Their Eyes Were Watching Scott/How Conservatives Accidentally Went Woke

By: Veritéetfeu Topic: Current Events, Critical Race Theory, Racism

At the age of 65 with millions in the bank, Scott Adams has reached a point in his life where he just doesn’t give a hoot! 

Creator of the popular, albeit now widely canceled, ‘Dilbert’ comic strip and the author of nine books, Adams has what he calls “[bleep] you money”. During a 2019 interview with VLAD TV, Adams shared that he has four times over the amount of money needed to be financially set for the rest of his days. While he has no desire to quit working, he admitted that with the amount of money he has, he very well could, and he could tell his bosses, or anyone else with financial control over him, exactly how he feels on his way out.

This perhaps explains Adams’ now viral, racist tirade during which he called Black Americans a “hate group”. 

“If nearly half of all Blacks are not okay with White people, according to this poll – not according to me, according to this poll – that’s a hate group,” Adams declared.  “That’s a hate group, and I don’t want to have anything to do with them.”

Adams was interpreting the results from a recent poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports, which he said is the first opinion poll to ever influence him to change his political activities. 

The poll, which was conducted in mid February, asked participants two questions: 

“Do you agree or disagree with the statement, ‘It’s OK to be White’?” and 

“Do you agree or disagree with the statement, ‘Black people can be racist, too’?” 

The ‘Dilbert’ illustrator would go on to cite responses to the former survey question – and Don Lemon’s 2013 commentary on the Black community – as evidence that Whites should “get the [bleep] away from Black people”.

As his logic went, if nearly half of all Black Americans aren’t okay with White people, the odds of running into woke/bad actors is high, so it is best that Whites “escape” being around Blacks as much as possible. 

The poll was such a game changer for Adams that he decided to “re-identify as White” after sharing that he’d been identifying as Black for years. 

“I don’t want to be part of a hate group,” he told his Real Coffee with Scott Adams audience. “I’d accidentally joined a hate group.”

Finally, thanks to the poll, Adams declared that he would stop helping Black Americans and advised White Americans to do the same. 

“It makes no sense to help Black Americans if you’re White. It’s over. Don’t even think it’s worth trying.”

When Conservatives Go Woke

It’s not lost on me that otherwise rational individuals might be have been tempted to empathize with Adams. I understand that there are those who can “see where he’s coming from”, as there have been unfair charges of racism against Whites in general over the past few years. BLM and the media have weaponized historical facts to upset race relations of the present. It is also a fact that even some Blacks have opted to self-segregate, presuming separation between the races will create for them a “safe space”. 

Among those who support Adams’ view are many White conservatives and even White professing Christians who say they’ve grown frustrated with and feel pushed into a corner by the increasing anti-white sentiments they’ve endured for the past five years

In summary, thanks to woke-ism from the Left, they can see why someone on the Right would become a racist, white-flight supporting segregationist. 

Yet, not only were Adams’ conclusions racist and morally reprehensible, they were rooted in factual error, and they emboldened otherwise sensible individuals to openly align with the very ideology they claim to hate. 

If Adams’ supporters genuinely believe his response is justified, they then have to explain why they’ve worked to counter those in the Black community who’ve felt frustrated with the treatment they and/or their ancestors have endured for hundreds of years at various points in America’s history.

For example, Adams admitted to harboring racist and segregationist sentiments because, according to him, he’s “sick of seeing video after video of Black Americans beating up on non-Black citizens”. So can his supporters truly find fault with a Black person who harbors racist sentiments or bitterness because he’s seen “video after video” of White police officers beating up – and in some cases killing – Black citizens?  

To be clear, BOTH sides are wrong. BOTH sides are in sin. But, if I’m honest, I’m more disappointed with the Conservative side of the political aisle because they’re supposed to be the more “reasonable” side. At least, that’s what they’ve always claimed. It’s sad to see them empathizing with where Adams is “coming from” when he’s coming from the same murky pit of bitterness and bias that influences woke sentiments. At the end of the day, both sides have drank from a poisoned well. Both sides are exposing themselves to rhetoric and content that feeds their prejudices. Both sides have opted to focus on the negative aspects of what they’ve seen or experienced from members of the other racial group. And both sides are using those negative observations or experiences to justify their sins of partiality, hatred for their neighbor, and their unwillingness to put away “all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking” (Ephesians 4:31). 

