You’re hereSpaceX and X Corp. leader Elon Musk posted a series of arguably bigoted tweets on Wednesday that sparked a critical reaction online.
First, Musk drew attention to and accepted an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, then directly accused “Jewish communities,” the nonprofit Anti-Defamation League, and minorities of what he called “anti-white” messages and opinions, without giving examples. to support his accusations.
Musk, who is the world’s richest person with a net worth of around $225 billion according to Bloomberg, runs several companies that collectively employ around 150,000 people worldwide, including SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Co., Neuralink , X Corp and his latest company. artificial intelligence startup, xAI.
Musk, who has never reserved his social media posts solely for business matters, drew attention for a tweet that said Jews “have pushed the exact type of dialectical hatred against white people that they claim they want people stop using it against them.”
Musk replied to this tweet in categorical agreement: “You told the real truth. »
“This exchange would have remained in the dark if Musk had not replied to this fanatical bromide,” wrote Yair Rosenberg in The Atlantic.
In response to Elon Musk’s tweet, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “As anti-Semitism explodes in America and grows around the world , it is undoubtedly dangerous to use one’s influence to validate and promote anti-Semitic theories. #NeverIsNow“.
Among other things, the Jewish-led nonprofit fights anti-Semitic incidents, racist discrimination and hate crimes in the United States.
After Musk began facing backlash for endorsing the anti-Semitic tweet, he took specific aim at the ADL.
He wrote, without providing any evidence for these claims: “The ADL unfairly attacks the majority of the West, although the majority of the West supports the Jewish people and Israel. This is because they cannot, by their own principles, criticize minority groups. which constitute their main threat. This is not fair and must stop. »
CNBC contacted Musk and X Corp. for comment and clarification on which “minority groups” Musk considers a “primary threat” to the Jewish people and Israel, but received no comment, except for an apparent auto-reply message that read: “ Busy “. now, please come back later. “
In subsequent tweets, after a follower told Musk he wasn’t being fair or honest, the billionaire responded: “You (sic) are right, this doesn’t extend to all Jewish communities, but this is not limited to ADL either. » He added: “And, at the risk of being repetitive, I am deeply offended by the messages of the ADL and any other group that advocates de facto anti-white racism, anti-Asian racism or racism of any kind. I’m tired of it. Stop now.”
Musk has a long history of posting inflammatory tweets, and his companies, particularly Tesla, have faced lawsuits for alleged violations of civil and workers’ rights. This year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Tesla for racist discrimination and harassment against black workers.
Musk previously threatened to sue the ADL, alleging it tried to “kill” his social network’s business. He blamed the ADL, rather than his own business decisions, for the 60% drop in X’s revenue and said he had “no choice” but to take legal action for defamation against the group. However, no lawsuit has yet been filed.
The ADL declined to comment further Thursday morning.
Hate crimes expert Brian Levin, professor emeritus at California State University, San Bernardino, told CNBC that law enforcement is already monitoring generational spikes in anti-Jewish hate crimes in North America and elsewhere. He said: “Elon Musk continues to amplify neo-Nazi Jewish anti-white hatred by invoking immigration, just as the convicted killer of the Tree of Life massacre did. Life. » As a result, anti-Semitic incidents and crimes could further increase.
“Notorious anti-Semites are celebrating what they see as Musk’s complete conversion to blatant expressions of hatred toward Jews. When we saw similar rants from Ye last October, anti-Jewish hate crimes took off increased across the country,” Levin said.
Meredith Benton of Whistle Stop Capital told CNBC that the move could affect Musk’s business interests.
“The fact that Mr. Musk is amplifying this type of rhetoric on Twitter indicates his disinterest in turning that platform into a profitable business; I expect that many corporate advertisers who had decided to stay on Twitter are now watching their last drop.”
Benton added: “It unfortunately appears that current leadership is the source, not the solution, to the harassment and discrimination issues we have seen at Tesla factories. Tesla investors (a majority in 2022, if Elon’s actions are excluded) have already made clear that they are deeply concerned about allegations of racism and retaliation at Tesla factories, as well as the lawsuit continued by the company to concealment clauses. This will be a very interesting proxy season; there is no room for investors to sit where a CEO decides to be so polarizing. »
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