Dear White America: An Open Letter From an Actual Thug

By Michael Harriot

Dear White America;

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Derrick Antonio Hughes, but you may know me by my street name–D-Money. It is possible that you have never heard my name, but trust me, I’m sure you know who I am.

I’m the figment-of-white-imagination, mythical, young black thug who forces you to walk quickly through dark parking lots to avoid your purse being snatched. I’m the young troublemaker who never complies with cops and is always reaching for their guns. I’m the drug dealer who floods the ghetto with crackheads ready to rape young white girls and vulnerable white women. I’m the gangbanger who will shoot through your windshield if you blink your headlights because I have been hypnotized by hip hop and hours of Grand Theft Auto.

You have heard about me for years, but I want to clear a few things up. I was able to live in relative anonymity until the Governor of Maine said my name on national tv in this clip:

While I would not criminally implicate myself in such a forum as this, I will admit that I have dabbled in the sale of illegal narcotics in my past. I would like to explain to Governor Lepage, however, the circumstances of his broadly painted narrative. When I was making “runs” up to Maine, I would pick up a package from a caucasian guy named “Chet.” I had neither a boat nor a plane to get heroin into the United States. I didn’t know how to pick a poppy plant, process or make the drug. After picking up the drug, I admit that I delivered it mostly to white women, because they are the demographic whose heroin use is growing the fastest. I would like to dispute the insinuation that I somehow “got people hooked” on heroin. I simply supplied a cheaper and more available product than the White doctors who wrote their oxycontin prescriptions or the caucasian pharmacists who turned their heads when they were repeatedly refilling their Vicodin bottles.

I must have missed the part where Governor Lepage proposed a nationwide pharmaceutical database. I guess the video cut out the part of the speech when he spoke about how pharmaceutical companies are profiting because of they push their products to patients who don’t need them. I’m a tiny speck of a drug dealer compared Phizer and GlaxoSmithKline. Its all heroin, so why you gotta hate on D-Money? D – Money don’t bother nobody.

Oh and by the way, I don’t even like white bitches. Maybe Governor LePage is talking about my homeboy Shifty when he refers to the men impregnating their precious white women, but I doubt it. None of the brothers I know are interested in heroin-shooting, skinny, drug addict, white women. We like’em thick, and when you’re riding the white horse, the ass is the first thing to go.

Then I turn on the news (yes, I watch the news) and see former President Bill Clinton talking about me again to Black Lives Matter protesters.

I don’t know where you white people get this narrative from. Is there a team of talented science fiction writers locked in a room composing tales of post-apocalyptic ghettoes rife with killers, gangbangers and drug dealers? Let’s examine this from D-Money’s perspective (I know, I have a bad habit of speaking in third person). Do you really think there are dealers selling crack to 13-years olds? Selling illegal drugs is an economic decision. If I could sell Mary Kaye and make enough money to survive I would. I wouldn’t sell crack to children because I live in this neighborhood! Aside from not being evil, neither I or my colleagues need the $10 from a child so badly that we are willing to turn the law, God and our place of business against us. It is just impractical.

But I know how Slick Willie and the rest of White America works–when in doubt throw a nigga under the bus. I guess today D-Money is that nigga. The absurd part of this argument is that a man who was President of the United States thinks a logical defense against his record of mass incarceration, unequal jail sentences and the mishandling of the “War on Drugs” is to simply tell people he was protecting the world from the attacking hordes of teenage crack zombies. What’ is even more despicable is the people who were cheering as if he was right. Motherfuckers be hatin’ on D-Money, but D-Money don’t bother nobody.

Then, just last night I turn on my TV and I see Bill O’Reilly and Donald Trump talking about Black people who have tattoos on their foreheads and aren’t educationally equipped to hold down jobs.

They probably weren’t specifically referring to D-Money, but since I am here, allow me to respond. Both Donald Trump and Bill O’Reilly have lived a life where they benefitted from their whiteness. Donald Trump is an asshole who was the son of a rich asshole.  Bill O’Reilly grew up in a neighborhood funded by the government for veterans and redlined to keep out Blacks. I’m not particularly sure the two oldest, most decrepit white men on the planet are who should be discussing educational and economic inequality. I’m sure they know that every study ever conducted shows that the schools in poor Black neighborhoods are worse. I’m sure they know that very few people with enough opportunity choose not to pursue education and legal employment to become a drug dealer.

They further the narrative of the scary, black thug that actually perpetuates the circle of poverty. Although there is no data, I’m willing to  sure there are more white boys with face tattoos than Black guys, but the few White dudes are eccentric, and–as O’Reilly put it–“many” of black guys have face tattoos.

The reason I’m writing this letter is to inform all of you that when you use these broad narratives as examples, you actually create more of the thing you fear. Who do you think your police are going to focus on stopping when they hear their governor stereotyping them to his constituents? What kind of hate and contempt do you think that will breed among young Black men towards you if you paint them as tattooed illiterates? How do you think there will ever be racial harmony when the former leader of the free world is confronted and immediately responds to the complexity of law enforcement, race and unequal justice with “What about those coked-up, 13-year-old assassins, though?”

In conclusion, white people, I just wanted to offer some perspective from my point of view.  You might be surprised at the length and eloquence of this letter, but aside from my perceived “thug” past, I am also a 3rd year law student who is considering going into politics. I figure going from drug dealer into politics is a lateral move.

Anyway… your sister is on the way here to pick up a few bags of dope, so I gotta run. I hope she doesn’t try to offer me sex this time. Not my type. Phus, you know i don’t bother nobody.







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

Related Posts