Politics & Race
An Ode To White On White Crime

Dear Anonymous White Man;

A few days ago, while watching the coverage of “How The Apocalypse Begins,” also known as The Donald Trump Inauguration, I was cleaning my bow and arrow, running in place, preparing for the opening ceremony of the Hunger Games the Purge or whatever New Balance (the official sponsor of the post-apocalyptic future) decides to name it, this happened:

As you know, I am very reluctant to laud pettiness, violence or White men in general, but upon seeing this, sitting alone in a hotel room, I stood up and gave you a standing ovation.

Since that time, Black Twitter produced countless memes and jokes about the incident, spurring media outlets, including the New York Times to ask the question:

“Is it ok to punch a White Supremacist?”

While I cannot answer that question for you, because everyone has different sensibilities, allow me to provide some context.

Richard Bertrand Spencer is not just a White Nationalist, he is the white nationalist. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which lists and monitors hate groups around the globe, describes him as an advocate “for an Aryan homeland for the supposedly dispossessed white race and calls for “peaceful ethnic cleansing” to halt the “deconstruction” of European culture.” He was the man on stage speaking when video leaked of a group meeting in Washington D.C. after the election giving the Nazi salute, shouting “Hail Trump. Hail our people. Hail victory!”

I think race is real, and I think race is important. And those two principles do not mean I want to harm someone or hate someone. But the notion that these people can be equal is not a scientific way of looking at it.

– Richard Spencer

He is also the head of the National Policy Institute, a think tank that lobbies for White Nationalist laws and policies. In fact, in his efforts to legitimize White Supremacy, Richard Spencer tried to move the group towards mainstream acceptance by changing the language for how we think of Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists. To do this he coined a phrase that enveloped the disparate hate under one umbrella.

He came up with the term “the Alt-Right.”

I think if Trump wins we could really legitimately say that he was associated directly with us, with the ‘R[acist]’ word, all sorts of things. People will have to recognize us.

– Richard Spencer

The reason for this correspondence is about something else, however:

In an emergency meeting of the executive council for Black People, we made a formal offer to the Y.P. Pull Corporation to trade you for Steve Harvey, Chrissette Michele and a coon to be named later. We are excited to have you on our team. We think you will enjoy your tenure with us, as the parties are lit and you will find the difference in the potato salad alone worth your time. You might discover that we do strange things to our meats, but that weird substance you will taste is called seasoning. I know it is foreign to you, but you’ll get used to it.

At some part of every woman’s soul, they want to be taken by a strong man.

Richard Spencer on Donald Trump’s “grab’em by the pussy” remark 

Back to the matter at hand. We asked earlier if it was OK to sucker punch a White Supremacist. Even though I am authorized to make trades, I am not endowed with the power to speak for all of Black America. Instead I will provide a short list of references to whom you may pose this question:

Ask Emmett Till’s mother.
Ask Trayvon’s dad.
Ask Coretta.
Ask one of the survivors of Buchenwald or Aushwitz.
Ask anyone who ever had cross-sized scorch marks on their lawns.
Ask anyone who ever gave seed to someone who became strange fruit.

I can’t thank you enough. I don’t know if Black people would have done what you did. It’s not that a Neo-Nazi couldn’t catch #DeezHands, it’s just that we sometimes have a hard time telling you guys apart. If someone told me that was Bradley Cooper or Paul Ryan getting punched, I would have shrugged and nodded. But just when I was beginning to lose faith in humanity, there you were, like a knight in shining hoodie, slamming your fists into a face like a melaninless Luke Cage. We raise our glasses to you, your Old Navy hoodie, and your unapologetic paws.

Your Black Card is in the mail.


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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