The Root’s Clapback Mailbag: No Free Lunch

Photo illustration by Omar Bustamante/The Root/GMG
Photo illustration by Omar Bustamante/The Root/GMG

This is a terrible time for our country. Our president has the IQ of a third-place Wheel of Fortune contestant. Hurricanes are making it rain across the United States like they’re Floyd Mayweather in a strip club. Kim Jong Un is strapping nuclear warheads on the backs of bottle rockets. Jason Whitlock has a brand-new minstrel show on Fox Sports. Then there’s that shitty Taylor Swift song.


In the face of all this tragedy, we’d like to bring a little sunshine to your day. So we’ve dug into the thousands of tweets, emails, comments and messages we received this week to brighten your day and provide some necessary feedback to The Root’s readers.

From Mike H:
To: Michael Harriot
Subject: Racism, or the end thereof:


I’m not going to take credit for this statement as it was said by Jim Brown, yes THE Jim Brown. But I wholeheartedly believe it to be true: “Until you stop seeing me as a “white” man, and I stop seeing you as a “black” man, and we see each other as just men nothing will get better.” I have a friend named Daniel. I don’t think of him based on the color of his skin or culture, nor does he think of me based on my skin color or culture. We’ve had the conversation. I see him only as Daniel. He sees me as Mike. This is based on our personalities. Things have become so unnecessarily complicated while the answer is right in front of our faces.


Dear Mike,

Ahhh, a quote by the great Jim Brown. His wisdom and activism are unparalleled. I’d like to offer you another quote by the former NFL star. I’m not going to take credit for this statement, but in 1968, only a few years after a woman testified that he “plied her with whiskey, slapped her face, hip and stomach and forced her to have sex relations with him on two occasions,” according to the Associated Press, police found Brown’s girlfriend unconscious after she had somehow fallen from a second-floor balcony. Now, this might not be a direct quote and might possibly come from my imagination, but I imagine he might have said: “Fly, bitch.”


Anyway, let’s dispense with the philosophy of the Great Jim Brown and get to the meat of your argument. There is something I need to know:

Are you trying to put your penis in my mouth, Mike?

Seriously. Is this email, and all your post-racial philosophy, an elaborate ruse to trick me into giving you fellatio? Why else would anyone want me to close my eyes so I can’t see? I know this trick, Mike. I close my eyes so I can’t see you as white, only as a human being, and then you try to put your dick in my mouth. Nah, Mike, I’m too smart for your ploy. Daniel might fall for that bullshit, but I know what you’re trying to do.

The other reason you’d send me this stupid, touchy-feely Disney movie bullshit is that you actually believe it, Mike. Do you realize how dripping with white supremacy the entire “I don’t see color” bullshit is? I am a black man. I love being a black man. The only reason I wouldn’t want to be seen as black would be if either I thought being so was inferior, or I believed that you thought being so was inferior.

The only people who think race and culture should be ignored for the sake of unity is white people. That’s because you are the default culture in America. If no one noticed race anymore, nothing would change for white people. Being the default race or culture is that easy. My race and my culture are important to me. They are part of who I am. If my friend is an Orthodox Jew or a Muslim, he’d probably want me to see it before I offered him a bacon cheeseburger. Getting past racism doesn’t mean ignoring differences. It means embracing them and accepting the differences.


Even people who like to play the surprise dick game.

The following comment is from the article “NYC Public Schools Announces Free Lunch for All Students”:

Illustration for article titled iThe Root’/is Clapback Mailbag: No Free Lunch

I’m so glad you commented, Blue53. You’re right. Who needs three meals a day? It is so fucking wasteful. I’m tired of all these goddamn tiny human beings sucking the money out of our society with their needs for nourishment and education. When you said, “free lunch is bad enough, might as well just transfer them to their welfare roles [sic] ... ,” that touched my spirit and my soul.

First of all, these little bloodsuckers knew what they were doing when they were born. I’m sure they were plotting this whole free-lunch bankruptcy plot since they were egg and sperm. It’s not like we brought them here or anything. That’s why I’m pro-choice. I think that is the only way we are going to end these shenanigans of storks dropping off kids so they can get shitty square pizza at no cost to them.


I hate that welfare shit, too. If only there were a way we could ensure kids would never have to go on welfare. Yeah, I know that all the studies, sociologists and experts say that the only way to end the cycle of poverty and welfare is through education, and we all know that kids can’t concentrate or perform when they are hungry, but that just leads us back to feeding these ungrateful mini-bastards! Fuck! It’s so frustrating!

I know letting children starve in order to save $4.29 per person in tax money is an unpopular idea, but Blue53 is right. Fuck feeding hungry kids. Fuck making the next generation better by educating them. Fuck trying to make sure every child has an equal footing in life.


I stand with Blue53.

Fuck the kids.

From: Rebecca S.
To: Michael Harriot
Subject: White women

Why do you hate white women so much?

Because they write shitty emails.

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

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Then there’s that shitty Taylor Swift song.

ok but let’s have a quick conversation about that, she’s rapping y’all. And the becky’s over at Jez are like “She not rapping, she’s talk singing”


Why do you do that to yourself?