The Root's Clapback Mailbag: Maybe Whiteness Is Not a Pandemic

Illustration for article titled The Root's Clapback Mailbag: Maybe Whiteness Is Not a Pandemic
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.

Last week, a white man did white man things, which caused a lot of pain and heartache.

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Some people call Robert Aaron Long a “spree shooter,” while others call him a “mass murderer.” Because he went from location to location to kill people, he may technically be a serial killer or a hate criminal — we don’t know. In fact there is only one thing we know for sure about this evil racist destroyer of things:

He is a white man.

And then, this week, another white man did the same thing.

And because we, at The Root, are dedicated to our craft, we thought that pointing out a white man’s whiteness was as important as how all the newspapers, cable outlets and commentators pointed out that most of Long’s victims were Asian women who worked at Asian massage parlors where Asians be Asia-ing like they do in Asia.

And Long killed them ... Dead.

Which part of that undeniably true statement do you think white people were mad about?


From: Jessie
To: Danielle Belton

Your use of the word “white” and whitness are extremely racist. Liberal have developed a lie that blacks cant be racist. That is a complete falacy. All this anti white racism is going to create more racism and its going to back fire big time. You are no different than white supremacist from the south

Good luck racists

From: Gixxeracer
To: The Root

[middle finger emoji] You RACIST SCUMBAGS

And choke on your BULLSHIT......

Start right here with your....Exterminate White People......see how far you get....

Dumbass Motherfucking [poop emoji]

From: No Illusions
To: Danielle Belton

Dear Ms Belton,

I have a question.

Is The Root another version of The Onion? If so, OK.

If not, you may need to examine your own racism.

Just as there are many whites who don’t see themselves and their own racism, or their own different levels of it, there are blacks (browns, reds, yellows, blues, greens and sky-blue-pink-with-purple-polka-dots) who can’t see their own racism.

And their own knee-jerk reactions.

And the way they read into the words of others what may or may not be there at all.

Good luck with fanning the flames of racial division and stoking the fires of violence.

Or, grow up.

me

From: Jason
To: The Root

Your organization is despicable for perpetuating racism against any race including the white race. Before your so-called journalists start spouting off about “whiteness” like racist idiots, perhaps they should wait for the professionals who are actually investigating the incident to give out some facts. Disgusting and despicable.

Thank you,

From: Dion L
To: Danielle Belton

Hello -

Your article by Ishena Robinson - Watch Whiteness Work: A White Man Kills 6 Asian Women, and a White Cop Says He ‘Had a Bad Day’ is not an article but an immature point of view as to the problems of society. This article being presented on one of the largest social media platforms available is only serving to continue the problem.

I should maybe back up a bit and mention that I am not white and not immature. The human condition, which this article just glosses over in the statement “echoes of four hundred years of ever-ecalating incidents in the same vein, not to mention centuries of a state of rotten affairs that is as American as apple pie” - is there any solution to this issue or just fuel added to this fire? Two white people were killed as well. This person just killed people that were part of his problem. He hated life. He was a loser. He was not provided with the right path. Why would anyone choose to do this?

The system is broken and there is a flood of people that are sitting behind their keyboards complaining. Go be a cop, a teacher, a parent who is trying to do the right thing, teaching their children about the flawed nature of life and how to live within it and create change. This problem has been going on a lot longer than your author’s 400 year timeline.

I could not read the entire article because it is not productive. It is an immature view of what globalization is inadvertently trying to accomplish, we are a divided society that is trying to come back to its roots.

Be a part of the solution

From: Tarpon
To: Danielle Belton

Who would approve such a blatant hate-filled Racist article as that. Of course no mention of the BLACK MAN that just murdered 4 people over stimulus check including a 7 year old little girl. I read the article and it’s just hater garbage and nothing but black racism toward Whites. Yet no mention of Black MALE Crime Statistics that make up 52% of all violent crimes, more than all other races combined. If the reporter said that at a company that is not press he would be instantly fired and thrown out. Blatant Racism. You’re either part of the solution or your part of the problem. Can you imagine a White reporter reporting that against blacks , they would be fired. It should go both ways and the Hate rooted out.

