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: Insert Clever Title Here

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Yesterday, Deputy Managing Editor Yesha Callahan told me, and I quote: “No one wants to wait around for the mailbag tomorrow ... and by ‘no one,’ I mean me.”

Fine, then.

So I guess I won’t write an intro. This lede was gonna be funny as hell, too. I was going to explain how this week’s collection of emails, tweets and direct messages were all about politics and how people insert their political assumptions into whatever they read. This sentence was supposed to make a hilarious comparison about how every presidential candidate I’ve ever voted for was also the one least likely to make me throw up if I saw them naked.


But because of Yesha’s incessant, racist harassment of me and my below-average typing skills, y’all will miss out. You deserve better than this, but you only have Yesha to blame. Anyway, since I don’t have time to craft a funny lede for the mailbag, Here’s some mail.

It’s a half day! I’m not working beyond 10 a.m. So what a half-day means 1 p.m.? —Yesha


Merry Christmas, motherfuckers.

Here’s an email from a fan of both Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party concerning the article about Doug Jones:


From: Starr C.
To: Michael Harriot
Subject: Who sent you?

Niggers like you are why black people can’t get anywhere. First you wrote that piece of trash about Doug Jones flyer, then you bash the democratic party. Your always bashing Hillary and democrats, because you and the rest rest of the Bernie bros are still mad that she beat him FAIR AND SQUARE!!!!

You at the reason Trump won. I bet you voted for him, but even if you didn’t you spent so much time bashing Hillary that you paved the way for him. You don’t even realize that the republicans don’t mena black people no good. Every time you bash the democrats,you’re helping them. You might as well be the KKK.


You’re right, Starr. You figured it out. I’m the reason Hillary lost.

It wasn’t that she took states in the Rust Belt for granted. It wasn’t that she called black people “superpredators.” It wasn’t because she has such a long history of underhanded shenanigans that President Barack Obama’s voters felt no enthusiasm for her. It wasn’t that she popped up at black churches and barbershops pandering to black people with the see-through bullshittery of how one of her best friends from college “is African American.”


It was me the whole time.

Had I been “with her,” she would’ve won because I would’ve told her ass to stop cheating so much. I would have told her not to try to rig the primaries. I would have told the Democratic Party to stop assuming they had the black vote by default. I would have told her to put something about black lives and police brutality in her platform before Black Lives Matter literally forced her to do it.


I would have told her to stop lying and fainting. I would have given her something better to wear than pastel-colored karate suits. I would have told her to stop warmongering and nation building. And lying. And fainting. I would have asked her why the fuck was she so moderate? I would have asked her why she was chasing white voters like they owed her $20. I would have made her secure the bag.

Most importantly, had I been with her, I never would have made her, Doug Jones, the Democratic Party or any other white person on the face of the earth into a savior.


The reason they treat black people like shit is that too many of us believe that just because Hillary, Doug or any other Democrat is slightly better than a Republican, we should be afraid to publicly criticize them. The Democratic Party is the proverbial plantation from which black people are afraid to run because our massa is slightly more benevolent than the other slave owners.

I am sorry Donald Trump is president, but I am not sorry that Hillary Clinton is not my president.


Fuck her.

I do not want a slightly better slave master.

I want to be free.

Here’s an email from a Bernie Sanders supporter:

From: Karla P.
To: Michael Harriot
Subject: Bernie would of won.

I loved your piece on the Cornel West feud. I just have one thing to say about your criticism of Bernie Sanders.

I know the black community was pulling for Hillary because we blindly vote for whichever Democrat they give us, but her record shows that she was never going to do anything for us. She didn’t do anything for us as a Senator. She didn’t take a stand for us during her husband’s presidency or during her campaign.

What you don’t realize about Bernie is that he has been fighting for us since the civil rights movement. Our allegiance to the Democratic party is what kills us politically because they take our votes for granted. The only way our votes will ever matter is if we make politicians earn it. If not for people like you Constantly kissing Hillary’s ass and downing candidates like Bernie, he would of won. Stop leading your people like sheep to the slaughter.


