How the Scott Adams Situation vindicates the case for Symmetrical Multiculturalism
Dilbert creator, Scott Adams, was canceled over remarks that “nearly half of Blacks are not ok with White people” and are thus “a hate group.” This was in response to a Rasmussen Poll, asking whether “it is ok to be White.” While a lot of Scott Adams’ points were reasonable, his main mistake was in lumping in the Black respondents who said not sure with the 26% of Blacks who agreed that, “it is not ok to be White,” by stating that nearly half of Blacks are not ok with White people. Not to mention that these polls have margins of error, with the relatively small sample sizes.
Rasmussen Poll: Is it Ok to be White?
While the woke mob does not care about facts, only their feelings and punishing their adversaries, they will still exploit any intellectual mistakes by their opponents. Asking “is it ok to be White,” was sort of open to interpretation, with some of the Black respondents who said no, likely responding to the slogan, “it is ok to be White,” rather than the existence of White people, while those who said unsure could have been confused. The woke left considers the phrase, a hate slogan, with the ADL declaring it Hate Speech. Regardless, the roughly quarter of Black respondents who said that it is not ok to be White, even if open to interpretation, still shows cold feeling towards White people, which is likely much higher among younger Blacks. Blacks are, overall, far more ethnocentric than Whites, and even Black conservative, Jesse Lee Peterson, who is controversial in his own right, made a similar point that most Black people are racist towards White Americans.
Even if there are limits to pointing out the left’s hypocrisy, there are ironic parallels between what Scott Adams said, and Critical Race Theory type arguments. For instance, Scott Adams declaring Black people a hate group, mirrors the woke saying that Whiteness is hate, because the majority of Whites voted for Trump. Also Adams’ comments that Whites should stay away from Black people, mirrors the woke calling for Black safe spaces to protect them from Whiteness. However, most Blacks polled by Rasmussen, acknowledged that Black people can be racist too, which goes against a core tenant of CRT, that only White people can be racist, because racism is power and privilege, which only Whites allegedly hold. Overall, much of the left is increasingly using genocidal rhetoric, such as calls to abolish Whiteness.
While Scott Adams is probably not the biggest fan of Black people, he still generally believes in the fundamentals of liberalism, including blank slatism. This liberal framework makes discussing race especially awkward, and ironically makes one more likely to come across as condescending towards outgroups, than an outright tribalist would. Adams’ point was that even though he believes in the objectives of civil rights, as far as equal opportunities, that because of legitimate historical grievances that Blacks have against Whites, the high rates of Black poverty and crime due to systemic racism, plus the woke left stoking racial tensions, Whites are rational for avoiding Blacks. Though they would never say so openly, a large portion of normie Whites, even liberals, feel this way. However, Scott Adams parted from the colorblind narrative in a follow up video, stating that, his controversial statements were in fact racist, but that he was also racist for supporting affirmative action in the past, which he no longer supports. This may seem in line with the woke narrative that racism is ingrained in everything, but is actually correct in that, despite paying lip service to colorblindness, most people make decisions based upon tribal instincts and inherent biases, which should not be pathologized.
Colorblindness, as much as wokeness, functions as a moral system that prevents any honest discussion about race relations and human nature. A healthier approach is just accepting that all groups are rational for looking out for their interests and wellbeing. While Scott Adams’ point that Whites should stop trying to help Black people, may have come across as both racist and paternalistic, the moralistic victim vs. oppressor narratives, stand in the way of any symmetrical multiculturalism based upon reciprocity. From a basis of reciprocity, groups can agree to respect each other’s rights, negotiate economic and political agreements in which both groups benefit, and agree to adopt similar levels of ethnocentrism that matches that of each other.
Even the term racist is loaded, as racial attitudes exist on a spectrum, taking into account various factors, including psychology, socioeconomics, material scarcity, geographic proximity, and of course reciprocity, but should not be overly moralized. Individuals can also have complicated feelings about race, as racist politics can contradict social racism. For instance a Black person could have White friends who they like and respect, yet hold anti-White political views, while many online “White Supremacists,” often have good friends of color, and there are also woke White people with all White social circles. Race relations have gotten much worse recently, in part due to organic historical grievances and mankind’s inherent tribal nature. However, a lot of racial resentment is manufactured by institutions, such as the media, NGOs, the Democratic Party, academia, and woke corporations. For instance, Scott Adams made the point that our opinions are assigned.
Scott Adams specified that those who don’t want to focus on education, just need to get away from Blacks, which is ironic because wokeness is synonymous with being overeducated. While much of the Black proletariat resents Whites, it is more of an old school tribalism, rather than wokeness, which epitomizes a bourgeois hyper-moralism. Those at the forefront of woke culture are disproportionately college educated Blacks, college educated Whites, the children of high skilled immigrants, and overall skew female. For instance, John Kline, a lawyer who writes for American Spectator and Chronicles Magazine, pointed out that a “2019 meme lists 48 random, anti-white op-eds (+ a few news articles), mostly from the US. My review of the authors' background:
1. Unsurprisingly, black females were #1 @ 15
2. 12 (23%) were Asian (East, Persian, Arab & Indian [7 alone]), all female
3. 35 (67%) were female.”