From: Joseph
To:Damon Young

Dear Mr. Young,

You are naive about the Nigger. Without White people, this world would be a place of people too lazy to turn on their car’s turn- signals, improper English, obesity in elementary school, running around trying to pay with $100.00 bills, taking up 90% of our prisons, disrespecting the police, disrespecting teachers, talking all day in class, yards unkept, starting a used car lot in their yards, leaving trash in parking lots, leaving baby shit diaper rolls in parking lots, having sex in the Walmart parking lot, putting coffee in their sugar, putting eggs in their salt (before even tasting such eggs), clogging up the doctor’s offices with all their health problems, and generally turning everything they touch into shit. Yes, with only 12% of the U.S. population according to the 2020 U.S. Census - the Nigger causes 90% of all the problems in America. Thus, if the world woke up tomorrow and there were no Niggers ... all would celebrate ... except fat White women. How about all of you getting a real job like working behind a shovel, axe, or 5-lb. Mattock all day - instead of putting out your Nigger mind’s garbage into the world.

Sincerely,

Joseph

From: Isabella
To: Danielle Belton

I’m emailing you to express my concern with the article “Whiteness is a Pandemic” posted on The Root. I find this highly racist (yes racism goes both ways). The suggestion of mass genocide of white people is a major concern to me as well as the comments about how white people should be ashamed of their color.

How can someone be so concerned about the siege on the capital building and only a few sentences later express their passion for mass genocide?

I find this behavior highly unacceptable and I suggest you support blackness with a more non-violent approach. A condemnation on your firm’s behalf for “white violence” towards other races is reasonable, but stating black violence towards the white race is severely hypocritical.

On the suggestion of shame for the white skin color in this article, I also see this as highly unacceptable. I believe that God made everyone to be the person that they are and no one should make them ashamed of that. I am white and many people have called me exotic and unique due to my Italian complexion and curly hair. Nevertheless I do not call these people supremacists, nor do I consider degrading them because their complexion is different than mine.

I believe in equality for ALL people. I don’t believe in a white supremacy or a black supremacy. You can try to ruin my reputation, threaten violence, or write further inappropriate articles about people, but I will never be ashamed of my skin or my beliefs. I am not afraid of this article’s threats or accusations and I will always fight for justice and equality for ALL.

All lives matter.

In Jesus’ name, I pray that you reconsider the approach of your articles and find more peaceful authors.

From: Proudboy 814
To: The Root

As a person that’s in and from a multicultural household almost everything you spew, your hate for all other races is completely disgusting. Doc King would be ashamed of all of you as you are no better than the Nazi’s with your hurtful narrow minded views, dialect and propaganda. Just like the uneducated fools and politicians in our beautiful country all you seem to want to do is create more problems and watch it burn. Racism was dead and its people like you that bring it back, great job.

-concerned

From: Seth F.
To: Danielle Belton

George Floyd faked his death. April 13 the MPD issued a mandatory mask policy. Only one cop is wearing a mask. None of the bystanders were wearing masks. DC is supposed to be 5'9", the DC in the video is at least 6'6". DC’s next door neighbors didn’t know he is a cop and thought he was in real estate. GF’s lawyer said he died 3 years ago. GF is supposed to be 6'”6 but his casket was well under 6 feet long and it’s obvious it’s empty from the way they were dancing with it. There is a second video from across the street that doesn’t show the bystanders. The white traffic line is next to GF’s head in one video. In another it’s 2 feet from his head. In another video there are no traffic lines at all.

From: Seth F.
To: Danielle Belton

Only commies cry racism.

ATTENTION AMERICAN PATRIOTS

Filthy Scumbag Communist Traitors are constantly trying to convince you that it’s normal to go through life living off handouts and dependent on the government for survival. Communists want you to believe you are a victim and that others are to blame for your circumstances. Communists employ censorship and violence to force their beliefs on you because they are incapable of forming valid arguments. Because there is no valid argument to convince you to accept that your prosperity must depend on the degree of your worship of the state. You can not be convinced by logic or reason that you’re better off poor and powerless than rich and in control of your destiny.