Hey, Karla!

Thank you so much for your kind words in the first paragraph. As for the second part of your email—I’m sorry you feel that way.


Here’s the thing, Karla: I am a fan of Bernie Sanders. I want to meet him one day and shake his old, wrinkled hand because I bet it feels like grabbing a pack of hot dogs wrapped in a silk handkerchief. I know it would probably give me the heaves, but I just want to see how it feels.

As for Bernie as a candidate? He lost, boo. You and the rest of his supporters can stop crying those socialist Democrat white tears any day now. Let that shit go! I know you think Hillary rigged the race, and so do I. But you know what? That’s your fault. What the fuck is wrong with you that you sided with the one white motherfucker on the planet with too much integrity to cheat?


I’m why Bernie lost?

Old man Sanders lost because he brought a rusty-ass, antique knife to a gunfight. I wish politics were more honest, but as long as they aren’t, I want someone who’s willing to slit throats, not some decrepit, counterfeit do-gooder in a J.C. Penney’s suit! Do you know what would have happened if Bernie were in office? The Republican majority in the House and Senate would have eaten him alive and spit him out. Because—and I’m just guessing here—he tastes like a sixth-grade social studies test boiled in hot dog water.


I think the only hope for American politics is a true third-party candidate, so I feel no allegiance to the Democratic or Republican Party. I vote for the candidate I want to win, and 99.9 percent of the time, that candidate is a Democrat.

I liked many of Bernie’s ideas and political theories. But I like them in the same way I like the idea of eating a box of hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts while sitting courtside at the Staples Center during Game 7 of the NBA Finals as Lonzo Ball passes the ball to the newly signed LeBron James, who hits the game-winning shot for the Lakers. And as I’m being hugged by Beyoncé, I barely have time to high-five Colin Kaepernick and congratulate him on his new job as the starting quarterback of the Carolina Diddies before Rihanna taps me on the shoulder and asks me if I want to go to the bathroom and hit the blunt with her, but I can’t ... because you know how my wife gets mad because Rihanna is always sweatin’ me, and I don’t want to argue in the helicopter on the way home.


A Bernie Sanders presidency is as unlikely as that scenario.

Krispy Kreme donuts are trash. Also, I hate the way you’ve just spelled “doughnuts.” —Yesha


Next are a series of direct messages from a Trump supporter on Twitter named Robert O. You probably wouldn’t be able to understand them, but because I’ve corresponded with so many low-IQ white people since I’ve begun my stint at The Root, I have become fluent in the “alt-right” dialect of English. Each one of these is actually a separate message.

Ur a duck

I think he means “cuck,” which is short for “cuckold,” a man who likes to watch other men have sex with their wives. It’s a popular term for people on the alt-right to use against other white men who aren’t as racist as them. Some white people believe that if they aren’t racist enough, they won’t be able to stop the impending black-penis attack that “black identity extremists” are planning.


See, I told you.

And a beta male

A beta male is a weak man, not like a strong alpha male. Or maybe he thinks I pledged a white fraternity. Are betas a thing? Can they step?


This one I’m not too sure about.

Ur politics are garbage

We use “trash” now, Robert.

By the way, I just looked at your name, and it is one of the few names that are equidistant from both the center of blackness and whiteness. “Robert” isn’t a black name or a white name. It’s just a name. It’s a manly name, though. Roberts probably work hard all day.


I often try to imagine what people do just from their names and the letters they write, and I bet you wear gloves to work, Robert. You’re probably employed on a highway crew or cutting meat behind the glass at a grocery store. Yeah, butcher is definitely a “Robert” job. You don’t find many Roberts in the baking or choreographer industries. But I digress ...

Ur view all trump supporters are nazis is garbage

Thanks for helping my argument, Rob.

And ur articles are trash

That’s fair. See, I told you “trash” sounds much better!

You’re welcome!

Black women are ashy white women are bitchy Asian women eat cats and Hispanic women have fat asses we all have stereotypes.