In regards to Scott Adams’ point that Whites should stay away from Blacks, besides gentrifiers and downscale Whites who can’t afford to relocate, this has generally been the trend with White Flight. However, the aggressive DEI push to diversify the corporate managerial class, complicates narratives about using class as a substitute for race. Overall, it is the left that is authoritarian, in how they stoke racial tension but then oppose freedom of association and want to force everyone to live together.
Scott Adams also commented on how he moved to an area which has a very low Black population, adding that the area is low crime and low density. Adams is referring to Danville California, an affluent suburb in the inland East Bay, which is an abysmally low 0.6% Black, and 72.5% White, which is very high for California. It is a cliché for lefty urbanites from SF, Oakland and Berkeley, to make fun of Danville for having Stepford Wives vibes. Danville is geographically isolated in a valley, far from all of the grit and urban decay of the urban and lower income parts of the Bay Area. While there are probably a decent amount of “We Believe” signs in Danville, overall it is conservative by Bay Areas standards, but more Country Club Republicans and Romney to Clinton voters, rather than MAGA. I have listed Danville as one of California’s unofficial White enclaves, though the area is very White due more to economic elitism rather than ethnocentrism, and to the degree that there is demographic change, it is due more to tech immigrants moving in. Bay Area left-YIMBYs often talk about the need to diversify Danville and similar White suburbs by mandating dense low income housing.
Scott Adams is actually not that different, politically, from affluent centrist neoliberals in places like Danville. Despite getting flack for predicting that Trump would win in 2016, he ended up tepidly endorsing Hillary Clinton, but flipflopped back to endorsing Trump, and then expressed support for Michael Bloomberg for president in 2020. Adams was also a staunch covid hawk, which did not shield him from getting canceled. Overall, I would say that Adams is a libertarian leaning centrist, though he is not overtly ideological. Despite Adams’ controversial statements on race, he is actually a big supporter of increasing legal immigration, especially high skilled immigration, and was dismissive of arguments that immigration is bad for native born family formation, in saying that, “All I got was lawn service at a good price.” It is not uncommon among center right types and neoliberals to cheer on mass Asian and Latino immigration, yet not be crazy about Blacks, which also has elements of classicism and Social Darwinism. Adams has also expressed sympathy for NIMBYism, which is typical of a lot of affluent California boomers, who are NIMBY but cheer on mass immigration, which exacerbates scarcity.
Scott Adams’ cancellation is relevant to points that I made in the Smart but Poor article, as Adams is an example of that archetype of the high IQ, nerdy, introvert, who is very data-driven, and seeks out empirical truths, but cares less about a lot of the social bullshit. This archetype used to thrive more in the corporate world, but is increasingly pushed out by a more feminized, managerial, corporate culture, with HR. This trope is also relevant to the Dilbert comic, which was inspired by Scott Adams’ experiences in the corporate world. Dilbert was a critique of the Kafkaesque bureaucracy of office politics, and how talent and hard work are often not rewarded, in light of the corporate micromanaging of the 90s. The Dilbert character epitomizes the intelligent but underpaid, or skilled and hardworking, but who is underappreciated and under socialized. Certainly Dilbert would be described as an incel today.
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There is a stereotype of the Boomer Conservative who stumbles upon a taboo truth, but then quickly brushes himself off in hopes that nobody will notice. However, Scott Adams is also more grey tribe rather than blue or red tribe, which explains his interest in thought experiments that consider different scenarios and outcomes. As for Adams’ handling of being canceled, while he did backtrack a bit and engaged in some White liberals are the real racist virtue signaling, for the most part, he did not excessively grovel as bad as many others have. There is also a theory that Adams intentionally got himself canceled, due to a recent divorce, to avoid paying high alimony settlements, which makes some degree of sense. Even in the original video, Adams came across as trolling, when he said that the poll results were a turning point in his life, as to why he no longer identifies as being Black.
Past examples of people being canceled, show that groveling does not work in getting the canceled off the hook, but just further empowers the cancelers. Even if one takes the stance that some of Scott Adams’ initial arguments were faulty, any high profile White person who goes outside the Overton window of either being woke or totally colorblind, is a target of being canceled. Overall, conservatives have been pathetic in countering cancel culture, as it is futile to point out hypocrisy or try to gain the moral high ground. There is no point in debating the woke on classical liberal or rationalist principles, and the only thing that matters in defeating cancel culture, is setting up patronage networks and alternative institutions, as to not be dependent upon institutions that are hostile, or easily swayed and coerced by cancel culture.