South African billionaire Elon Musk embroiled himself Sunday in the controversy surrounding "Dilbert" cartoonist Scott Adams' recent racially charged remarks and resultant cancellation, suggesting that the same media outfits now crying racism are hardly guiltless, having themselves long peddled division in America.
What is the background?
A host of newspapers across the United States — including USA Today, the Washington Post, and the New York Times — have dropped Adams' long-running comic strip, suggesting that his remarks on a Feb. 22 episode of the YouTube show "Real Coffee with Scott Adams" were hateful and "discriminatory."
TheBlaze previously reported that Adams had cited videos of black people beating white people and a Rasmussen poll indicating that only 53% of black respondents agreed with the statement, "It's OK to be white."
"That's a hate group and I don't want to have anything to do with them," said Adams. "And I would say, 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."
"Just get the f*** away," Adams emphasized, adding, "Wherever you have to go, just get away. Because there's no fixing this. This can't be fixed, right. ... I'm gonna back off from being helpful to black America, because it doesn't seem like it pays off. I've been doing it all my life, and the only outcome is I get called a racist. ... It makes no sense to help black Americans if you're white. It's over. Don't even think it's worth trying. Totally not trying."
The Miami Herald reported that Adams attempted to clarify his remarks on Saturday, suggesting that he had been making a point that "everyone should be treated as an individual" without discrimination.
"But you should also avoid any group that doesn't respect you, even if there are people within the group who are fine," said Adams.
The cartoonist claimed that CNN's Don Lemon was of a similar mind, sharing a 2013 video wherein the scandal-plagued news-reader detailed five things he believed black people ought to do to "fix the problem." Among the host's suggestions were recommendations to black Americans to hold off having kids and to emulate "predominantly white neighborhoods" by picking up litter.
Adams also suggested that what he had proposed was not dissimilar from former Vice President Mike Pence's personal policy, according to which the politician would never dine alone with any woman other than his wife.
"The Mike Pence rule would say you wanna get some distance. Now is that racist? Yeah, by definition," said Adams. "But it's racist in a personal success context, which is completely allowable."
Despite his attempts at clarification, Gannett, which publishes over 100 papers in the U.S., indicated it would drop "Dilbert," reported the Daily Mail.
The Los Angeles Times, various Hearst Newspapers (e.g., the San Antonio Express-News), certain Advance Local media publications, and other outfits are similarly ditching the comic strip, which has been in circulation since 1989.
The San Antonio Express-News indicated it was curbing "Dilbert" because "of hateful and discriminatory public comments by its creator."
Chris Quinn, editor of the Plain Dealer, wrote of the decision, "This is a decision based on the principles of this news organization and the community we serve. ... We are not a home for those who espouse racism. We certainly do not want to provide them with financial support."
John Hiner, VP of content for Michigan's MLive Media, wrote Friday, "MLive has zero tolerance for racism. And we certainly will not spend our money supporting purveyors of it."
The papers doth protest too much
Following Adams' initial cancellation and in response to a comment contextualizing the cartoonist's remarks, Twitter CEO Elon Musk wrote, "The media is racist."
Musk added in a subsequent post, "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."
The tech magnate then concurred with Christopher Ferguson, a psychology professor at Stetson University, who tweeted, "Adams' comments weren't good. But there's an element of truth to this. ... It's complicated. Mainly we've leaned into identity with predictable results, and power today is complicated. We were on the right path with colorblindness and need to return to it."
Musk may have arrived at this opinion having glimpsed the kinds of headlines below that routinely appear in the liberal media, advancing identity politics and sifting complex issues through the singular lens of race:
- "America's Getting Less White, and That Will Save It" — Newsweek;
- "86% of Air Force pilots are white men. Here's why this needs to change." — Yahoo News;
- "White men must be stopped: The very future of mankind depends on it" — Salon;
- "Whiteness Is a Pandemic" — the Root;
- "The Trouble With White Women: An Interview With Kyla Schuller" — the Nation; or
- "There’s nothing more frightening in America today than an angry White man" — CNN.
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, suggested that the leftist media's use of "'Black' and 'White' to describe people" is evidence of a "pernicious racialism with which the South African apartheid system would be quite comfortable. #CriticalRaceTheory."
CNN news-reader Oliver Darcy asked whether media organizations should "respond to Musk the same way they did to Adams?"
In response, Adams wrote, "Who stoked racial division for the past five years? Was that me? Or Musk?
The Rabbit Hole elicited an "interesting" from Musk by suggesting that the terms "Racist" and "Racism" saw a significant spike in media usage over the past decade:
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