Politics & Race
Dear White People, Black People Do Not Hate You

By Michael Harriot

Hey White people!

Every so often, we here at NegusWhoRead like to take a moment and address our white readers. I know this site is by and for Black people, but we know you are here, and we want you to continue patronizing, sharing and enjoying our site. I’m sure, one day soon, there will be an NBC prime time show called NegusWhoRead about a lonely caucasian teenager named Peter Negus who is in love with Black books, executive produced by a White guy from Minnesota, but–until it is stolen and cast into the collective wastebasket of White appropriation, like they did jazz, hip hop, and continents with brown people and fertile soil–again, we welcome you.

I’m sure you’ve noticed this week that some of your friends may seem a little distant to you. When you asked your coworker Shayla if she wanted Chipotle for lunch and she gave you the side-eye and said “fuck you, Amber.”

I know your name isn’t Amber. So does Shayla. In her defense, whenever Black people are upset, we refer to all White women as “Amber.” *

(Editors note: This is not scientifically proven. We could not prove it because we weren’t able to verify this with more angry Black people, mostly because of how y’all shoot them as soon as they show any signs of anger.)

Then, this happened:

Look, White people, I’m just going to put it plainly:

Black people do not hate you.

We just get tired of you sometimes. If you have ever shared a bedroom with a sibling, wanted to break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend six months after you signed a year lease, or shared a hotel room with a best friend who’s cleanliness habits don’t match your own, then you know what I’m talking about. There are times when you despise them so much you’d sit inside the refrigerator if you could get a few hours of peace without thinking of this motherfucker. Well, America is like that for Black people.

But rest assured White people, Black people don’t hate you. In fact, Black people love you.

I know, I know. Sometimes it seems as if we don’t care for you. That’s just your white fragility talking. The problem is that you are biologically used to the world accepting you with open arms. That’s because, historically, when white people showed up on the shores of your country or the edge of your village, you could be sure they were there to pillage… And rape… Well, it was mostly raping with a little pillaging thrown in for good measure, but you get my drift. The world has always had to smile at White people because the only alternative was a whipping, an extra-harsh pillaging, or more raping. That’s why you’re accustomed to people smiling at you.

But the world has changed, White people. No one has to smile in your face any longer–not because of constitutional protections or advancements in progressive thinking. It’s just that everyone knows you are going to whip, rape and pillage anyway. Whether it’s Wells Fargo executives or police detectives, Black people have come to expect you to put your boots on our collective necks, so we have dispensed with the pretense of smiling, but we don’t hate White people.

Unlike some of you, we were not born with the ability to lump all people in together because of the way they look or the color of their skin. Every Black person knows at least one cool White person, and I have heard tale of Black people who have upwards of 5 or six cool ass White friends. No, Black people do not hate White people. “Hate” is such a strong word.

If Black people hated White people, Alabama State Troopers would still be trolling beneath the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the white bodies tossed over during Selma’s Bloody Sunday.
If Black people hated White people they would have turned around and burned Tulsa to the ground after the bombing of Black Wall Street.
If Black people hated White people they would have retaliated for Rosewood
For Emmit Till
For Martin Luther King
For Medgar Evers
For four little girls in a Birmingham church

If we hated White people Rosa would have said “fuck you crackers” when they arrested her for sitting down. Someone would have snuck in Officer Pantaleo’s  window after he choked Eric Garner and strangled him with her own hands. George Zimmerman would be buried in a cemetery not far from Trayvon.

Trust me, If there was a tiny specter of hate in the hearts of Black people for their oppressors, they would have long ago grabbed pitchforks, machetes, muskets, torches or pistols and exacted some form of revenge. Black people do not hate you. In fact, you should never, ever worry about Black people hating White people. What should trouble your soul every night when you close your eyes is what will happen when Black people stop fearing you. Do not fret about hate. You should only concern yourselves with what will happen when justice arrives at your door.

Until then, you can just relax, Amber.

 


 

 

About the author

Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot

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