The “Morning Joe” team had much to say Monday morning about “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams’ recent racist remarks and the professional fallout he’s experienced in the days since – but it mostly amounts to one sentiment: Good riddance.
“I’ve seen people who have spoken out against cancel culture repeatedly,” co-host Joe Scarborough began, addressing panelist Rev. Al Sharpton. “You and I have actually, as well, on many occasions have spoken out against the wokeness of this cancel culture. But, I mean, this is – even some people who are really intensely fighting cancel culture are saying, ‘This ain’t cancel culture, this is just racism being called out.’ People don’t want to be associated with a guy that says, ‘I’m gonna stay away from Black people.’”
On Wednesday, Adams shared a video in which he ranted about a recent Rasmussen poll that determined only a narrow majority of Black Americans agreed with the phrase, “It’s OK to be white.”
“If nearly half of all Blacks are not okay with white people … that’s a hate group,” Adams said on his YouTube livestream. “I don’t want to have anything to do with them. 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 … because there is no fixing this.”
This weekend, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post joined the growing list of publications that pulled their support of “Dilbert” in the aftermath of Adams’ comments.
“Most of my income will be gone by next week,” Adams said on a livestream Saturday. “My reputation for the rest of my life is destroyed. You can’t come back from this, am I right? There’s no way you can come back from this.”
“This is not a question of being taken out of context. This is not a question of saying something that you wanna take back. This guy absolutely, unequivocally advocated: Stay away from Black people,” Sharpton said. He added that these major publications were doing the right thing by not letting such obvious prejudice slide under the guise of “free speech.”
“Let’s remember, Adams said it while he knew he was a cartoonist at these major publications, so he would, if not penalized, have been normalizing that it’s all right for these publications to do business and put forward the work and cartoons of a guy that says, ‘Stay away from Black people.’ I think they did what they should’ve done,” Sharpton said.
“I think it would’ve been offensive and really signaling some kind of subtle agreement to continue to do business with him. He has the right to say it; they have the right to say, ‘These do not reach our standards.’ And for Elon Musk and others to come to his defense makes us really question where are their standards and when do they consider something bigger than this racist? Do you just have to go out and use the N-word outright? And even then, they may find some way to justify it.”
“Anybody that would defend him, they’re defending this line right here: ‘My best advice that I would give to white people is to get the hell away from Black people.’ That’s what he said in a video that he put up,” Scarborough said. “I’m gonna be really curious to see how many people at other networks tonight decide that they’re going to try to cast this as another example of cancel culture when, you know, it’s just flat out racism.”
He concluded that such statements would be just as racist in 1955 as they are today: “If somebody had gone on ‘The Steve Allen Show’ and said, ‘My best advice would be to stay away from Black people,’ that person in 1955 would’ve gotten in trouble!”
“You can’t get clearer, more bigoted and more racist than that,” Sharpton said.
Watch the full “Morning Joe” segment in the video above.