On Sunday, Elon Musk claimed on Twitter that the “media” in the United States is “racist against whites & Asians.”
“For a *very* long time, US media was racist against non-white people, now they’re racist against whites & Asians,” he wrote on Twitter.
He was replying to a Tweet from the San Francisco Chronicle with a story about artist Scott Adams, the creator of the corporate humor comic, “Dilbert” who said in a video online that called a group of Black people are a “hate group.” This led to newspapers around the country dropping Dilbert, per The New York Times.
“Same thing happened with elite colleges & high schools in America. Maybe they can try not being racist,” Musk wrote.
Musk also wrote “Exactly,” in response to a Twitter user who said that Adam’s comments “weren’t good” but that “we were on the right path with colorblindness and need to return to it.”
Dilbert’s about page says the comic began in 1989. It was known for skewering office culture in comics that joked about “brain golfing” or other office jargon, such as renaming “problems” to “opportunities.” It ran in 2,000 newspapers at one point, the site added.
In a video posted online on Tuesday Adams discussed a poll from Rasmussen Reports, a right-leaning polling and media firm, that said 26% of Black people who responded did not agree with the phrase “It’s OK to be white,” per CNBC.
Adams said the Black people who responded to the poll in that way were a problem, according to the NYT.
“That’s a hate group, and I don’t want to have anything to do with them… [it] makes no sense to help Black Americans if you’re white,” Adams said in the video.
Afterward, newspapers including The Plain Dealer, The Washington Post, and The USA Today Network, which owns around 200 newspapers, dropped the comic, per CNN.
Anti-Defamation League has designated “It’s OK to be white” as a “hate slogan,” as it emerged from a trolling scenario on the social media site 4chan in 2017 that attempted to use an “ostensibly innocuous and inoffensive slogan,” and quickly was adopted by white supremacists.
As for Musk, his “exactly” Tweet in support of the idea of “colorblindness” and comments about colleges and high schools come amid a larger movement to change how race and gender are discussed in schools and universities in the U.S.
Musk is the CEO of Twitter, SpaceX, and Tesla. In October 2021, Tesla was ordered to pay $137 million to a worker who said he endured racist graffiti and comments like “go back to Africa” while being an elevator operator at Tesla beginning in 2015. In March, Tesla was facing 46 lawsuits related to gender and racial discrimination, per Insider.
Adams said in a Tweet Monday he was moving the comic to a subscription website.