The Root's Clapback Mailbag: How to Be an Anti-Antiracist

Illustration for article titled The Root's Clapback Mailbag: How to Be an Anti-Antiracist
Illustration: Oscar Bustamante
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.

Are you white?

Are you tired of people pointing out your whiteness? Does all this “antiracism” talk ruffle your feathers? Well, we’ve got something for you!

Advertisement

From the people who gave you, slavery, Jim Crow, racism and reverse racism, comes the newest product from Wypipo Laboratories...

It’s Anti-Antiriacism!*

Anti-Antiracism© is a bitter pill that provides protection from the efforts to end white supremacy!** Instead of just shutting the fuck up, one dose of our proprietary pharmaceutical will make you anti-racist resistant!

Here’s how it works:

Once you swallow the red pill, your immune system immediately begins producing a mixture of privilege, anger and stupidity that provides a layer of protection against toxins like history, facts, truth and logic. After just one week you’ll begin saying phrases like:

  • “What if I said the same thing about Black people...”
  • “Not all white people.”
  • “Stop playing the victim.”
  • “I’m not racist, but...”
  • And everyone’s favorite: “You’re the real racist!”

AAR comes with a free vial of caucasity, a copy of the 1776 Commission report and a lifetime supply of white fragility. If you’d like to hear more, today’s Clapback Mailbag features testimonials from some of the victims volunteers who participated in our clinical trials.

Advertisement

*Side effects may include: white tears, the inability to handle the truth, incorrect grammar, an increased desire to speak to managers, storming the Capitol buildings and wondering why you’re not allowed to say the n-word. People with severely ruffled feathers may feel the need to flock together. 

**Not tested as a substitute for actual white supremacy.


We gave our first batch of test subjects an injection of AAR directly into their veins before asking them to read Zack Linly’s article on Coca-Cola’s diversity training.

Advertisement

Here are their responses:

From: Tim C.
To: Zack Linly

Fuck Zack Linly...Racist little bitch... That Pledge of Alleigiance means something...Unlike your “be less white” racist ignorance. Great integrity you have there, bitch. You want to talk shit on things you think are “racist”, yet...You’re nothing more than a bigoted little punk who can’t do shit but talk down those you deem “inferior.”

That’s ok. You will never be remembered as anything more than a racist, cowardly bitch who did everything the white democrats tell you to.

What a pathetic racist coward you are.

Lol...You’re no different than a white dude claiming whites are superior to others, WHICH THEY ARE NOT. But you...You’re so weak your grandkids will be ashamed of their name for all the racist trash you spew.

From: Glam Groupie
To: Zack Linly

Fuck you and the crack whore that shit you

Filthy little bitch ass

From: Christian
To: Zack Linly

Says the racist idiot who thinks that type of racist training with yield positive results when it does the exact opposite. Keeo proving what a large portion of the black community is a bunch of uneducated racist ignorant morons who continue to live up to their stereotypes. Funny thing is I know for a fact if this training was about black people, you would whine and bitch like a little brat and play the victim like you always do before you burn down you community once again [cry laughing emoji]

Fyi, you have never been oppressed and clearly you are too stupid to understand that as being a whiny victim is much easier for racist losers like you [smiley face emoji] [middle finger emoji].

From: Johnny C
To: Danielle Belton

I’m just curious why your website is promoting racism against white people? While surfing the web I noticed that your website says it should be a replacement of the pledge of allegiance to say “less white”. ??? This is completely offensive and totally against anything that today’s society on tolerance preaches. You should be ashamed of yourselves for promoting such vile things on your website. Racism comes in all colors! Get over your hate of white people.

Thanks.

Concerned citizen

Dear readers,

We notice that there has been some confusion about what Zack Linly meant when he said “be less white.” While some of you may have assumed he was imploring white people to darken their skin, he was not advocating for tanning booths or blackface makeup.

Advertisement

The only other thing he could have meant by his innocuous statement, is for you to reduce your participation in activities that are commonly associated with white people.

Why do you find this offensive?

