Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

The Root's Clapback Mailbag: Black People Are Stupid

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Illustration: Oscar Bustamante (The Root/G-O)

I want to be wrong.

Every week, when the staff at The Root begins scouring our various inboxes for the weekly clapback mailbag, I keep hoping that one of us will discover an email, tweet, DM or comments from someone who can articulately explain why racism is dead. Just once, I’d love to hear someone explain that all of the woes of black people are caused by black people repeatedly deciding to do it wrong for 400 years.

Perhaps, one day, I’ll run across an email revealing the hidden location where Trayvon Martin is hiding, alive and well. Maybe the disproportionate school funding is because all those majority-black school districts collectively and simultaneously committed the same rounding error. I keep waiting for the DM from the Bureau of Prisons, the Supreme Court or the Department of Justice disproving the statistics on arrest rates, sentencing disparities, mass incarceration and the war on drugs.


As soon as this happens, our entire staff will draft a statement gladly admitting how wrong we were.

But until then...

Since Rashad Robinson and Rev. William Barber are too classy (and probably too busy) to clap back at readers who objected to their guest column, I guess I will.


From: GrowTheFuckUp
To: Rev. William Barber II and Rashad Robinson

Dear Black People,

Stop blaming everyone else for your own woes. You want to stop the spread of the virus? How about not attending a 1k+ party in Chicago? Yes, you guessed it. Only black folks...

Oh, yeah the economy. Don’t want to catch the virus? Don’t go to the fucking barber shop. Pretty simple if you ask me. Whitey ain’t forcing you at the point of a gun to visit the store. YOU choose to do so.

Grow the fuck up and seriously stop blaming everybody else for your own fucking problems. Black lives don’t matter, until they matter to black lives.

When and if you grasp this concept, you as a people may advance in life. Well, that is assuming you can get off the plantation and stop blaming whitey...

From: Ooogaboooooga
To: Rev. William Barber II and Rashad Robinson

ah, the eternal victims, blafrican complaimericans will always complain. Nothing anyone every does would be enough to fill the hole of stupid that exists. You could hand each one a billion dollars and most would be broke within a couple years, blame YT for not instructing them how to use it, predatory lending, their Uncle Trayvion stole dey damn money, the govt. shoulda done this/that/and another thing to help them.

Never ending, life sucking creatures.

From: The Root is Going Out of Business
To: Rev. William Barber II and Rashad Robinson

The Root: “Stop blaming black people for anything they do ever!!!”

Dear motherfuckers,

First, I would like to congratulate you on your achievements. It takes an elite level of whiteness to figure out a way to inject “but what about Chicago?” into an argument about health disparities but you did it.


Considering the fact that the two people who penned this post might be the leading civil rights leaders of our time and you are a sad group of fucktrolls who probably spend your days searching for ways to disagree with people whose IQs, morals and commitment to a cause dwarf yours, I acknowledge your top-tier, exemplary example of “whataboutism.”

Kudos to you.

Secondly, Regarding the attendees of the Chicago house party, there is something that I must confess on behalf of the entire staff of The Root:

We think those motherfuckers are stupid, too.

We feel the same way about people who go to beaches during global pandemics, black cops who kill black people, black people who kill black people and black-on-black gun violence in Chicago. Now that I have exposed our opposition to murder and mayhem as a staff, crew and record label, can we at least agree that there is a big difference between some dumb, reckless partygoers and an institution?


Let’s be honest: Some people will always be racist. We will continue to report on those admittedly rare instances of blatant racial hate just as other outlets will blast a black face across the news every time there is a negro jaywalker. You should feel free to ingest these stories that fuel your belief that COVID-19 is ravaging black communities because niggas won’t stop going to barbershops and that every black person spends their money on cars, clothes and rims. While the stereotype is offensive, I know where it comes from. You are white, and when you see a black person doing something that diminishes that person, you ascribe their actions to all black people.

For instance, I agree when you said that if you gave black people a lot of money, “most would be broke in a couple of years blame YT for not instructing them how to use it, predatory lending, their Uncle Trayvion stole dey damn money, the govt. shoulda done this/that/and another thing to help them.”


You’re right. Black people would definitely blow it.

You know why?

Because damn near all millionaires lose their money.

Seven in 10 wealthy families lose their money by the second generation and 90 percent lose it by the third, according to Williams Group Wealth Consultancy. And do you know why they lose it?

Michael Cole — the president of Ascent Private Capital Management at U.S. Bank who has worked with clients worth $75 million or more for decades nowsays he knows why. Often, “it’s because of failures in trust and communication between family members,” Cole says. “Wealth [often] breaks down family trust and relationships.”

Specifically, Cole ... says he believes that about 60% of the wealth disintegration is due to a lack of communication and trust, 25% to a lack of preparation for how to handle the money; and about 10% to a lack of a shared vision about family goals around money. Bad investment and financial decisions tie into all of these too, of course.

Advertisement mean white people’s uncle Trayvion stole dey money, too? White people don’t know how to handle handed-down assets? White people are as financially illiterate as black people? When white people list those legitimate reasons for going broke, why aren’t they “blaming whitey”? Why would you only attribute those qualities to black people?

Well, you would do it for the same reason you never talk about white-on-white crime. You do it for the same reasons you don’t put white spring breakers in the same category as black house partiers. You do it for the same reason you equate organized, systematic, legally enshrined white supremacy with the actions of an insignificantly minute percentage of the black population who robs, kills and steals.


Because, even though we have repeatedly demonstrated our willingness to address crime, financial responsibility and the shortcomings that exist in the black community, white people like you don’t want to admit that racism is your fault.

But still...

Congratulations on the false equivalency.

My uncle Trayvion really liked it.

And this response got me going, too.


Dear Bob,

Yes, that’s what I’m saying.

There are black people aren’t smart enough to figure out how to vote. I wish there was another way to say it, but there isn’t.


Black people are too dumb to realize that a racist like Brian Kemp exists when we name our children. We’re not wise enough to recognize that the white woman at the DMV doesn’t care about putting the apostrophe in our kids’ names. We’re too uninformed to know that states like Georgia secretly adopted the Exact Match system that matches voter registrations to drivers’ licenses and disproportionately tosses out black voters.

We’re too dumb to know that people who live in white neighborhoods don’t have to wait as long to cast a ballot. We aren’t always aware that states can indiscriminately change voting laws between elections. We don’t take the time to read the classifieds and know that polling places are more likely to close in minority precincts.


But most of all, we’re too preoccupied with being black to think of all the schemes conservatives can conjure up to steal our votes. They target black voters by zip codes. They use intimidation. They blatantly spread false information. They give black precincts faulty voting machines.

See, black people are so stupid, we believe we will be treated like equals.

How stupid is that?