Wherein White People Prove My Point And Send Me Hate Mail

Wherein White People Prove My Point And Send Me Hate Mail

Yesterday, I waded into the guns-for-teachers debate by pointing out the likelihood than an armed group of teachers would inevitably turn those weapons on their black and brown students, murdering them in schools just as cops kill unarmed minorities in the streets. We know that police officers, who receive lots of training in the use of deadly force, regularly kill them without justification. And we know that the legal system lets them off the hook for it almost every time. There’s simply no reason to believe that teachers would behave any better than the police.

I almost didn’t write the post because the point was so obvious it bordered on banal. I certainly didn’t expect it to be “controversial.” Of course, since I’m an openly black writer, some blowback is to be expected whenever I publish anything. But I expected them to be of this variety (ed. note: I’m redacting the names from all the emails, even from people who used real email addresses, because frankly I’m a better person than these people; all grammatical errors are in the originals, because of course they are):

Subject: your recent article about armed teachers shooting black students.
Body: heres hoping youre right. 😉

The winky face really puts the entire homicidal threat in context, don’t you think?

Pointing out that white teachers were likely to do what white cops already do resulted in a torrent of “you’re the real racist” type of emails. Here’s one of my favorites:

Subject: WHITE PEOPLE HATE?
Body: Elie,

I just read your article that if teachers are armed they will shoot black kids. How long have you been this racist? I was deeply disturbed by the article and your hatred toward white people? How did you get a platform to speak such negative bullshit?

I will make sure your article is shared and spread and I’m gonna contact your editor today. One of the most disturbing things I’ve seen on social media in a minute. People with thinking like yours are a menace to society. Where is the love?

Thank you, [XXX]

There’s something delightful about a person threatening to… share my work. “You’ve stepped in it now, hoss. I’m gonna READ IT and make OTHER PEOPLE READ IT TOO!” My “editor” says “thanks.”

But when you really analyze how this guy thinks, what he’s really saying is that he lives in a world where people say horrible things every day that would cost them their jobs if their boss or more people knew what they said. He assumes I live in that world too. The concept of being able to proudly say what you really think is foreign to him, because what he probably “really thinks” is so disgusting that he can’t get away with saying it anywhere other than his own alt-right enclave. It’s why these people think “political correctness” is such a scourge. Because when these people crawl out from under their rocks, decent people are horrified. And these guys mistake that horror for hyper-sensitivity.

In any event, eventually my post ended up on Breitbart, and that’s when my inbox really started vomiting on me. I’ve received over 100 emails expressing some measure of… displeasure. Here are some lowlights:

Subject: Being a sitting duck!!
Body: I can’t even begin to explain how wrong and stupid your article sounds shit back children being murdered. What facts do you have? Are you saying that all black kids have an authority issue? That all black kids don’t respect teachers and that the only way a teacher can respond is by shooting them? Or like in Sandy Hook where the shooter walks in the class and the only defense the teacher and kids had was to duck down and pray. Your ignorance is overwhelming!!

Subject: Arming teachers
Body: Will you please shut up with such racist stories against white people this doesnt move the country forward at all. Ive spoke to many of black peers and what ive said time and again is govt and the media try and drive a wedge between blacks and because since the founding of this country we have fought together and if we ever become truly united we are an unstoppable force and u know what theyagree

Subject: (no subject)
Body: You are a racist! Most violent crimes are commit by by people of color in this country and aboard , that’s a fact you cannot excuse! !!!!

Subject: Give teachers guns
Body: Cops don’t murder blacks. They shoot when their commands are not followed and their safety is at risk!

Subject: Arming Teachers
Body: Sir, But why, why would a student ever need to threaten a teacher?
There is no civil justification for it.
When you publish articles like this, do you not have to start with the base assumption it’s acceptable to threaten teachers? Are you ok with students threatening teachers? Your article gives young boys the impression physical violence is justified and hence may cost them their lives. Is not your premise potentially lethal if taken as truth?
The second Amendment is about stopping tyranny. Wether in a classroom or the home

Subject: Incredible
Body: You are quite possibly the biggest piece of shit I’ve ever seen. Do you really think that being black is so fucking important? Do you really believe that race baiting is the pinnacle of political statements? Seriously, you should kill yourself, and I mean that with the least amount of respect possible. You’re the type of person to call someone a coon for not agreeing with you.

In short: you’re a nigger, and you always will be, because you refuse to be anything else. Keep blaming all your problems on YT. That’ll really set your name in stone as someone who’s worth listening to.