The Root expressly prohibits its staff from endorsing commercial products, so I can assure you that Zack is not getting kickbacks from the seasoned salt industry. Furthermore, there are cookbooks and online recipes that could teach you how to season your food correctly, thereby reducing your in-kitchen whiteness.

Advertisement

And, as it relates to dancing, I have known Zack for years, yet I have never seen him dance off-beat. As a colleague and a friend, I can also attest to the fact that he has personally engaged in whiteness reduction activities himself. He also regularly uses lotion and often precedes his sentences with the words “aye” or “yo,” which is one of the least-Caucasian tendencies a person can have.

So, I can assure you that Zack is not just advocating on behalf of the Be Less White movement; as you can see, Zack has taken his own advice.

Advertisement

Unless, of course, you are the ones who associate whiteness with racism and white supremacy.

If you find “be less white” to be “vile,” “completely offensive and totally against anything that today’s society on tolerance preaches,” then one must wonder where you got these ideas from. Was it from history? From studies that prove systemic racism? From facts? From that one person who wrote that “a large portion of the black community is a bunch of uneducated racist ignorant morons who continue to live up to their stereotypes”?

Advertisement

Do you have a problem with the message or the truth it conveys? Zack didn’t completely start the movement. He didn’t even create the slogan. In fact, one of the largest, most conservative corporations in the world thought that the toxicity of whiteness was such a widely accepted notion that they saw no problem basing an entire training session on the idea.

However, for future reference, if you found the article, the motto or the idea to be reductive, I would like to suggest a novel way to end these kinds of offensive offenses once and for all.

Advertisement

Be less white.


Our second lab test was with our control group. They received an AAR placebo and then read this article.

Advertisement

Here are two typical reactions:

From: Jenny C
To: Michael Harriot

Dear Michael,

I read your article on COINTELPRO and found it enlightening. One thing I do quibble with is that you didn’t highlight the fact that it was white people who also ended COINTELPRO. Most white people disagreed with it. Maybe you could do an article on that

From: Cara
To: Michael Harriot

Dear Michael,

Longtime reader. I have read some of the stuff you said about George Wallace and wonder how you feel about Malcolm X belief white people are the devil but allowed him to change. However, youstill say George Wallace as a racist. You don’t give Margorie Taylor Green or Trump the benefit of the doubt when they say they aren’t against blacks. Is this a double standard. Isn’t racism just racism?

Just something to think about as someone I know who wants to end racism

Dear Cara and Jenny,

Sorry I did not center white people in an article about Black people. I will try to do better. I would, however, like to point out a few things.

Advertisement

White people hated Martin Luther King Jr. According to a 1966 Gallup Poll, when MLK was killed almost as many people said he “got what he deserved” as there were who said they felt sadness about his death. Most white people hate Malcolm X now and hated him when he was alive. Eighty-five percent of white people thought civil rights demonstrations “hurts negroes.”

But let’s compare Malcolm to George Wallace.

George Wallace apologized for his racism in 1995, when he was 75 years old. Malcolm left the Nation of Islam when he was 39. Maybe it’s just me, but I think there’s a difference between a racist on his deathbed and a relatively young man publicly admitting a change in beliefs.

Advertisement

But let’s say Malcolm never changed. Let’s imagine that he was still living and still believed that white people were the devil. What would that mean? How many members of the Nation of Islam have attacked white people for trying to vote? How many Black nationalists stood in the door of a publicly funded building and denied white taxpayers their right to earn an education at the school they paid for? How many white neighborhood bombings did Malcolm X inspire?

Even if you were willing to conflate their views, their words did not have the same impact. And that is the difference between hate and white supremacy. I would not give a fuck how Donald Trump felt about Black people if he was never elected president. I would not care if Marjorie Taylor Greene believed in an invisible, racist conspiracy theorist if she was not one of the people who make the laws that governs Black people’s lives.

Advertisement

That’s the difference.

Of course, everyone has the right to their opinions; but opinions are just like assholes:

Advertisement

Some of them are so shitty that they are just wrong.

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

DISCUSSION

murrychang
Murry Chang

“be less white.”