Was this racist?
Following a joke Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made about having Elon Musk’s support on Wednesday (June 15), the liberal mainstream took issue with his remarks.
The Tesla CEO announced on Twitter that he had voted for a Republican for the first time and that he was leaning toward supporting DeSantis as a presidential candidate in 2024.
After Musk’s support was brought to the attention of DeSantis, the Florida Republican said that although he was focusing on Florida’s 2022 gubernatorial election, he appreciated the “support from African Americans,” referring to Musk’s South African heritage. The Tesla CEO was born and raised in the Southern African nation before his parents emigrated to Canada when Musk was 17.
Despite the accuracy of DeSantis’ joke, mainstream publications took issue with his remarks, interpreting the joke in the most unflattering light and using the joke as a basis for claims DeSantis is racist.
In response to a clip of DeSantis making the joke, MSNBC host Joy Reid tweeted: “If said before that @GovRonDeSantis is a humorless, more openly fascist version of Trump. Here he is displaying the former quality in that for him, “humor” means mocking Black Americans with his own, idiotic and offensive version of replacement theory. Black Floridians take note.”
The View co-host and CNN commentator Ana Navarro tweeted: “Is there a joke somewhere in here? I don’t get it.”
Norm Eisen, a legal analyst at CNN also shared the view that DeSantis’ comments reflected the Florida Governor’s racism, tweeting: “I understand the ugliness of what he’s doing here because I am a member of a minority too. We are not a punch line & neither are Black Americans. Jokes about skin color & physical features have no place. This is sick.”
Musk also drew criticism for his vote for Republican Mayra Flores, with Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) tweeting: “Republican billionaire who supports white supremacy and authoritarianism because he doesn’t want his workers to unionize or to pay his fair share in taxes.”