Elon Musk can't help himself when it comes to tweeting, and his opinions on many matters are gross and/or deeply misguided, and thus him owning Twitter and taking all the guardrails off it has come back to bite him yet again.
We now know the likely reason why Elon Musk backed out of a planned appearance at the APEC summit in SF on Thursday, where he was a headline panel guest with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. A tweet he posted late Wednesday in response to one user he follows — this guy, named Eric, who spends a great deal of time crowing on Twitter/X about "anti-white racism," also a favorite topic of Musk — has been interpreted to mean that Musk agrees with the idea that "western" Jews have been "pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them." Eric goes on to say these Jewish populations are now “coming to the disturbing realization that those hordes of minorities that support flooding their country don’t exactly like them too much."
Musk replied, "You have said the whole truth."
Musk's tweet remains live, while Eric appears to have deleted his. Musk posted a second threaded tweet in which he rails against the Anti-Defamation League, now one of his favorite targets because of how vocal they have been about hate speech on the Musk-owned platform.
The ADL unjustly attacks the majority of the West, despite the majority of the West supporting the Jewish people and Israel.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 15, 2023
This is because they cannot, by their own tenets, criticize the minority groups who are their primary threat.
It is not right and needs to stop.
Insofar as Musk hates "wokeism" and the "mind virus" of political correctness/ social justice rhetoric, he has long been in bed with the right-wing corners of Twitter, even though he often claims otherwise.
Wednesday's tweet shows Musk aligning himself with the Great Replacement Theory and other white supremacist tropes — not to mention speaking of Jewish people and white people as different races, which is itself a point of broad contention, and suggesting one shouldn't have to care about antisemitism because left-wing Jews hate white people? And as the New York Times reports, ad-sales people at X are facing clients with new questions about whether Musk has gone full bigot. (The Bulwark has a piece describing this incident as "Elon Musk: The Bigot in Full."
But in the ensuing 36 hours, Musk has been defiant about the reaction his tweet was receiving, all while X CEO Linda Yaccarino was scrambling to clean up the mess and keep more advertisers from fleeing the platform, per the Times. Musk seems to want to make clear that he has many nuanced opinions, and he hates no one or no race, but his retweets and opinions on politics have been nothing short of problematic for literal years.
Case in point: Musk was forced to do something he hates doing, delete a tweet, after in the wake of the October 7 attack by Hamas in Israel, he retweeted an antisemitic account known for posting debunked videos, saying that it was a reliable source of news about the Israel-Hamas war.
In response to a semi-unrelated report by Media Matters on hate speech on the platform, major advertiser IBM pulled its ads off X, as PBS reports. "IBM has zero tolerance for hate speech and discrimination and we have immediately suspended all advertising on X while we investigate this entirely unacceptable situation," the company said in a statement.
Even the White House has given a statement about Musk's tweet, saying, "It is unacceptable to repeat the hideous lie behind the most fatal act of Antisemitism in American history at any time, let alone one month after the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust. We condemn this abhorrent promotion of Antisemitic and racist hate in the strongest terms."
Musk, meanwhile, has been retweeting posts from fans telling him he's not antisemitic, telling him the media is full of lies, and retweeting arguments from fragile white users of the platform complaining about how white people are too often told to hate their own race. Also, he tweeted, "Media Matters is an evil organization."
Bullseye!!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 16, 2023
💯— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 16, 2023
Yeah, this is super messed up.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 16, 2023
Time for this nonsense to end and shame ANYONE who perpetuates these lies!
Media Matters is an evil organization— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 17, 2023
CNN has some analysis about Musk's latest gaffe, and they quote The Atlantic’s Yair Rosenberg, who wrote earlier this year, "It’s doubtful that Musk harbors personal animosity toward Jewish people. But he is a conspiracy theorist, and the arc of conspiracy is short and bends toward the Jews."
Inconveniently for Musk — and some would say not coincidentally! — Musk's grandfather was also a noted conspiracy theorist and antisemite who supported Apartheid in South Africa, as the New Yorker has recently uncovered.
In related bad news for Xitter (as Drudge has taken to calling it) and Musk, a judge has ruled that the court will not intervene in or halt an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission into whether decisions made both before and after Musk's tenure at the company have compromised user privacy or security.
Previously: Tesla and SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk reacts during an in-conversation event with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Lancaster House on November 2, 2023 in London, England. Sunak discussed AI with Elon Musk in a conversation that is played on the social network X, which Musk owns. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth - WPA Pool/Getty Images)