’m going to die. But because of my dedication to the readers of The Root, I crawled out of bed to respond to a few emails, tweets, comments and direct messages we receive during the week. (And because, when I told my editor, Yesha Callahan, about my sickness, she sympathetically said, “Sooo ... you gonna do the mailbag or nah?”)

If the flu kills me and I die at this keyboard, know that I made this sacrifice for you. Tell my grandchildren about how I used to clap back. Avenge my death! (Actually, I don’t know how you’d do that, but I always thought I’d die in a scenario where I could say “Avenge my death!” as I expire in a pool of blood.)

Anyway, here’s the mailbag. Remember I loved you all!*

*(Unless Yesha’s reading this.)


This first item is meant to address one of the most frequent complaints received by The Root. I have been emailed by numerous white women arguing the same point, which is the most white-womanish point ever:

To: Michael Harriot
From L. Greenbow
Subject: Your hate for white women

I am numb to your treatment of white women because you want to throw stones at them so much that people don’t pay attention to it anymore. What bothers me it when you keep pushing the narrative that 53% of white women voted for Trump. That is not the case. 53% of white women voters voted for Trump. Most white women did not vote for him because only a small porecetage one the population votes.

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And here is another comment from a reader named “Get some Dak Sausage,” who posted about it multiple times in a post that had nothing to do with Donald Trump, white women or even politics. They complained about Senior Editor Stephen Crockett’s use of the stat in several comments:

Yes. I’m saying that factually roughly 25% of white women voted for Trump. That’s a fact. I’m not talking about how complicit everyone feels the roughly half of white women that didn’t vote are.

Dear L and Get:

I apologize sincerely from the bottom of my heart. When I wrote that 53 percent of white women voted for Trump, I made a mistake. In my haste to be accurate and fair, I may have sullied the good name of the Caucasian sheroes who historically get to benefit from the conquering, colonizing white supremacist manifest destiny embedded in their male counterparts without bloodying their hands or mussing their silky blond hair.

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I meant “white women.”

I know that white women enjoy an unparalleled entitlement gifted to them at birth that follows them around for their entire lives. It’s not even their fault. It’s society’s fault. White women are the shit. Even a balloon-shaped Becky gets to be a trophy for—if no one else—a self-hating black man. Our last two first ladies have been an Ivy League-educated attorney and a plain-old skinny, generic, white mail-order bride Trump got from eBay. White women have it made.

But even though they don’t have to adhere to the rules of society, they at least have to acknowledge the existence of the motherfucking language. The language of politics and democracy doesn’t genuflect simply because you have an oatmeal-colored vagina.

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When I say, “The Atlanta Falcons blew a 23-point lead in the Super Bowl,” the players who didn’t get in the game never email me saying: “I was on the bench. I didn’t have anything to do with that.” When Trump says he was “elected by the American people,” he doesn’t parse it by saying, “The less-than-half who voted for me.” When people say Barack Obama “won the black vote,” Omarosa, Ben Carson, and Diamond and Silk didn’t raise their hands to object. That’s not how teams work. That’s not how democracy works. That’s not how anything else works.

Furthermore, let’s say I agreed with your premise. Doesn’t that make white women more complicit? Who should I absolve? The white women who would have voted for Hillary Clinton but stayed their asses home?

White people voted for Trump. White women voted for Trump. You should be glad Stephen and I say “53 percent of white women” instead of calling them by the name I suggested:

“Those blood-sucking, privileged-assed, low-key-racist white heauxs.”


From: Dees Nuts
To: Michael Harriot
Subject: MLK to Black people

The only White people MLK did not hate were the underage prostitute whores he would beat and torture fuck. He’s no hero. Can’t wait for the files to come out about your scumbag hero. He was a complete degenerate. Get woke about MLK, clown shoes.

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Dear Dees,

You win. You have the title.

I know I’ve said this to others before, but you get the championship trophy as the most racist white person ever. I’ve seen hate before, but ... damn. It’s not even about how anyone could despise someone who fought for freedom or equality. I can even understand why you believe the bullshit put out by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, whose stated goal was to discredit Martin Luther King Jr. What both shocks and intrigues me about your hate is this:

Y’all already killed him.

And you’re still mad?

Enjoy your trophy.


This next two are basically the same statement on the supremacy of white men. The first is a Twitter direct message and the next is an email.

From: Joseph B.

