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: We Have Questions

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Illustration: Oscar Bustamante

While I’m generally known for my quiet, kind-hearted demeanor and as someone who accepts racism quietly and would never push back when someone else says or does something stupid or racist, beneath this placid, compassionate exterior lies a heart that constantly asks the same question over and over again. (Why are you laughing? I know I’m viewed as a pushover. I’m very self-aware.)

One of my dreams is to interview someone like Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump or Candace Owens on live television. In this hallucination, I have a ream of prepared notes from which I pull all my questions. And, as they regurgitate the predictable talking points, I shuffle through my index cards to find the perfect follow-up question. After asking the reciprocal question, I stare intently while they answer my inquiry, which is always the same:

“Why, though?”

It’s amazing how racism-deniers seem to all regurgitate the same 10 talking points. But, instead of responding to their assertions with answers, I like dragging loudly confident people into the deep waters to see if they can swim. It’s easy for people to say things that sound good to dumb ears. But when challenged with critical thinking, stupid shit always disintegrates into nonsense.



I don’t know what these two letters were about. Neither does Zack. But they are typical comments from a disgruntled reader.

To: Zack Linly
From: Frank P.

Read a couple of your articles. No doubt you are a radical, leftist liberal who has gulped down a lot of Kool Aid. Jumping on the anti-law enforcement bandwagon is no longer En Vogue. It’s cheap, safe, easy and lazy .At least, however, it guarantees employment these days. Anything for a paycheck. You have all the qualifications of a lib; thin skinned, weak-kneed , lying, phony, and hypocritical. Do the leftist dem/lib/socialist talking points get sent out to you buffoons each morning so you can parrot them in an attempt to sound intelligent. Having never walked in a police officer’s shoes (no, I’m not a cop, which means I do not have to fear losing my job based on my politics and actions), you , nor I, have any idea what it’s like. In the face of danger, you’d probably run. Leftist like you love the chaos and anarchy. What a sad bunch you and your comrades are. Not really professional journalist, but, rather, just cheap liberal hacks, a dime a dozen, quite common.

From: Home Theater
To: Zack Linly

You talk racism while making people hate blacks and see them as thugs, looters and punks.

A lot of WHITE PEOPLE died in the Civil War YOU IDIOT!!!

Race relations were the best EVER till that sorry punk Progressive shill OBAMA got into office.

The whole narrative about blacks and cops is BULLSHIT as much as BLM is. Take your Marxist trash and move to the Soviet Union where commies like you belong.

People are SO TIRED OF BLACK THIS AND BLACK THAT. Just shut the fuck up about fake police brutality and tell these morons who resist arrest to wake up because ANY color of people or mix WILL ALWAYS HAVE A GOOD CHANCE OF BEING SMOKED BY POLICE IF THEY RESIST.

A friend of my son got smoked by police for having a knife and resisting but you didn’t hear shit on CNN or other hack narrative networks because they can rule people up!!

Quit ruining black lives with this BS!! You have a complaint then address the DEMOCRAT HACKS who decided housing projects and exploitation of blacks was the way to get votes for decades. Blacks who can think for themselves and are off the PLANTATION don’t need idiots like you!!


Dear Frank and Home Theater:

I have questions.

  1. Why would you continue reading the writings of someone you disagree with so vehemently? This is a thing that I can’t understand. It’s not just Frank. There are readers who have trolled the comments section for years, just to disagree with anything and everything that appears on this site. It’s almost like you want to be angry, which leads into my next question:
  2. Where do you get the time? I gotta be honest. I’m kinda jealous of people who spend minutes reading an article, finding the email address, composing a message and sending it to a specific writer. I have packages sitting in my kitchen right now because I can’t be bothered with searching Amazon’s website for my orders, printing a return label, finding some tape, affixing it to the box and walking to my mailbox to return it. And, if I have to go to the post office, forget it. Fuck that $23.52.
  3. How does Kool-Aid figure into this? I’m bewildered by that sentence. Was that supposed to be a racist inference or am I missing the meaning? Who made this Kool-Aid? I like Kool-Aid but I have never run across the “leftist” flavor. Is it only sold in white neighborhoods? I bet it’s sold at Publix. Definitely Publix.
  4. How did Obama ruin race relations? Did he do it in the same way that Zack is doing it? Have you ever seen this chart that proves what you’re saying is BS? Or this one? Have you ever considered that you believed race relations were so great because you didn’t want to hear anyone talk about race and now you have to?
  5. Who started this “anti-law enforcement bandwagon” you refer to? Was it self-emancipated Africans running from slave patrols? Was it the same people who were massacred by Confederate cop posses during Reconstruction? I don’t think En Vogue had a recording contract when Martin Luther King railed against cops at the March on Washington an said: “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.” Was it Malcolm X, who was assassinated in a police plot? Fred Hampton? Rodney King? Philando Castile?

