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The Root’s Clapback Mailbag: The Declaration of Blackness

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Illustration: Oscar Bustamante (The Root/FMG)

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the bonds which have connected them with wypipo, and to assume among them their equality on this earth to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the stupid opinions of Caucasians requires that they should answer some of the white people’s tweets, emails and comments which propel caucasity.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all white people are created equal, that they are endowed by America with certain unalienable rights, that among these are privilege, wearing sunglasses on the bill of baseball caps and the pursuit of whiteness.

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That to secure these rights, unmelanated Americans will write stupid shit to excuse their behavior. But when we grow tired of the long train of tweets, emails and comments, wet with white tears …

It is our right, it is our duty, to clap back at these bitches.

These first two tweets accurately sum up a series of emails, DMs and comments received concerning a story about me warning my daughter about certain things she had to do simply because she is black. In this case, it was carrying her identification.

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Free Thought Is for White People

I am free.

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Dear Marvin and Jennifer:

First, I’d like to thank you for explaining to me how to raise a black child. While I recognize the implicit privilege in the “There’s only one race—the human race” theory, the reality is different for most black people. Your tweets fail to acknowledge the fact that racism exists and that black people must balance the idea of their inherent humanity against the stark truth that ignoring the existence of societal prejudice—even if it is practiced by a small minority—can sometimes lead to death.

Imagine, if you will, that there was a serial killer on the loose. Although the police couldn’t figure out who this imaginary serial killer was targeting, or why he was killing, imagine if the investigators noticed that a large number of the victims were wearing black shirts. Not all the victims wore black shirts, but of all the colors of the palette, black-shirt wearers were disproportionately


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