Elon Musk accused US media outlets of racism on Sunday while defending “Dilbert” cartoonist Scott Adams from backlash over remarks in which he urged white people to avoid black people.
“The media is racist,” the billionaire Twitter owner tweeted.
“For a *very* long time, US media was racist against non-white people, now they’re racist against whites & Asians,” Musk added in a second tweet. “Same thing happened with elite colleges & high schools in America. Maybe they can try not being racist.”
Adams’ strip was pulled by the Washington Post, USA Today and several other major newspapers in response to racist remarks he made on his YouTube channel last week. At one point in the rant, Adams said White people should “get the hell away from Black people.”
The “Dilbert” creator was discussing a recent Rasmussen poll which found that 47% of Black Americans either disagreed with or were unsure about the phrase “It’s okay to be White.” 53% of Black Americans said they agreed with the phrase.
The phrase sometimes surfaces in racist memes, most notably in a 2017 trolling campaign by 4chan users, according the Anti-Defamation League.
Musk slammed the media in response to a post from the Twitter account @monitoringbias, which claimed that “Adams was horrified” by the Rasmussen poll’s results.
“If nearly half of all Blacks are not okay with White people … that’s a hate group,” Adams said on YouTube, according to the Washington Post. “I don’t want to have anything to do with them. 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 … because there is no fixing this.”
Musk also appeared to defend Adams in another tweet posted in response to Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin, who said it was “good” that newspapers were dropping the cartoon.
“What exactly are they complaining about?” Musk wrote in the now-deleted post.
“Dilbert” is a long-running comic strip that was first published in 1989. The cartoon spoofs corporate office culture.
Adams faced widespread condemnation over his remarks. The Washington Post said it had pulled the “Dilbert” cartoon in response to Adams’ “recent statements promoting segregation,” while USA Today said it has dropped the comic “due to recent discriminatory comments” by its creator.
Adams told the Washington Post he expected “around zero” newspapers to still carry his cartoon by Monday.
“Most of my income will be gone by next week,” Adams said in a separate live-stream on his YouTube channel on Saturday. “My reputation for the rest of my life is destroyed. You can’t come back from this, am I right? There’s no way you can come back from this.”
Last year, critics of Musk’s Twitter takeover expressed concern that his plans to roll back content moderation practices on the social media platform would embolden extremist voices.
The concerns prompted a mass exodus of Twitter’s corporate advertisers – a key source of revenue for the embattled social media firm.