Wait, Rob, that’s your list of stereotypes? I feel like you could use some help in the stereotyping department. I don’t want to sound racist, but you’re missing out on some good ones.

All you have for black women is that they’re ashy? Also, are you sure you want to give the “fat asses” to Hispanic women? I would never impugn your racist credentials, but I feel like, statistically speaking ...


You know what? Imma let you have this one.

So stop being a faggot

But I thought I was a cuck? You’re confusing me, Rob. Am I an amphibious bird, the husband of an adulteress or a bundle of sticks? Make up your mind! And why are you on Twitter so much? Those yellow lines aren’t going to paint themselves!

And ban me from twitter u west coast lookin. Bitch

Wait ... I can do that?

And, finally, from a supporter of ... umm, white people?

From: Mitch

There’s no need to take sole credit for the Black Community, Michael. Yes they contributed mightily, but so did the media, thousands of volunteers, women, college-age voters (check the campus-town votes), Republicans who refused to vote, Richard Shelby (the write-in votes alone would have made up the difference) and a shit candidate. Happy to see it all working. Let’s keep it all energized for high voter turnout in 2018 and 2020. Identity politics spells losses. It’s wins that count, not credit.


Instead of clapping back at Mitch, I’d like to critique and highlight some of my favorite parts of this Twitter direct message.

  • The part about how “there’s no need to take sole credit for the Black Community” is good, because it insinuates that there was another community that voted for Doug Jones. White women voted for Roy Moore. White men voted for Roy Moore. Black men and women voted for Doug Jones. But history shows us that when a white person tells you “there’s no need” for something, they are about to steal that shit.
  • Here’s another good part: “Yes they contributed mightily but ... ” Always remember that everything after the word “but” is always a lie.
  • Then there’s the part where he credits “the media ... volunteers, women, college-age voters ... ” Again, he’s white-peopleing. If he extrapolated the statistical data using this thing called “math” and applied it to college-age voters, he’d see that white college students voted for Roy Moore. The same is true for the campus towns, women, people named “Nancy,” people who like hot sauce instead of honey mustard and even praise dancers. This white boy just cannot give black people their due!
  • Wait ... did this motherfucker just say, “Republicans who refused to vote”? REPUBLICANS WHO REFUSED TO VOTE? He’s so desperate in his white-mannery that he thinks Republicans who didn’t vote are the same as the black people who caused the biggest political upset since Philip “Uncle Phil” Banks was elected to a district court judgeship on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. According to Mitch, here’s who should share the glory (in no particular order): black people who voted, white people who overwhelmingly voted for the guy who lost, people doing their motherfucking jobs and white people who did abso-fucking-lutely nothing. That might be the whitest thing ever said, but you gotta admit: It’s a damn good part.
  • You might not have noticed the part where he said: “Let’s keep it all working.” “Let’s” as in “let us.” You think Mitch has some black people in his pocket? Who the fuck is the “us”? You think I don’t know the old Caucasian “we won” trick, Mitch? I liked that part, though. If only for its sliminess.
  • But my favorite part? The part where this glib stool sample of alabaster arrogance said: “Identity politics spells losses. It’s wins that count, not credit.”

Roy Moore appealing to white voters wasn’t “identity politics.” Talking about protecting Confederate monuments wasn’t “identity politics.” Acting as if the Lord and Savior Jesus Harrison Christ commanded those who believeth in him to vote for Moore wasn’t “identity politics.” Doug Jones mailing a racist-adjacent flyer with a black man bug-a-booing on the front like a new-millennium Sambo wasn’t “identity politics.”

Jones’ repeated invocation of the names of the four little girls killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church every time he got in front of black people, as if those victims gave him a political endorsement, wasn’t “identity politics.”


But me pointing out the statistical fact that black people were the only group who supported Jones, while white people from Alabama acted like white people from Alabama always do, but they now want credit for some shit they didn’t do ... I’m the one playing “identity politics.”

That’s one of my favorite parts.