The Root's Clapback Mailbag: Can't Knock the (Race) Hustle

Illustration for article titled The Roots Clapback Mailbag: Cant Knock the (Race) Hustle
Illustration: Oscar Bustamante (G/O Media)
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.


“You Can’t Knock the Race Hustle”

A Clapback Mailbag original song

I’m making short term goals for when coronavirus folds
So I can put away the masks and wear regular clothes.
Chilly, with enough hate mail to make ‘em look silly
It’s only Wednesday and White Twitter sincerely wants to kill me.
They read The Root and wanna feud about the news
Heads exploding, the n-word’s loaded...Ahhhh, yes 
Typing on their computer, ears smoking like Buddha
Looking foolish...Caucasians can’t fade me. 
My melanin’s beaming,
In the comment section, I see them scheming
Stop dreaming, I leave your whole computer screen steaming.
Your tweet’s deleted, but I still see it,
I’m screenshotting any unseasoned cretin
screaming mean shit in my Twitter DMs
My mailbag runneth over with dummies
I’m one of the best that ever done it,
three years and running
Wypipo don’t want it.
I got the Dorothy Harriot flow,
she taught me everything I know
Swear to Dot...Don’t get it fucked up

(Chorus)

I’m taking out this time
To give you a piece of my mind.
Where do you think you at?
This is the Clapback Mailbag.

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Y’all already know what they’re mad about this week:

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On Sunday, I made a condensed version of this article’s thesis on MSNBC’s AM Joy, which really upset the Flu Klux Klan.

From: mlucky
To: Michael Harriot

And take you seriously when you say that protestors don’t just not care about the deaths of minorities from Covid but that they are actually rooting for that to happen.

But race hustlers gotta hustle. And you are one of the best out there.

From: Scott
To: The Root “Tips”

Here is a news tip about an infection at The Root. There was not one syllable of truth in Michael Harriot’s latest column. It was nothing but lies and hate. Anybody reading that bile-filled screed needs to guard against the infection of hate that it is trying to breed.

From: Eve
To: Michael Harriot

You are nothing more than a race hustler who are filled with hate against whites.

Dear everyone,

You’re right. I’m a race hustler. I’m racist. I am selling hate to the masses.

Ever since the coronavirus crisis hit America and took over the news, my reverse racism business has taken a severe hit. It’s not just me; COVID-19 has delivered a crushing economic blow to the white oppression industry. In fact, that article and television appearance was a last-ditch effort at luring people into biting my race-baiting.

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Now that the race-hustling bubble has burst, I have decided to use the same strategy that real estate hustlers after the housing market collapsed during the recession of 2008. Instead of race hustling, I’m now conducting a series of seminars aimed at teaching people how to race hustle.

I have created, “How to Hustle Race,” a complete course where you can learn the secret techniques used by some of the leading race hustlers of race. The course will walk you through everything you need to become a certified wypipologist. The curriculum is divided into nine classes, which include.

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1. The History of Race-Hustling: This course will teach you about some of the historical figures that white people vilified as anti-white antagonizers. You’ll learn names like Martin Luther King Jr., whom your FBI called a “filthy, abnormal animal” who needed to kill himself. We’ll even take you back to the time when a slave master sent Frederick Douglass to the “nigger breaker,” which started Douglass’ Hall of Fame career in which he candidly admitted: “I have no love for America.” I wonder what they called him?

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2. The Ingredients of a great race hustler: While you may think that we’re all alike, the truly great ones all have a few things in common:

Hate.

Harriet Tubman hated being a slave. Malcolm X hated being a second-class citizen. Rosa Parks hated being considered less-deserving of a seat than the white man who wanted her to move. She said she and fellow protesters were labeled “radicals, sore heads, agitators, troublemakers.”

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3. Hustling Fundamentals: If you really want to excel at this game, you must first do the background work. You don’t necessarily have to get sent to a nigger-breaker like Frederick Douglass, but you have to do something like being bold enough to teach yourself to read even though it might get you killed. If you’re pressed for time, you can just have State Troopers crush your skull like John Lewis, another icon who is well-known as a race-hustler.

