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Scott Adams has only himself to blame for Dilbert's troubles

Editor’s Note: Editor’s Note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM radio’s daily program “The Dean Obeidallah Show.” Follow him @[email protected]. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN.


Scott Adams – creator of the once popular “Dilbert” comic strip that lampoons corporate culture – apparently doesn’t like being held accountable for his recent undeniably racist rant in which he called Black Americans a “hate group” and urged White people to “get the hell away” from them.

Dean Obeidallah

On Saturday, in response to the fierce backlash over his remarks after hundreds of newspapers dropped his comic strip, Adams whined about being targeted for “cancellation.”

In reality, this is not “cancel culture,” but “consequence culture” where people are rightly held accountable for their words and actions.

Adams’ bigoted diatribe was posted Wednesday on his YouTube show, “Real Coffee with Scott Adams.” The Trump-supporting cartoonist cited a poll by Rasmussen, a conservative polling company, that claimed 53% of the Black Americans who were surveyed agreed with the statement, “It’s OK to be White.” If that phrase strikes you as odd, that may not be surprising. As the Anti-Defamation League has noted, the statement was made popular in the White supremacist movement as a way to troll liberals. Unexplained, as of yet, is why Rasmussen used a White supremacist-coined phrase in their poll.

The poll results caused Adams to hysterically exclaim that, “If nearly half of all Blacks are not OK with White people…that’s a hate group.” In fact, the polling company said that 26% of Black Americans agreed with that view.

Adams added about Blacks, “I don’t want to have anything to do with them.”

And he went even further: “I don’t think it makes any sense as a white citizen of America to try to help Black citizens anymore…There’s no longer a rational impulse. So, I’m going to back off on being helpful to Black America because it doesn’t seem like it pays off.” He didn’t elaborate about what kind of so-called help he provided to Black Americans in the past.

The cartoonist then offered a piece of advice to his fellow White Americans: “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, just get the f**k away…because there is no fixing this.”

I imagine that the ghosts of segregationists were cheering this sentiment.

For its part, Rasmussen wrote in a tweet on Friday, “Astroturf has finally discovered our ‘Ok to be White?’ poll, inspired by the @ADL literally defining the wording of the question as ‘hate speech’,” – adding a clown emoji in the message.

It’s not surprising that a broad cross-section of newspapers in this country no longer want to be associated with Adams. The Washington Post, Houston Chronicle and the USA Today Network that includes more than 300 local media outlets in 43 states were among the publications announcing they would no longer be running Dilbert.

In response to the backlash, Adams first defended his comments by tweeting that he was only “advising people to avoid hate.” It wasn’t long however before he claimed he was being made a victim for speaking his mind.

“By Monday, I should be mostly canceled,” he said on Saturday, adding, “My reputation for the rest of my life is destroyed. You can’t come back from this.”

Aww, poor multi-millionaire Adams. He is being held accountable for his words – which as of now he has not apologized for, but instead defended.

This is not the first time Adams has invoked White victimhood for his own failings and unfairly targeted Black Americans.

In June 2020, Adams cited the TV network UPN’s cancellation of his “Dilbert” animated primetime TV series by tweeting, “I lost my TV show for being white when UPN decided it would focus on an African American audience. That was the third job I lost for being white.”

In reality – as Variety reported – the show was canceled because of a huge drop in ratings.

Adams is just a prime example of the era we live in, a time when some people will say racist or bigoted remarks and then play the victim card, alleging that they have been victimized by “cancel culture” in hopes of silencing their critics.

In the minds of people like him, freedom of expression means being free to spew all the hate-filled garbage they want and in response, requiring the rest of us to bite our tongues. But that’s not how free speech works. People will and should push back against bigotry.

In this case, Adams was not just criticized by those offended by his vile views. Publications he’s been associated with for years no longer want anything to do with him.

This is what consequence culture looks like. If you don’t like the consequences, then don’t spew hate.