(CNN) — Elon Musk defended “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams after hundreds of newspapers stopped printing the comic strip because of Adams’ recent racist comments.
Last week, Adams called Black Americans a “hate group” and suggested that White people should “get the hell away” from them. Adams effectively encouraged segregation in a shocking rant on his YouTube channel. His comments came in response to a poll from the conservative firm Rasmussen Reports that said 53% of Black Americans agreed with the statement, “It’s OK to be White.”
In response to a tweet about the controversy, Twitter owner Musk said Sunday that the “media is racist.” He didn’t criticize Adams’ comments, and Musk said without evidence that 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,” Musk wrote. “Maybe they can try not being racist.”
Musk later agreed with a tweet saying Adams’ comments “weren’t good” but had an “element of truth” to them. He also accused the media of giving Black victims of police violence disproportionate coverage over White victims of police violence. Black people are more likely to die from police use of force than White people, according to multiple studies.
Hate speech on Twitter
The Twitter CEO’s comments come amid an influx of hate speech on his platform. The Center for Countering Digital Hate and the Anti-Defamation League both said in recent reports that the volume of hate speech on Twitter has grown dramatically under Musk’s stewardship.
Specifically, the Center for Countering Digital Hate said that daily use of the n-word under Musk is triple the 2022 average and the use of slurs against gay men and trans persons are up 58% and 62%, respectively. The Anti-Defamation League said in a separate report that its data shows “both an increase in antisemitic content on the platform and a decrease in the moderation of antisemitic posts.”
Adams said on his YouTube show last week that “If nearly half of all Blacks are not OK with White people — according to this poll, not according to me, according to this poll — that’s a hate group.”
“I don’t want to have anything to do with them,” Adams added. “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**k away … because there is no fixing this.”
Adams has since said on Twitter that he was only “advising people to avoid hate” and suggested that the cancellation of his cartoon signals that free speech in America is under assault.
The newspapers that have cut the comic strip have been clear with readers.
“Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip, went on a racist rant this week … and we will no longer carry his comic strip in The Plain Dealer,” wrote Chris Quinn, editor of the paper. “This is not a difficult decision.”
“We are not a home for those who espouse racism,” Quinn added. “We certainly do not want to provide them with financial support.”
The USA Today Network, which operates hundreds of newspapers, and the Washington Post, also stopped running “Dilbert.”
–CNN’s Oliver Darcy contributed to this report.
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