Illustration for article titled The Roots Clapback Mailbag: Cant Knock the (Race) Hustle
Screenshot: Frontpage
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4. Baiting a Hook: The hardest part of race-baiting is finding racism. Contrary to what white people think, this isn’t difficult at all. You see, most white people can’t see racism in employment, police brutality or even voter suppression, according to the actual data:

Illustration for article titled The Roots Clapback Mailbag: Cant Knock the (Race) Hustle
Graphic: Pew Research Center
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5. Ignore White People: One of the most difficult things you will have to learn in this industry is that white people are always wrong. They don’t know shit about racism. To this day, some will still argue that slavery wasn’t racist. When Rosa Parks jumpstarted the Montgomery Bus Boycott, white people were worried about the buses. Unless they see someone screaming the-n-word before shooting a black person in the face, they will deny any action by a white person was caused by racism. That’s because, even though white people are theoretically against racism, they don’t actually know what racism is.

6. Get a White Tears Trenchcoat: White people see oppression as a zero-sum game that they are losing (again, this is supported by peer-reviewed research). Therefore, you must be prepared to be called anti-white antagonist who is trying to disturb the peace that white people have created for themselves. They will contradict every valid point you ever make and even make up their own. Basically you will be vilified unless you preface every statement with:

The following statement is not directed at “all white people,” including, but not limited to the people who dated a black person in college, anyone with a black friend, a black spouse, a black child, a black co-worker, people who grew up in black neighborhoods, anyone who believes all lives matter and anyone who plans to take whatever I say, replace the word “black” with the word “white,” and anyone whose heart Jesus knows.

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7. The Rewards of the Hustle: The last class will prepare you for the bountiful harvest that race-hustling will reward you with. We will invite some of our most successful alumni to talk about their rewards after a long life, including Martin Luther King, who wasn’t rich but lived to the ripe old age of 39—the same age Malcolm X was when he died penniless. Medgar Evers died at 37, which is much longer than the 26 years Jimmie Lee Jackson was allowed. Fred Hampton was 21 but at least he made off with zero dollars during his hustling years.

Although I can’t recall any rich race hustlers, they do reap the benefits of watching racism persist in America from their lovely birds-eye view in the afterlife. Meanwhile, the white people who perpetuate racism always live long, fruitful lives.

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You wanna know how to become successful at “selling hate?”

Well, anyone who has lived in a country where white supremacy obstructed their people’s economic, political and social equality for 400 years is supposed to hate the people who perpetuate inequality by trying to convince the world that institutional racism doesn’t exist. We are supposed to hate anyone who remains ambivalent, apathetic or silent. Why wouldn’t I hate someone who wants me dead?

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I don’t even have to hustle...

All I have to do is tell the truth.


I’m not really sure which article this was about:

Illustration for article titled The Roots Clapback Mailbag: Cant Knock the (Race) Hustle
Screenshot: Twitter
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Illustration for article titled The Roots Clapback Mailbag: Cant Knock the (Race) Hustle
Screenshot: Instagram

From: Chase
To: Michael Harriot

Keep talking shit nigger boy

Your wide nose off makes a great target for my AR15

Dear Sirs,

I have a course you might be interested in signing up for.

Hit me up.

And now for the “not all white people” part of the program. There are always a few people who say our content is “divisive” when we use the words: “white people.”

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Illustration for article titled The Roots Clapback Mailbag: Cant Knock the (Race) Hustle
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Dear Pete and Robert,

Last week, while cleaning out my garage, I found a box of N95 masks and realized that I was wrong about everything.

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I have a lot of N95 masks.

When I first heard about coronavirus, way back in January, I started telling my friends and coworkers to buy masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. Many of them, like many people in America, ignored it. Some even told me that “flu kills more people than coronavirus.”

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So I bought as many as I could find. I went to hardware stores, medical supply stores and even auto parts places and bought all the masks I could find. I didn’t have to buy a lot because I already buy them all the time.

Most of them are here because of my daughter.

She loves woodworking and wears them so she won’t inhale dust or fumes from the chemicals she uses when she makes these beautiful, handmade bass guitars. There are probably a few around here from when I lived in China and I bought some before she took a trip to Japan. I bought even more before she took her second trip.

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Even before this global pandemic hit, I’m sure you’ve seen many people from Asian countries wearing masks on public transportation or in airports. Most people assume that they wear those masks to avoid other people’s germs, but that is not the case. During my travels abroad, I learned that—most of the time—the people who are wearing masks are wearing them because they are sick and they don’t want other people to get infected. You can’t live in a country as densely populated as China without realizing that you are all interconnected.

