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Comment: The Truth Behind Elon Musk's Racist Remarks

On Sunday, February 26th, Elon Musk issued a statement on Twitter declaring that U.S. media and schools are “racist against whites.” The comment followed the removal of the comic strip “Dilbert” from media organizations across the country after its creator, Scott Adams, delivered a racist tirade in a youtube video the previous week. In Adam’s rant, he stated that he personally chose to reside in a community where few if any blacks also lived. He then proceeded to advise his white viewers to “get the hell away from Black people” stating that he didn’t “want anything to do with them.” The Los Angeles Times, The Oregonian, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Washington Post, and USA Today cut their ties with the author and cartoonist following this statement.

Upon Musk defending Adams by claiming that the media is “racist against whites”, the comment ultimately ignores the substantiated social inequalities within the U.S., as well as the authentic data within these media organizations that contradict Musk’s statements. Moreover, Brian Levin stated, a civil rights attorney and director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, “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 San Francisco federal court ruled that Tesla must pay a former employee, Owen Diaz, after he endured the hostile and racist work environment fostered by the corporation. Moreover, in an investigation conducted by the California Civil Rights Department, they declared that Tesla deliberately kept black employees at lower levels in the company, even when they bore the skills and experience to be promoted to senior roles.

As Musk and Tesla have been subjected to the full weight of the law after developing an organization that fosters a racist and hostile work environment, he has little authority and influence to speak over the effects of racism, and more significantly to state that racism in the media and schools in fact are anti-whites. Not only is this incomprehensible, but contradictory to the evidence Musk failed to provide.

According to Pew Research newsroom employees are more probable to be white and male than U.S. employees overall. McKinsey Research stated that “Black talent is underrepresented across the industry, particularly off-screen.” They also found that less than 6% of writers, directors, and producers for U.S.-produced films are black. Building a narrative that claims media organizations are racist against whites without conforming with the data revealing the true inequities within these organizations ultimately promotes the nationwide predicament with racist biases within the workplace.

Musk stated that media coverage is “very disproportionate to promote a false narrative” when claiming that unarmed white people affected by police violence are only getting a fraction of the media attention given to Blacks in the same position. As the Brookings Institute portrayed, “Black people are 3.5 times more likely than white people to be killed by police when Blacks are not attacking or do not have a weapon,” and “Black teenagers are 21 times more likely than white teenagers to be killed by police.”

Elon Musk's comments ultimately ignore the sociological issues within society and his prejudiced form of thinking, coming from no substantiated evidence, develops an even greater platform for racist judgments, that inevitably result in hateful consequences.


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