Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

The Root’s Clapback Mailbag: It’s OK to Be Butt-Hurt

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Today’s mailbag is dedicated to Tucker Carlson, Fox News and all the white people around the world who believe that The Root is racist. Your claims have been overlooked for too long. They make movies about make-believe stuff like Santa Claus, Bigfoot and Caucasians who can dance, but never took the time to address your fairy tale of reverse racism. Hell, they even made a TV show about the Great Pumpkin and a movie about a sexy rabbit, but nothing about racist writers! How could this be?

Well, today we are going to address the systematic inequality directed at white people. Because black people don’t control Congress, the Senate, every state legislature, the U.S. economy and the media like white people do, dedicating this—our weekly look back at the emails, direct messages and tweets we receive—to the topic is the best we can do.


Don’t say we didn’t try.

This first tweet and email go hand in hand:

From: J.M. and Tucker.
To: Danielle Belton
Subject: Racism is evil, regardless of the source

Ms. Belton,

Instead of blaming “white people (not a race by the way)” for all the problems in the black community, why don’t you offer some tough love to your fellow blacks? How about stay in school, don’t have sex and get pregnant outside of marriage and obey the law. Or, take responsibility for your own actions, respect authority and work hard. I’m sure there are black parents who are out there who are responsible and raise children who are responsible and positive contributors to society. However, there are a large percentage who do not. My parents and sisters came here from Italy with little more than the clothes on their backs. No one handed them a “white privilege card”. They worked hard, saved money and did the best they could for my family. My advice to black people is stop being blinded by a desire for vengeance against “white people” and work hard to be prosperous.

As they say,

“living well is the best revenge”

Dear Bill, J.M. and Tucker:

As one of Ms. Belton’s “fellow blacks,” I can attest to the fact that she comes to every one of the Global Organizations Dedicated to the Descendants of Africans, Moor and Negroes (GODDAMN) monthly meetings and tells the young kids to stay in school, use condoms and obey the law.


The younger “fellow blacks” just won’t listen. You know how they are. Either they are too stupid to know what Danielle is telling them (you know they have lower IQs), or it might have something to do with the fact that unwed motherhood, the dropout rate and crime are all socioeconomic phenomena, and—stripped of race—poor whites have the same crime rate, teenage pregnancy rate and dropout rate. Danielle probably thinks the question should be, “Why is the black poverty rate so much higher?” But you’re right, J.M. It’s probably because she doesn’t scold her “fellow blacks” enough.

Congratulations on the success of your cousins who moved here from Italy. I’m sure it was difficult for them to succeed, given the fact that Giuseppe Crow Laws were just wiped off the books 50 years ago and the people in power now were the same people in power when this country was still lynching Italians for looking white people in the eye and they could only attend historically Italian colleges, universities and public schools. I’m sure your cousins simply forgot the 250 years when black people couldn’t—as Tucker said—go to the polls when we wanted higher wages, dignified jobs and “leadership that promised to put [all] Americans first, above any foreign nation or domestic interest group.” I guess black people didn’t need that solution to their problems.


However, you were right when you said, “Living well is the best revenge.” That is true. I just wish people like you didn’t build such a high barrier to “living well” and then act as if we could eliminate the obstacle by telling our kids to “just climb higher” and pretend like the wall was not there.

I think you should consider this: Saying “Fuck the people who built and maintain this wall” and making fun of the wall builders isn’t racist. It’s just a tiny, microscopic form of “living well.”


Thanks, J.M.

A Twitter direct message from xxneverdasamexx:

I just read your piece about Tucker and when they asked you on his show on fox news. You want to stand on your soap box, make fun of and judge white people because they’re racists? And you think it makes all the racist and bigoted stuff you write about whites ok? And your comment about the quote “throw a rock into a pack of dogs...” I think that actually applies to you...Tucker called you out and the Root for being racists against whites, now your own logic and using the dog quote, amounts to that of it doesn’t apply, the person will let it fly...but you didnt let it fly, you started yelling like the hit dog. You and the Root are obviously racists against whites. Now, let’s take some of what you wrote about white people and said about white don’t think it makes you racist or that you are racist. But let’s say I wrote everything you wrote, the exact same way, same words..exactly the same..but instead of white, I used would label me a racist white supremacist nazi KKK pos...and you want to talk about how whites shoot up schools and wherever else you said whites about I’m tired of all the dumb blacks who sell heroin and crack all over my city.. how about I’m tired of the dumb blacks who run around in groups, in my city, jumping and beating white people who are alone for no other reason then their white...and you’re the worst type, becuase you’re such a hypocrite that wants to cry and yell that whites are racist, when you spew nothing but racism. The person who see race and racism is everything, is the REAL racist.