    I bet it was Jesus. For some reason, he hated Pontius Pilate, whose “most crucial responsibility was that of maintaining law and order.”
  6. How do you do it? As a white man, how did you become so confident in your knowledge about what Black people should do? You said: “Having never walked in a police officer’s shoes...You, nor I, have any idea what it’s like.” I would like to have this kind of lack of self-awareness.

    I’d love to have the arrogance to tell people: “Before I explain why you are so wrong, please be aware that I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about.”
  7. Why do you think “leftists like chaos and anarchy?” You know what’s chaotic? Walking around every day not knowing if you will be brutalized by a law enforcement officer even if you don’t break the law. I wish there was a word that effectively described a society that doesn’t equally apply the law to Black people. Black people hate this “state of lawlessness and political disorder.” If only there was a word for it.
  8. Do you think Zack should die? You said: “In the face of danger, [Zack would] probably run.” You seemingly recognize this as a valid response to danger, yet you’re defending cops who kill people who run in the face of danger.
  9. Why do you think Zack cares? Here is a summary of your letter: “I’m going to write this guy. First I am going to call him names before explaining how I am very uninformed on this topic. Then I’ll tell him that I don’t have training in his area of expertise or in the profession that I’m writing about. I’ll explain that I don’t believe in anything he believes in. But, I’m very sure he’ll consider my opinion valid.”

    What kind of person does that?

The last question was rhetorical.

Again, this email was to the entire staff, but he didn’t say which article it was referring to. 

From: Steve
To: The Root

Instead of focusing on the trees, focus on the forest. A relatively small handful of unarmed black people were shot by the police last year.

But over 8000 blacks were murdered last year, almost all by other blacks. I know this because it’s considered “normal” (in black world) and hardly gets any notice. I mean, c’mon, if whites were doing it, we wouldn’t hear the end of it, right? Good logic, right? Over 8000 murders, almost all by other blacks. That’s more in one year than all the blacks killed in Vietnam I think.

So why not focus on the problems in the black community? The disdain of education. The emphasis on stuff like pot rights (that will get your race far). Blaming black behavior, black crime, on Robert E Lee is a tired excuse in my opinion.

Falling back on the “400 years” excuse is a tired diversion. Did you know the blacks enslaved each other for centuries before whites arrived? Did you know white slave traders didn’t have to get off the boat to capture slaves because other blacks sold fellow blacks to them?

I don’t know if it’s genetic or cultural but black people seem to me to metaphorically eat their own. Their leaders steal and exploit from their people. See Africa for countless examples. South Africa fought so hard to get blacks in control and they have proceeded to wreck that country. It’s sad. I hope it’s cultural and not genetic because if it’s genetic, then it can’t be fixed and you have no choice but to flail about and try as you can to find excuses.

I think a lot of white people are offended by the “systematic racism” tag. They could respond and say they are offended by the “systematic crime” of the black race. Every city the blacks come to, they ruin. I mean, do you think Minneapolis will be a success story? Trust me. Whites will flee, leaving it more and more black and then, like every other black city, like Baltimore, DC, Newark, Detroit, etc, it will become a cesspool.

The irony is that you say whites are bad for blacks. But if all whites leave, blacks have ZERO HOPE. Every black community on the planet is evidence of this.

Your relentless push of this narrative you have is offensive to many people including me.

So let me leave you with just as offensive a thought:

Take all the corpses of black victims of black crime and pile them into heaps in BLM Plazas everywhere to mock the idea that blacks themselves think black lives matter.

Trust me, until blacks on their own can prove they can create decent societies, there will always be prejudice.


