The Root’s Clapback Mailbag: When the Cat’s Away, the Racists Still Stay ...

Illustration for article titled The Root’s Clapback Mailbag: When the Cat’s Away, the Racists Still Stay ...
Illustration: Oscar Bustamante (FMG)
Clapback MailbagEach Friday, we select the best (or worst) emails, tweets, DMs and comments from our readers and respond to them in the The Root's Clapback Mailbag.

Hi, everyone, my name is Stephen A. Crockett Jr. I’m 6 feet 2 and love old movies.


[Editor’s note: This isn’t your fucking Tinder profile. Let’s get on with it. —Yesha] I was just trying to introduce myself to Michael Harriot’s readers, who may not be familiar with my work here at The Root.

As Michael mentioned in a previous Clapback column, I lead the Anti-Donald Trump Task Force when not covering real politics and sports. [Editor’s note: Tell them why you are here or you’re going to lose them. —Yesha]

OK, so what many of you don’t know is that Michael Harriot is the Cal Ripken of The Root. In fact, I don’t know if he sleeps. If vampires don’t sleep, then he’s like a pro-black vampire who terrorizes wypipo with his measured, critical essays, and he only capes for well-cooked barbecue made by overweight black men who keep a half-smoked cigarette behind their ear. Not to mention, he’s always signed in to the Slack message group and he’s always available to ghostwrite some of my best lines, which feels like a very Drake thing to say, edit pieces. So as such, his editor, Yesha Callahan, who has twice interrupted this column to yell at me, made him take a few days off.

No, seriously, Yesha literally had to force him to take some days off. Although he may say he was suspended, don’t listen to him.

(Sidenote: Yesha is actually really nice and made the greatest potato salad ever at my cookout, and once purchased meat from a meat truck.)

[Editor’s note: Steppphhhennnn! I’m going to kill you! I also did not purchase said meat. But my potato salad is Panama Jackson-approved. Even though he was like, “Where’s the paprika?” That was your fault. What black household doesn’t have paprika? —Yesha]


So anyway, I’m guest-columning? Writing? Hosting? I don’t know. I’m sitting in for Michael, who at this moment is signed in to Slack and just got yelled at by Yesha for being signed in to Slack.

So this week’s mailbag is dedicated to the real iron man in American history: the U.S. Postal Service! That’s right, I’m opening up real emails ...


[Editor’s note: Emails aren’t sent through the Postal Service, dumbass. —Yesha]

Right, and Al Gore didn’t invent the internet. Anyway, I want to let the Postal Service know that I’m opening Michael Harriot’s emails with his consent.


Our first piece of email comes from someone named “Null,” who writes:

Yo mama still owe me from the swallow lil Mikey

Hi, Null:

This is Stephen A. Crockett Jr. here. Somehow your correspondence intended for President Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen ended up in the Clapback Mailbag email. While I don’t know Mr. Cohen, or lil Mikey, as you have referred to him in your letter, I can assure you that the Cohens are a lot like the Lannisters in that they always pay their debts. I wouldn’t be concerned about the matriarch of the Cohen family paying what she owes. I assure you that she’s good for it. No worries on the mix-up; I will forward this to the Cohens on your behalf.


Take care.

That was easy; let’s see what else is in here.

Our second e-letter comes from Jackson:

Hey, I had an honest question. Do you really think that writing stereotypes about white people on The Root will help at all with ending racism? I get that stereotypes against white people are just jokes and stereotypes against blacks can end up killing them (police racial prejudice, etc.) but I still don’t see why you feel the need to also refer to white stereotypes in your blogs. Seems a little counterproductive.


Hey, Jackson:

Yes, writing stereotypes about white people will, in fact, end racism and bring up our collective credit score. It will also make us arrive on time and be puzzled when no one eats the gluten-free, raisin potato salad we brought to the cookout. It will also make us dance on the offbeat, have a healthy 401(k) and throughly enjoy the made-up white-woman slavery of The Handmaid’s Tale while ignoring the historical and systematic oppression of colored people.