That is human.

We also have the same misguided notion about the idea of the stereotypical Asian “Tiger Mom” or cultures like India that seem to value education. I have come to understand that most of our presumptions are wrong about why people from other cultures value education.

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In many cultures and countries, education isn’t seen as the key to personal or familial prosperity. It is looked upon as a duty to their people and their country. Even in communist or socialist countries, people understand that a more educated citizenry makes a more prosperous society as a whole, even if they don’t personally benefit from it financially.

That is human.

What does this have to do with you?

I have often wondered why many white people bristle whenever anyone brings up the subject of race. For a long time, I thought they didn’t want to have the proverbial “conversation about race” because it made them feel guilty or implicated in the long history of white supremacy.

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Then I thought their aversion to racial reconciliation was because they truly saw us as something less than human. I believed that was the reason slavery, Jim Crow and inequality still exists. Then I reasoned that white people don’t give a fuck about anyone other than themselves.

I was wrong about everything.

I realized that the reason why some white people are allergic to talking about racism is not that they don’t care. It’s not even because race talk makes them uncomfortable. It’s not even their fault.

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It’s white supremacy’s fault.

Imagine living in a country where the economic, political or social plight of your countrymen doesn’t affect you in any way. White people could enslave black people without having to imagine what they would do in that situation. They can watch our vote be suppressed and never have to worry about their constitutional rights being stripped away. They know redlining existed but weren’t affected by it. They remain immune to the unequal education system, an unjust criminal justice system and the whims of a white nationalist president.

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So they ignore it. They pretend inequality doesn’t exist because it doesn’t affect them in the least. But they are wrong.

If only white people could understand that white supremacy affects them, too.

Redlining perpetuates poverty and educational inequality. Education inequality increases crime. And the crime, poverty and inequality affect the economy. White people are paying for those prisons. White people are paying the police brutality lawsuits.

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And even if they weren’t, how could they just stand there and do nothing? Even if inequality exists because of single-parent homes, negro thuggery or not valuing education, I couldn’t figure out how so many white people could know these disparities exist and not want to dismantle it. Then I figured it out.

It’s not that they don’t care about others being sick. It’s not that they are immune to the sickness of white supremacy...

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They are not human.

When coronavirus hit the U.S., I didn’t tell my friends and family members that we all had the chance to buy masks. I didn’t tell them that “we were all the same.” I went back to the people I warned and you know what I asked them?

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“Does anyone here need a mask?”

“Y’all straight on hand sanitizer?”

I wish I could say that I am still mailing hand sanitizer and masks around the country to anyone who needs one. But I am not. I make my kids do it. And when they get annoyed and ask me why, I tell them “it is the human thing to do.”

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Oh, how I wish we were all human beings.

If only that were true.

World-renowned wypipologist. Getter and doer of "it." Never reneged, never will. Last real negus alive.

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DISCUSSION

detroitkidelo
kidelo *if you support racists, you're a racist too*

Hey, there white folks! Just a reminder that there are lots of us black folks that you don’t notice so much because we aren’t blackity-black. We get to know you really well, kinda like spies, because we can pass.

True story time:

When I was in high school in Detroit, a bunch of racist dummies opened a Nazi bookstore not far away from my high school. My high school was probably 60/40 black/white at the time, 1978. The racist fucks advertised their store by dropping fliers advertising lynchings and all sorts of racist shit on the lawn of our campus. It was pretty bad.

So you know me: I decide to go to the Nazi bookstore. Just so I could say a black person had been inside and they let it happen. Dummies. I got one of my best friends, a white girl who lived nearby, and we walked down 5 mile to the little dingey storefront they had taken over.

At the time, I was still very light-skinned, my hair was straightened and I could code-switch like a motherfucker (my family is Canadian, so...). Even black people would ask me, “What are you?”

So, I went into the Nazi bookstore. And then I left. It was very anticlimactic. There were hardly any books. No one said anything to me. My friend and I probably lit cigarettes and walked away (trembling) thinking we were all cool.

But those Nazis never knew a black girl had penetrated their sanctuary. Until today.

So white people, when you start thinking we got ‘race hustlers’ out here, just remember we got spies, too. You never know who among you may secretly be gathering data, passing it to our people.

Except for your potato salad recipes. You can keep that shit to your selves.