Of course, it’s highly likely that Adams doesn’t care about any of these things. His ego might be a tad bruised with the global cancellation of Dilbert’s syndication, but he’ll ultimately be ok. He can pick up and move if things get too crazy. He doesn’t have to care about chaos he’s caused. He’s nearing the end of his natural days, and he’ll likely die a rich man, albeit with no eternal hope unless he accepts Christ. But for the folks who claim to be “the moral right” (who claim to be the most “rational”, and some of whom claim to be Christian), it’s been extremely disappointing to witness them not only take the bait, but point to Adams as the hero they didn’t know they needed. It’s been sad to see them laud Adams as a bold “truth teller” who took one for the team.  Meanwhile, Adams has only done the work of exposing how gullible, emotional, and bitter conservatives can be, too! 

And here’s how he did it.

Adams Misapplied the Data

“Facts don’t care about your feelings,” some have said, echoing Ben Shapiro’s famous line in response to anyone who takes issue with Adams’ statements. Yet, they somehow missed how Adams mishandled “the facts” to justify his feelings.

It’s obvious that neither Adams nor his supporters took the time to review the Rasmussen poll upon which he built his case for racial segregation and slandering an entire race, but the rounded data show that the poll was made up of only 1000 participants, 63% (~630) of which were White; 13% (~130) were Black; and ~ 25% (~250) were “Other”.

Granted, 1000 randomly-selected participants is a statistically acceptable sample size for America’s population of 330 million people, especially since Rasmussen was hoping to achieve a confidence level of 95%. If we hope to get an accurate idea of how Americans generally feel about a particular topic, then 1000 randomly-selected participants is indeed appropriate. However, if we hope to get an accurate idea of how a particular group within America  generally feels about a given matter, the sample size needs to be statistically appropriate for that particular group’s actual population size

Again, of the 1000 poll participants, 13% were Black, which reflects our proportion of America’s general population. Yet, it is statistically inaccurate to extrapolate the responses of the 130 Black participants in the poll onto Black Americans in general. There are an estimated 45 million Black Americans. To assess our views as a group, the sample size would need to be around 385 Black citizens.  As Adams claimed that “nearly half” of  Blacks are “not okay” with white people, he was basing his conclusions on a proportion (61/130 or 47%) of a proportion of a larger group (130/1000 or 13%). Thus, his analysis can’t be rightly applied to Black Americans in general because the sample size of 130 is only about one-third of the minimum number of participants necessary for a representative sample size for our group. 

Adams Mis-categorized the Respondents

Adams and his proponents believe his detractors are finding fault with his statements while missing what they believe is the bigger issue: How the poll “exposed” the “racist sentiments of nearly half of Black people”. However, as previously noted, the number of Black respondents in the survey is not a representative sampling of the Black population for the results to be applicable to Black Americans in general. Furthermore, according to the poll, of the 130 Black participants, 53% (69) actually agreed with the statement, “It’s OK to be White”, which is a majority. But rather than focus on this positive aspect, Adams conflated two unrelated categories to achieve the “nearly half” claim that has since appeared in many comments sections and social media threads to further perpetuate his call for racial segregation. The remaining 47% (61) of Blacks who did not “agree” with the statement “It’s OK to be White” was made up of two different groups of respondents: 26% (34) who disagreed and 21% (27)  who responded “not sure”. So, if one were intellectually honest, he would admit that it isn’t “nearly half of Black people” but 26% of the Black respondents polled who disagreed with the statement “It’s OK to be White”.

Adams Misrepresented the Survey Responses

It’s been interesting to see how Adams has been counted a victim in this ordeal when he’s sounding exactly like the woke revolutionaries of our day and the Jim Crow proponents of the past. Granted, he has the right to free speech, and I don’t personally agree with poor little Dilbert being sullied by this madness when ‘he‘ didn’t make the racist remarks. Yet, Adams was irresponsible with his speech, as he “canceled” an entire people group using a false claim based on his faulty premise, which only led to confusions and heightened racial tensions.

To be clear, “nearly half of black people” did not say they “don’t like” or that they’re “not okay with” White people. The question asked participants whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement “It’s OK to be White”. The reason this nuance matters is the same reason it’s important to distinguish between being asked if you agree or disagree “with Black Lives Matter” vs if you agree or disagree “that Black Lives Matter”. We can acknowledge that “Black Lives Matter” is a true statement while also acknowledging that Black Lives Matter as a movement or organization is and has been a sham, a scam, and wholly divisive. While it most certainly is true that “It’s OK to be White” and, yes, “All Lives Matter”, both statements have sadly taken on negative cultural connotations because of how, and the purposes for which, they were implemented. “It’s OK to be White” (which is true) gained traction in as a white supremacist troll (which is unfortunate), which could explain why some respondents across all racial groups in the survey, including White Americans, responded “not sure”. Some might have interpreted the question as a reference to its negative connotation rather than the truth in the statement. Rasmussen didn’t clarify its intention or meaning for the question, so respondents could only answer according to their experience with and how they understood the context of the statement. 