Dearest Sir:

You’re right, The Root shouldn’t make fun of white people. We had no idea you were this fragile, and apologize for all the white tears we caused.


You are correct that if white people wrote an article making fun of black people the way I and others at The Root make fun of white people, we’d call them racist. But it wouldn’t be because of what you wrote or said. We would object to what you said because it is offensive in combination with how you actually treat black people.

I wanted to clap back at you by saying that unlike your frail, delicate, unseasoned, sallow spirits, black people wouldn’t give a damn what you called us if you treated us equally. But I didn’t want to speak on behalf of everyone at The Root, so I posed this question to the entire staff this morning:

Suppose you were the leader of all the black people in America and you were approached by the leader of all white people [I’m not sure if it’s Donald Trump or Taylor Swift] with this proposition: White people could magically erase all inequality, racism, hate, transphobia, homophobia, etc., in the world, but black people would have to agree to one thing: White people would get to address us only as “niggers.” ... Would you accept?


Some immediately agreed to the proposition. Some wondered how we would enforce the agreement, while others didn’t think it would ever work. There was a fierce debate going on until Editor-in-Chief Danielle Belton came in and broke up the conversation and made us get back to work. (And yes, J.M., as we dispersed, she yelled, “Make sure you don’t get pregnant or rob anyone today!” See ... she’s doing her part.)

But here is my point: Every single person considered it because we don’t give a damn what you call us if you treat us equally! White people are more hurt about some motherfucking articles on a motherfucking website than they are about actual inequality! If that was the only racism black people had to face, we would rejoice.


So if you only wrote articles about the “dumb blacks” in your city selling heroin (I’m sure it got there on all those black-owned boats and planes) or only wrote about the “dumb blacks” who go around attacking whites, but you eliminated every other form of discrimination and hate, we wouldn’t call you a “racist white supremacist nazi, KKK” piece of shit ...

Just a “piece of shit.”

Finally, a Twitter direct message:

From: Mike Jones
To: Michael Harriot

How does it feel to be one of the biggest racists in America?

I’d like to accept this award on behalf of all the black people who tried their hardest to win this title by simply talking about race. I’d also like to thank some of the past winners, including the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Malcolm X and President Barack Obama, who were all called racists and accused of dividing the country by bringing up the subject of race.


But most of all, I’d like to thank my fellow nominees for this year.

To the white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va.: I know you thought you had it in the bag this year. But just because you brought together every different kind of racist to terrorize a city doesn’t mean you deserve this award. I know what you’re thinking: “But we actually killed someone, and Michael Harriot and the staff of The Root have never laid hands on another human being because of their race.” Look, man, I don’t know what to tell you. You just have to work harder next year. I’m sure you’ll think of something.


To Donald Trump: I know you’re over there talking to the panel trying to convince them that there must have been some illegal voting, but let it go. Can’t you see it? We’re more racist than you are. You tried to ban Muslims from entering the country, painted Mexicans as rapists and murderers, and put known white supremacists in your Cabinet. But did you create the term “wypipo”? Did you make jokes about potato salad? No, but we did. Let this be a lesson to you.

But let me tell you what makes us the proudest.

In 1983 Timothy Coggins was seen dancing with a white woman at the People’s Choice nightclub in Griffin, Ga. A few white men got together and kidnapped Coggins. Two of the kidnappers were law enforcement officers. Then they beat him. Then they wrapped a chain around his neck and dragged him for over a mile. But he was still alive.


So the white men took a knife and stabbed him. They sliced him. They slit him. They took turns. When one of them was too tired, the next man would take over. Then they tied him to a truck again, dragged him a little while longer, then threw him in a ditch.

Everyone in town knew who did it because they bragged about the time they killed a nigger and got away with it. One of the killers said he “missed the good old days when you could kill a black man for no reason.” Another one of them told his wife, “If you keep on, you’re going to wind up like that nigger in the ditch.”


But no one told on these men for 34 years. The ones who kept quiet were complicit in the Coggins family’s unending grief. Silence is the most despicable kind of racism there is. I wonder who Coggins’ loved ones hate more: the men who killed Coggins that night, or the ones who knew but didn’t give a damn about their pain and suffering?

But today I stand before you to tell you that Mike Jones, Tucker Carlson and Fox News viewers everywhere have declared that I and the rest of The Root staff, by poking fun at the flimsy, snowflakelike, thin, pearl skin of America’s ruling class, are more racist than Bill Moore Sr. and Frankie Gebhardt, who allegedly killed Timothy Coggins and left him dying in a ditch, and all the white people who kept the terrible secret for 34 years.


Thank you.