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.
I kinda like hate mail.
More than a year ago, I promised to include more complimentary correspondences in the Clapback Mailbag. I swear I tried. It’s not that people don’t share their appreciation for The Root with us. The problem is—and I am still trying to figure out why—I don’t take compliments well.
I recognize that this is a problem but there is something innate that prevents me from acknowledging compliments. I don’t think it comes from self-loathing or a lack of confidence; it just seems indulgent or narcissistic to me.
But hate, though.
There’s something satisfying and reassuring about knowing that dumb, racist people can’t stand you. Having someone whose entire worldview is wrong tell you that you’re an idiot is the closest thing you’ll ever get to a confirmation that you’re on the right path.
So, to the people who read The Root and fire off angry emails, tweets and DMs, I’d like to say, from the bottom of my heart:
Thanks for the compliment.
It would be impossible for me to include all the hate mail from the article about dumb white people:
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However, I really feel the need to respond to one subset of readers: The non-racist white people who didn’t vote for Trump.
To: Michael Harriot
I was born white. I’m neither sorry nor happy that I’m white it’s just who I am.
You don’t know me. I could be a good person or a jerk, so judging me by the color of my skin is an old concept that hasn’t made any sense for any shade of epidermis at any time in human history.
I was fortunate to have been raised to be color blind, and status blind, and looks blind.
My mother was ahead of MLK. She advised me that to determine the heart of a person observe how they treat others…especially those less fortunate in all the categories above.
I’ve been a Democrat for all of my 78 years. I don’t like President Trumps manners, but I don’t hate him. For the last four years I’ve seen him attacked, insulted and threatened. It’s okay to disagree with him but it’s not okay to behave worse than he does.
It makes me sad to see people divided and angry, but it devastates me to see mindless hate…and that’s what is happening all too often.
I don’t know, but I imagine that you’re a good husband,