I DISAGREE WITH MICHAEL HARRIOT OF THE ROOT TOTALLY WHEN HE SAYS WHITE PEOPLE ARE NOT UNDER ATTACK— HE HAS DUMBED EVERTHING DOWN TO HIS MENTALLITY. THE STATISTICS HE CITES ARE OK FOR WHITES BUT THEY COULD BE TEN TIMES BETTER. WHITESCARE UNDER ATTACK BY THE WHOLE WORLD JUST FOR BEING WHITE. PEOPLE JUST CANNOT HANDLE ALL THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF WHITES IN EVERY FIELD AND THE WORLD IS EXTREMELY JEALOUS OF WHITE MEN AND WHITE WOMEN. WHITES ARE GETTING RAPED AND KILLED BY NON WHITES IN FAR GREATER RATES THAN VISA VERSA. THE WHITE CHRIATIAN IS UNDER ATTACK BY THE WHOLE WORLD. JESUS PREDICTED THIS WHEN HE SAID “THEY HATED ME AND THEY WILL HATE AND PERCECUTE YOU.” ISLAM IS A GARBAGE SICK VILE RELIGION THAT HONORS A MURDERER AND PEDOPHILE MOHAMMED. THEY ATTACK WHITE CHRISTIANS JUST FOR BEING WHITE CHRISTIANS; FOR NO OTHER REASON. INVTHIS COUNTRY A WHITE CANNOT WALKBINCA BLACK NEIGHBORHOOD OERIOD. THEY WILL BE UNDER ATTACK AND ROBBED RAPED OR MURDERED QUICKEY; I MYSELF HAVE BEEN BEATEN TO A RAW BLOODY PULP BY BLACKS IN BLACK NEIGHBORHOODS WHEN I TRIED TO VISIT BLACK FRIENDS. TJEY BEAT ME UP JYST BECAUSE IM WHITE AND BECAUSE THEY CAN NEVER EVER EVER WIN A DEBATE WITH ME. THE TRUTH WILL SET EVERYONE FREE. HOW IS IT RACIST FOR A WHITE PERSON TO WANT TO PRESERVE WHITE CHRISTIAN CULTURE THAT BUILT THE WHITE COUNTRIES AND THE USA AND CANADA ? LOOKCAT HAITI— IT HAS BEEN BLACK RULED FOR 200 YEARS AND IS A TOTAL VIOLENT CEESPOOL. NO ONE WANTS TO LIVE THERE. LOOK AT THE AFRICAN COUNTRIES. NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD MOVE THERE. THE PEOPLE ARE. DEMON POSSESSED. RACIST KILLERS OF WHITE CHRISTIAN PEOPLE. OH NO ?? TRY TO WALK AROUND IN AN AFRICAN COUNTRY AFTER DARK— YOU WILL BE EXECUTED FAST. YOU SAY NO ?? DREAM AWAY CHILD. DREAM ON. I BELIEVE THAT GOD MADE ALL PEOPLE FROM ONE BLOID C AS HE SAYS IN THE BIBLE— BUT PAGAN BACKWARD BELIEFS DETROY PEOPLE AND BLACK AFRICA IS LIADED WITH BACKWARD PAGANISM— NEVER SAYING WHITES ARE PERFECT— NO RACE IS, BUT WHITES AREAS WHETE WHITES LIVE ARE MYCH SAFER TO ALL RACES . PEOPLE MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR SHORTCOMINGS AND PROBLEMS THEY CREATE AND NOT BLAME OTHER RACES FOR THEIR FAILURES. THE WHITE RACE HAS LITERALKY SAVED OVER ONE BILLUON LIVES BY THE HIGH TECH MEDICINE THEY HAVE DEVELOPED. NO OTHER PEOPLE ON EARTH GAVED SAVED SO MANY LUVES. THINK OF ALL THE MILLUONS OF DOSES OF LUFE SAVING MEDICINES WHITES HAVE GIVEN THE WHOLE WORLD AND SAVED HUNDREDSVOF MILLIONSOF LIVES. I REPEAT. NON WHITE MEN HAVE NOT DONE THIS YET. I HOPE THEY DO SOME DAY. EVERYONE NEEDS TO DO THEIR PART IN HELPING HUMANITY . BUT THUS FAR ONLY THE WHITE COUNTRIES ARE GENEROUS AND KNOW THE WAY OF GIVE NOT GET.

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And this:

To: Michael Harriot
From: Adolph Crackerjack
Subject: The difference between white men and everyone else

White men live their lives. They go about their business, and for the most part never consider their race. To a white man he is merely another human. I certainty never though much about race until I got tired of my people being denigrated at every turn. White people are the only race of people taught to hate and disrespect their own ancestors and history. But women, all women see life through the lens of being a women not a human. For black people everything centers around being black. Gays and lesbians build their entire existence around the fact they are homosexual. Muslims are completely consumed by Islam. Meanwhile, the white man is a blank slate navigating life based on logic and experience.

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Nah, the difference between white men and and everyone else is this:

You believe you get to control the world.

That’s it. You think you can rape, kill, pillage, steal, colonize and enslave at your will. It is in your DNA. You are the scourge of the earth. You tortured my ancestors, raped Africa, committed genocide against the Jews, Native Americans, Haitians, every island in the Caribbean, the Aztecs, the Inca, the Aborigine and every native population on earth. You are the destruction of the planet. If the devil has a face, he is a white man. You will one day pay for your misdeeds.

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I’m just kidding.

I know you two letter writers didn’t do any of that, just like I know Joseph hasn’t invented anything in his life. He doesn’t even have the technical literacy to find the “caps lock” key, so I know he’s not creating anything in his garage, unless you count meth. I don’t.

My point is that Joseph and Adolph don’t get to live by two sets of rules. They don’t get to enjoy the privilege of individuality by dissociating themselves from Nazis, domestic terrorists and white supremacists and then castigate others by lumping all other groups into a basket based on stereotypes. So I say this to all white people:

Pick one.

Even though I am an educated black man with an IQ high enough to hit the “shift” key, I’m fine with you thinking I might be a stupid gangbanger or a criminal. But if we are going to play that game, you have to admit your personal responsibility for every “shithole” around the world.

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If I am to be a thug, then you have to admit that you are Adolf Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan. If an individual Muslim should automatically be assumed to be a terrorist, then I should assume that all white men are the same as the scum who dragged Emmett Till out of bed or slaughtered billions of babies around the world to make way for white rule.

I’m not accusing you, or any white person, of anything. I’m just saying: If we are going to play the game, pick a set of rules so that I can know which game we are playing.

And for God’s sake, hit the goddamn “caps lock” key!