Dear Steve:

I have questions:

  • How many Black people should police be allowed to shoot? You said: “A relatively small handful of unarmed black people were shot by the police last year.” How many unarmed Black people should be shot before it’s a problem? Is 10 OK? Should we adjust it each year for population inflation? Should police receive vouchers at the beginning of the year that allows them to shoot a certain number of Black people? Should we include choking and beating, too? If they don’t shoot anyone, does the voucher carry over like cell phone minutes or does it expire like internet bandwidth?
  • How do you know? Police aren’t required to report when they shoot someone, so how do you know it’s a relatively small handful of people? Are you privy to data that isn’t publicly available or are you referring to the number of dead Black people? If a victim of police brutality manages to survive a gunshot, does it count?
  • Can you send me a copy of the letter about white-on-white murders? You also said: “I mean, c’mon, if whites were doing it, we wouldn’t hear the end of it, right?” News Flash: In 2018, 80.7 percent of the murders of white people were committed by white offenders and 88.9 percent of Black murder victims were killed by Black people, according to FBI data. So whites are doing it. We just don’t hear about it (I wonder why). But I’m sure you’re correcting that. All Lives Matter, right?
  • Again, how do you know? As a white man, how do you know that Black people “don’t focus on the problems in the Black community?” Do you subscribe to the Black community’s newsletter where we avoid talking about crime, education and personal responsibility? Why would you hear about it? Should we cc: you on the emails?
  • How do “the Blacks” ruin cities? You said, “Every city the Blacks come to, they ruin?” What cities existed before Blacks arrived? Jamestown? Whitekanda? Did we ruin them by being redlined like caged animals? Do we ruin them with crime after you underfund Black schools and white-owned companies refuse to hire Black people?
  • Why should I trust you? You said: “Until Blacks on their own can prove they can create decent societies, there will always be prejudice.” Can you give me a decent society that whites have created where prejudice didn’t exist?

I await your response.

I want to put it in the newsletter.

Finally, the article about Tim Scott caused white consternation, including people who believe that America isn’t racist.


From: Rye
To: Michael Harriot.

I think the point he is trying to make is that America at its core isn’t racist and people can’t tell you what the definition of racism is anymore. 0% chance an african american can become president if this was a racist country... We are going backwards, and its because people are starting to tell you that race matters when it really doesnt.


Dear Rye and Raymond,

Thomas Jefferson, who wrote that “All Men are created equal” shit, also said:

“Comparing [Black people] by their faculties of memory, reason, and imagination, it appears to me that in memory they are equal to the whites; in reason much inferior, as I think one could scarcely be found capable of tracing and comprehending the investigations of Euclid: and that in imagination they are dull, tasteless, and anomalous. The Indians, with no advantages ... will often carve figures on their pipes not destitute of design and merit.”


George Washington, the No. 1 stunna of Founding Fathers, referred to Black people as “that species of property,” murdered natives and hunted down escaped slaves until he died.

Did Abraham Lincoln say this?

“I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the black and white races — that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making VOTERS or jurors of negroes, NOR OF QUALIFYING THEM HOLD OFFICE, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any of her man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”


Did the Supreme Court once say this?

“But it is too clear for dispute, that the enslaved African race were not intended to be included, and formed no part of the people who framed and adopted this declaration... and they knew that it would not in any part of the civilized world be supposed to embrace the negro race, which, by common consent, had been excluded from civilized Governments and the family of nations, and doomed to slavery...The unhappy black race were separated from the white by indelible marks, and laws long before established, and were never thought of or spoken of except as property, and when the claims of the owner or the profit of the trader were supposed to need protection.

This state of public opinion had undergone no change when the Constitution was adopted, as is equally evident from its provisions and language.


While discussing the desegregation of schools, Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren said white Southerners “are not bad people. All they are concerned about is to see that their sweet little girls are not required to sit in school alongside some big overgrown Negroes.”

LBJ often referred to civil rights legislation as the “nigger bill” and even though he appointed Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court, he did it because, as he said: “Son, when I appoint a nigger to the court, I want everyone to know he’s a nigger.”


President Richard Nixon said:

We’re going to [put] more of these little Negro bastards on the welfare rolls at $2,400 a family—let people like Pat Moynihan ... believe in all that crap. But I don’t believe in it. Work, work—throw ‘em off the rolls. That’s the key...

I have the greatest affection for them, but I know they’re not going to make it for 500 years. They aren’t. You know it, too. The Mexicans are a different cup of tea. They have a heritage. At the present time they steal, they’re dishonest, but they do have some concept of family life. They don’t live like a bunch of dogs, which the Negroes do live like.


Of African emissaries, Ronald Reagan said: “To see those, those monkeys from those African countries—damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!

Donald Trump said...I’m sure you know.

So, if the founders, the laws, the lawmakers, the law enforcers, the law interpreters and the people who were elected to lead the country were racist, whose ideologies do you think they represent? And if racist leaders represent racist citizens, then which part of America isn’t racist?


Don’t worry.

I’ll wait.