Subject: Armed Teachers
Body: Armed white teachers shooting black and brown hoodlums.
I’m good with that.
How many times we read and see video of rabid punks beating the shut out of a teacher. Yout’s of color, ms-13 animals.
.45 with heaviest lead unjacketed hollow points might work.
Maybe it would save us the expense of incarcerating the gangstas later

Subject: Your racism comments…
Body: I have news for you…blacks in America, are not now, never have been and never will be the “black race”!
Though there is only 1 other country whose population has more black people than America, your average “racist” has no proplem with black people they meet and interact with while traveling in other countries, or when met and interacted within America.
The problem white people have with black people born and raised in America has nothing to do with their race or skin color…it has to do with the sub-culture they’ve created. The Ebonics, rap music so inundated with violence, thug lifestyle, gang trouble, baby mama/baby daddy, etc. Not to mention — as a percent to the overall population — the excessive crime, use of government entitlement programs, drug abuse, etc.
And why does this sub-culture exist? Because blacks in America refuse to assimilate into American culture and simply be “American’s”…instead, they create, maintain and require a constant barrier between blacks and whites, simply because they refuse to stand up and be actual individuals in what could easily be a “color blind” country…if only they’d stop leveling the heinous charge of “racist” every time things don’t go their way.
I honestly don’t know what was the greatest waste…50+ years of affirmative action, or the death of one of the greatest men in history, MLK, Jr. whose inspirational words fell on black deaf ears.
Sincerely, [XXX]

If there’s one thing Martin Luther King Jr. stood for, it was for black people to stop leveling the heinous charge of “racist” at white folks, and instead assimilate into American culture. If only millions of black people had listened to him while he was alive, we wouldn’t have compounded the tragedy of his death with affirmative-action, which has only been the most effective social policy since Emancipation. What a waste.

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Sarcasm off.

Look, the overwhelming messages from these emails are:

  • I’m racist.
  • Black kids are dangerous.

And that entirely proves my point. You’ll note that the people I’ve pulled out of the pile here don’t even argue that teachers WON’T SHOOT MINORITY CHILDREN. They accept the fundamental premise of my post. All these people are arguing is that dead children will have done something to deserve their fates. And somehow I’m racist for pointing out what it seems we all know is going to happen.

Anyway, like I say, I have over a hundred of these. (And some very nice letters too!) But two really stood out to me. This one is just chilling:

Subject: Teachers with guns.
Body: After working at schools for over 28 years I am all for teachers having guns. Maybe putting a cap in a black asshole maybe they will be put on notice follow the rules like everyone else does. Then maybe they will be able to read and write and learn something for once.
Love, White”e

Based on the turn of phrase, I’m assuming this person is not a teacher. He says he’s “working at schools,” so I’m guessing some kind of auxiliary support staff like a maintenance person. It recalls to mind one of the most difficult things I had to learn about being black as I grew up: white people that you don’t even notice are always around you, watching you, and ready to end your life at the slightest opportunity. Like, as a black person, you’re always on the lookout for the virulent racist who has some kind of power over you — the cop or the store clerk or, yes, your teacher. But at some point you learn that the life-threatening racism could come from anyone, at any time.

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This guy didn’t use a real full name, or else I’d try to alert his employer. Because this guy is dangerous. This is the guy who is going to plant something in your locker. This is the guy who will give false testimony against you. If you give teachers guns, this is the guy is going to find a way to get his hands on one. This is the guy in the shadows. He doesn’t seem to be part of the system, but he’s actually a key cog in the oppression of minority children.

The other really notable example of how biased this country is comes from another institution altogether:

Subject: (no subject)
Body: I feel sorry for you living with such bitterness, anger, and racism in your heart.

I am a Chaplain and I provide emotional and spiritual support in the hospital to everyone equally.

I am so thankful the minorities I have the pleasure of meeting don’t have your mindset.

Even the prisoner patients aren’t like you.

Yes, there is injustice.

You come across as if you are just fine, gleeful, perhaps if a white person is killed.

Actually, I realize it is students with your attitude that probably would be shot on purpose just to shut you up.

I really am going to pray for you. Along with all of our fellow Americans.

That there is a man of the cloth figuring I would probably be shot just because I wouldn’t shut up. I guess feeding me to a literal lion would be too time-consuming for the average schoolteacher. But, it’s cool, the chaplain is gonna pray for me.

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Oh, what the hell, let’s end this on a high note:

Subject: WOW!!!???
Body: You are truly out of your mind. I agree there needs to be something done with our current gun laws. But that was by far the most unintelligent immature racist (Yes racist) shit I have read in a long time. I mean really are you that stupid? Because I’m pretty stupid and I could come up with something way more intelligent and interesting than this juvenile click bait tantrum that you just wrote. May God, Buddha, Mohamed, etc… have mercy on stupid soul. The world is now a scarier place. Now that people as dumb as you exist. Have a great day or whatever. Good luck in life.

May God indeed “have mercy on stupid soul.”


Elie Mystal is the Executive Editor of Above the Law and the Legal Editor for More Perfect. He can be reached @ElieNYC on Twitter, or at elie@abovethelaw.com. He will resist.

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