Real Americans believe in and practice self-reliance. Real Americans accept responsibility for their circumstances and make the necessary sacrifices of their time and attention to improve the quality of their lives. Real Americans Are Entrepreneurs. Real Americans create opportunity and prosperity. Real Americans are not victims because Real Americans Are Champions.

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Dear concerned white people,

Damon was wrong.

I understand why his article may have upset you. I can’t imagine reading these words:

White supremacy is a virus that, like other viruses, will not die until there are no bodies left for it to infect. Which means the only way to stop it is to locate it, isolate it, extract it, and kill it. I guess a vaccine could work, too. But we’ve had 400 years to develop one, so I won’t hold my breath.

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OK, maybe I can imagine it.

Compared to some of your emails, Damon’s article reads like a love letter to white people. But I do understand why it caused an immediate outbreak of the “outrages.” Fox News shit a brick. White people everywhere went into a hallucenogenic state where they began seeing words that did not exist. Like, when Damon wrote about killing white supremacy, some dude named Tom imagined he said “white people.”

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By equating “whiteness” to “white people,” they jumped to the conclusion that Damon was proposing a white genocide instead of eradicating white supremacy. Or maybe Damon was wrong. Perhaps all white people are white supremacists. I’m sure Shapiro knows more about white supremacy than most people on the planet.

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I often describe white supremacy as a cancer but Damon described it as more of a virus than a cancer. White people catch “the racism” and pass it on to each other. I live in a country with 250 million cancer patients, but I don’t worry about them giving me their cancer. Sure, it affects me, but it doesn’t change my genetic makeup. So let’s call it a virus

But what if there was a group of people who denied that the white supremacy virus existed? What if they said it was no worse than the flu? What if they even refuse to take a few simple steps to prevent it from spreading? In fact, what if some people were asymptomatic carriers of the virus? What if the virus didn’t affect them in any way but it affected other people? What if they were superspreaders who refused to believe in the virus? (I know this is totally hypothetical. This could never happen in real life.)

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Of course, in this totally made-up scenario, there would also be people who were affected by the virus. Some of them might have studied the virus for years. In fact, one of them may have created an entire platform to tell people about this virus and was world-renown for his catalog of literature on this supposed virus.

If you wanted to know about the virus, which one would you trust?

There is no other subject on the face of the earth where a rational human being would accept information from someone with no experience, education or knowledge of the subject. White people don’t know shit about racism...

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Of course, not all white people.

I am willing to acknowledge that there may be a few white people who truly understand white supremacy. So let’s say some of them know what the hell they are talking about when it comes to the insidious nature of whiteness. Here is the question:

Why would anyone ever listen to those people?

While there may be some white people who understand what they are talking about when it comes to race, they don’t understand the problem better than Black people. The wokest, most racially aware white person on the planet has gained all of their knowledge from regular-ass Black people. Given the documented history of America’s anti-Blackness, listening to any white person about race is perhaps the stupidest, most idiotic thing a reasonable person could ever do.

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Not because all white people are racist...

But because Black people actually exist.

Not only are Black Americans more knowledgeable, more experienced and more qualified on the subject, but — and you might not know this — Negroes aren’t hard to find. Perhaps the essence of white privilege is the fact that there are white people who will leapfrog all the regular Black people milling about and ask a white person about racism. There are volumes of studies, a million speeches, a billion recordings at least five or six books written by Black intellectuals who have dedicated their lives to the subject.

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I’m sure there’s someone reading this who is saying: “But white people might understand racism because they may have absorbed all the knowledge from racist white people,” which is certainly true. But here’s the thing:

White people are terrible at being racist.

It’s not like they don’t try. And they are somewhat effective. But if “whiteness” is the same as white people, then Damon is wrong. Viruses are much more effective than white people.

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Left unchecked, a virus will destroy everything.

But Black people exist.

See?

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

DISCUSSION

And then, this week, another white man did the same thing

I hate to say this, but Alissa is Syrian — which is a not considered a caucasian race.

And there is so much wrong with that shooting, but at least for once it wasn’t another white supremist out to make a racist point.