Also, I would like to point you to the second sentence in your e-letter, in which you state: “I get that stereotypes against white people are just jokes and stereotypes against blacks can end up killing them (police racial prejudice, etc.) ... ” Now, I want you to never ask this question again.

Let’s see what else we have in this e-satchel.

[Editor’s note: You know that adding an “e” in front of things doesn’t make them exist? There is no fucking e-satchel! —Yesha]


I see we have an e-letter from SeriousWarrior2, who asks:

Are you intellectually handicapped or is your vocabulary so limited that you have to use profanity to get your point across I don’t get it because you are a good content writer!


Hi, SeriousWarrior2:

Your name feels redundant. I would imagine that if someone were a warrior, then they’d be serious, since I don’t believe that a jokey warrior works. I’m also concerned about three things: Either 1) you had an initial email account in which you were SeriousWarrior and then you lost the password and were unable to retrieve all of the tracking information for your nutrition supplements and protein powders and were forced to create another account, calling yourself SeriousWarrior2; 2) your father is the original SeriousWarrior, which leads me to a whole host of questions; or 3) someone else is, in fact, the original SeriousWarrior, which means that you are a knockoff.


I feel that a SeriousWarrior should never be the second. You are either first or you’re not that serious. At best you’re a semiserious Warrior, which is kind of like saying that you’re half-ass-warrioring it. You are like a C-class warrior. By admitting that you are the second SeriousWarrior, you are conceding that there is a better warrior ahead of you. You’re the Scottie Pippen of warriors. You’re the Keyshia Cole of warriors. In the 1992 Summer Olympics basketball game, you’re Croatia.

Now, to your question: If you don’t get the fuckity fuck out of here with that fucking bullshit ...



OK, I’m taking one more.

Our last letter comes from Chad (hahaha ... that’s a male Becky), who writes:

African Americans like you must somehow learn to tolerate and accept the legitimacy and dignity of black people who do not necessarily think like you or agree with currently fashionable ideas in the black community.
Roland Fryer is arguably the most accomplished black economist below the age of 50 in America today. For you to take cheap shots at his scholarly papers, which you probably don’t fully understand, is contemptible. Even worse is your unrestrained excitement and glee at the sanctions imposed on him following unproven accusations by #MeToo feminists.
If you treacherous motherfuckers keep this up, many black men will stop voting for the Democrat Party and its lynch mob misandrists, who have already ruined the careers of Bill Cosby, John Conyers, Tavis Smiley, Harold Ford, Morgan Freeman, and other prominent black men. Personally, I no longer consider you a black person. You are a pathetic slave on the Democrat plantation.


Hey, Chad:

Stephen A. Crockett Jr. here. Sadly, your well-thought-out e-letter arrived during a week when Michael Harriot is out of the office. So I don’t know what the fuck you are talking about. But let me give you a lesson in hood politics: Michael says fuck Roland Fryer and his bullshit economic arguments that undo the Black Lives Matter movement, and that’s my co-worker and friend, so I echo his sentiments. Also, I can assure you that Michael understands exactly what Fryer is talking about because he reads big books without any photos all the time.


All. The. Time.

Also, also, Michael went to college and graduated with a degree in wypipology, so he knows exactly what he’s talking about. Also, also, also, I don’t think you should ever mention Bill Cosby, Tavis Smiley or Morgan Freeman as victims of “lynch mob misandrists” because you start leaning a bit toward Hotep.


Are you a Hotep, Chad?

Was Roland Fryer trying to buy NBC?

I no longer consider you a black person, either, Chad. Also, your mother. 

[Editor’s note: OMG! You can’t say “your mother” to readers. I’m going to scratch that part out. Nah, fuck it. Your mother’s mother too, Chad! Also, I’d like Harriot to know that you had this done on Thursday afternoon and did not force me to wait around for it all morning Friday! —Yesha]



Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.



You gotta have paprika.