Special Sunday Gene Pool on Scott Adams
Hello. That’s John, not Scott up there. It’s because I can’t run Dilbert without getting sued and I imagine you’re tired of looking at Scott. I am.
This will be short and scornful and yes, it is low-hanging fruit that I am gobbling. Actually, the fruit has already fallen to the ground and is crawling with ants and spiders. I’m enabling questions and comments, though the questions will be answered in Tuesday’s Gene Pool. I won’t be taking them live.
You are probably aware of the latest rant by Scott Adams, the creator of the pioneering workplace-related comic strip Dilbert. Adams, who has long been flirting with right-wing positions, sees himself as a rare genius — he once actually wrote that, anonymously, as a comment to a blog, as though it was an observation by someone else, and got caught. He also sees himself as a courageous provocateur and not a septic asshole, apparently on account of his doctor of geniusness degree. As you probably know, he finally went right over the top last week and did a face plant from 50 feet onto asphalt.
Citing a Rasmussen poll reporting that only 53 percent of Black people agreed with the statement “It’s okay to be White,” (roughly half of the rest were unsure, and the rest said “no.”) Adams concluded in a streaming video that Black people are a “hate group,” and that the best solution to this fact is that “White people get the hell away from Black people.” He also said Black people were at fault for “not focusing on education,” and added “I’m also really sick of seeing video after video of Black Americans beating up non-Black citizens.”
That’s a quick but accurate summary.
Then, when newspapers started cancelling his strip by the many dozens, Adams yesterday issued a second video, trying to “clarify,” furiously dancing and juking, which only sank him deeper into the quicksand. Every viewer of 1950s TV Westerns knows when you walk into quicksand, you thrash as little as possible.
In this second video, Adams explained with breathtakingly tortured illogic, “what I did, which was the opposite of racism, but also racism …. who disagrees with the idea that you should stay away from pockets of people where the odds are, they’re not going to like you?” Adams said. “Again, it’s nothing to do with any individual, and no discrimination involved here. I’m just saying: as a personal, career decision, you should absolutely be racist whenever it’s to your advantage and that’s for men, for women, for Black or white, Asian or Hispanic. Every one of you should be open to making a racist career decision.”
Keep the Gene Pool going!
So. Picking up the fruit on the ground, which mice and maggots are now slurping, let’s address the holes in Adams’s rants in increasing order of importance:
Rasmussen is generally regarded to be the most right-biased major pollster in the country. On its homepage right now are the following headlines, based on its recent inquiries: Conservative Viewers Are Better Informed About Important Topics; Not ‘Woke’ Yet? Most Voters Reject Anti-White Beliefs ; Local Impact of Illegal Immigration Mostly Bad, Voters Say; Fentanyl: Most Voters Rate Biden Low on Handling Problem. The only other question in the poll of whether it is okay to be White was: “Agree or disagree: Black people can be racist, too.” One can presume that Rasmussen does not exactly have its finger on the pulse of the Black community.
“Is it okay to be White?” is an idiotic, biased question based on a racist presumption. It's a slogan popularized on the website 4chan in 2017, in use by Whites who feel beset by, and threatened by, such things as Critical Race Theory, which isn’t really an ongoing thing. White supremacists love the question. It is often shortened to “OK” in dog-whistle lawn signs and stuff. But even more insidious, it is a terrible, vague, poll question when asked alone and out of context. What does it mean? What does “okay” mean? The question kind of parodies itself — dares itself not to be taken seriously. This is not completely parallel, but close enough: If I were asked “Is it okay to be a Republican?” I would say no. Part of my answer would be wry, just being a punk, and part would be founded on my feelings. But either way, it doesn’t mean I “hate” Republicans — it means I have problems with many of them in the current political climate; I could easily befriend a Republican — I would just wish they would come over from the Dark Side. It is impossible to know what Black people who said “no” really meant. Did some proportion of them think it meant “Is it okay for a Black person to act White?” It is especially impossible to know what Black people meant when they said “not sure.” But it was easy for Adams. He just lumped that in with the “no’s.” That’s because:
Scott Adams is tin-eared and willfully blind to matters of race — to such a degree that virtually everything he says on the subject is worthless. In his first video, he points out that he has claimed for years that he is Black, as a show of solidarity with Black people, to show he is on their side and respects them. He does not address — possibly because has never thought about — the fact that this it is grotesquely wrong to appropriate the identity of another race especially when you yourself are obviously racist. He now says he is going to withdraw that claim. Good. But for the wrong reasons.
Most important, using this poll alone as evidence of anything is highly irresponsible unless you have another poll asking people “Is it okay to be Black”? How do you think that poll would come out, in a national poll, among White people from all across our great land? What if White people are a hate group too? Unless you know the answer to that, the Rasmussen poll and Adams’s wildly racist reaction to it are even more worthless.
Finally, on a personal note, many devoted readers of mine know I am a mass murderer. I have a long history of causing people to die by writing about them. Well, as it happens, I mentioned Scott Adams right here in the Gene Pool just the other day. He’s still alive, but it looks like Dilbert is about to be pushing up daisies.
See you on Tuesday.
Thank you for pointing out how stupid, nonsensical, and illogical that poll question actually is. It seems like he wanted to get himself cancelled or something because there is no way to conclude what any person actually feels based on that poll.
I always loved your editorials in the buffalo news, and was sorry when your column disappeared. Glad to get to read you again.