Elon Musk, Scott Adams, Academia, and the Media Call Each Other “Racist”

Elon Musk, Scott Adams, Academia, and the Media Call Each Other “Racist”
SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer Award 2020 in Berlin, Germany on Dec. 1, 2020. (Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images)

Legacy media outlets reported with insinuations of “racism” on Elon Musk’s accusations of “the media” and “elite colleges and high schools” being “racist” against white and Asian people. His tweets came in reply to the controversy surrounding Scott Adam’s remarks last Wednesday when he concluded that half of black people are “racists.”

The controversy began with a Rasmussen poll that asked black people “Do you agree or disagree with the statement ‘it’s okay to be white’?” The results showed that 46 percent of the black respondents didn’t agree.

It should be mentioned that the statement “It’s okay to be white” does not exist in isolation. While “ostensibly innocuous and inoffensive,” according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL),  the statement has its own history—it originated as an online trolling campaign on 4chan.org.

The purpose was to use a harmless statement to “trigger” anti-racism fanatics, thus exposing them as (anti-white) racists themselves. The slogan was later embraced by white supremacists, thus giving the statement an extremist connotation. As such, the slogan is laden with two contrasting meanings: it’s literal meaning and its political affiliation. This important distinction was not made very clear by the poll itself.

Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert cartoon, interpreted the polling results as proof that half of Black Americans hate Whites.

“That actually … That’s like a real poll,” Adams replied, somewhat horrified. “If nearly half of black people are not okay with white people, according to this poll,” Adams said, “that’s a hate group. And I don’t want anything to do with them.”

Adams went on: “Based on the current way things are going, the best advice I would give to white people is to get the hell away from black people, because there’s no fixing this. This can’t be fixed.” He said he was no longer going to try to be helpful to black America. “I’ve been doing it all my life and the only outcome is I get called a racist.” Adams concluded by adding that he was sick of seeing, almost on a daily basis, videos on social media of “Black Americans beating up non-black citizens.”

Numerous newspapers immediately dropped the Dilbert cartoon, and today, comic strip distributor Andrews McMeel Universal announced it has severed all ties with Adams.

To a tweet mocking the media’s framing of Adams as “racist” but “not the 20 million black people who think it’s not OK to be white,” Musk responded by stating: “The media is racist. For a very long time, US media was racist against non-white people, now they’re racist against whites & Asians. Same thing happened with elite colleges & high schools in America. Maybe they can try not being racist.”

Another tweet read: “Adam’s comments weren’t good. But there’s an element of truth to this […] it’s complicated. We were on the right path to colorblindness and need to return to it.” To which Musk replied: “Exactly.”

Musk called the media reporting of police violence “very disproportionate to promote a false narrative.” He further acknowledged a tweet showing a statistical correlation between increased media focus on “racism” and declining race relations.

Musk has been accused of racism and being right-wing after he lifted speech restrictions on Twitter, and for his outspoken opposition to what he calls “the woke mind virus.”

In response to Musk’s tweets, Brian Levin, a civil rights attorney and director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University told CNBC:

“Systemic racism requires not only widespread bigotry to be held within a group but also a structural component that allows discrimination and oppression to be imposed on a minority because of an advantage of access and power. A white billionaire from South Africa who recently lost a high profile racial discrimination case may not be in the best position to offer counsel.”

A couple of legacy media outlets reported on Musk’s tweets with their trademark innuendo, insinuating that the Tesla and Twitter CEO is a “racist” as well. “Tesla has been repeatedly sued for racial discrimination,” the CNBC article opened, adding that Musk was “espousing his views” without providing evidence. HuffPo’s angle was that Musk “retweeted content that appeared to support what Adams said.” The Washington Post headline read: “Musk Defends ‘Dilbert Creator.”

In a recent tweet, Musk used a “100 percent” emoji to show agreement with an all-caps tweet from @jason that screamed: “99% OF AMERICANS ARE LOVING AND GET ALONG BRILLIANTLY WITH EACH OTHER — THE MEDIA & POLITICAL PARTIES ARE TRYING TO DIVIDE US SO THEY CAN CONTROL AND MONETIZE US.”

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