Adams Omitted the “Others”

Race relations in America are commonly expressed in terms of Black and White, which is perhaps why Adams was drawn towards only highlighting the responses from the Black survey participants. Nevertheless, respondents who identified as neither Black nor White also participated in the poll. When asked if they agreed with the statement, “It’s OK to be White” 58% of the respondents in the “Other” category of racial groups agreed with the statement. The remaining 42% was made up of 16% who disagreed and 25% who responded “not sure”. It is interesting to note how these proportions are fairly similar to those among the Black respondents. Again, it’s not likely Adams vetted the data before giving his interpretation, but I’d be curious to see whether he would apply the same analysis and reach a similar conclusion with the data available from other races of respondents. 

Adams Perpetuates ‘Loserthink’

Either Adams mishandled the data because he spoke on the matter before he had all of the facts, or he intentionally took us through this exercise to test his theory he calls “loserthink”.

In his 2019 book Loserthink: How Untrained Brains are Ruining America, Adams discusses a phenomenon he refers to as “political warming”. With political warming, he says the press “rewards brain manipulation versus accuracy.” The goal isn’t to merely report the news, but to report what sends the people into a frenzy, which begets the views that beget them profits.

As the press becomes increasingly skilled at stimulating the emotion centers in our brains, one should expect the public to be in a continuous state of fight-or-flight anxiety,” Mr. Adams argues.  “We’re more scared and angry than I imagine we ever have been, at least since World War II. And that means bigger storms ahead in the form of protests and divisiveness.”

Once the public is worked up, “loserthink” ensues, and all common sense and reasonableness go right out the proverbial window. The “loserthinker”, who hasn’t vetted any information for himself, is now trapped in a bubble of his own biases. Those “facts” that don’t care about anyone’s feelings were either misused or distorted to manipulate the loserthinker’s emotions, and because he’s being told what he wants to hear, he presupposes what he’s heard is true.

Rasmussen Reports has received its own backlash for the poll, as some have questioned their motives for launching a survey that asked provocative, contextually confusing questions on race relations in the midst of Black History Month. They’ve also been questioned about their methodology in selecting respondents and their sample sizing. Being what it is, it could have easily been overlooked or ignored.

But Adams latched on to it then presented it to the masses, which is interesting considering that in 2020 he said that national polls are “useless” and can’t be trusted. It’s also interesting that he relied on this particular poll to lend his warped analysis. Moreover, it’s interesting that after all the damage was done, he now claims it was all part of his end game to “start a conversation” about free speech, helping Blacks overcome systemic racism in education, and repairing race relations (which he’d said during his tirade “couldn’t be fixed”). He admitted in a subsequent episode of Real Coffee that his original comments were racist and that he expected to go viral. And, of course, the political pundits on both sides jumped to demonstrate how his views justified their own ideological positions, further deepening the chasm between Americans.

With this, one can understandably conclude that Adams is trolling us. Unless, of course, he actually had a momentary bout with “loserthink” himself and is now attempting to save face by claiming this was all part of some master plan. Whatever the case, he said what he said, and he’s expressed how much he’s enjoying the most support he’s ever received in his career, even after being “canceled”.

I Said all of This To Say

The “Left” rightly hates racism, but it falsely accuses all Whites of this evil. As such, they will only use Adams’ words to affirm their own sinful attitudes and actions. The “Right” rightly opposes critical race theory, but it wrongly ignores or is silent on actual instances of racism.  As such, they will only justify Adams’ remarks and the sinful attitudes and actions they encourage. 

But Christians should do all we can to avoid taking the bait.  Not only do we not war against flesh and blood, whether Black, White or “Other”, we are ONE in the Body of Christ (Galatians 3:28). The world may be fighting a race war, but we are not. Liberals and Conservatives may jump to conclusions and dwell in bias bubbles, but we judge all matters with righteous judgment and abide in Christ (Matthew 7:1-5; John 15:4-5).

Our command is to proclaim the Gospel and to love God and our neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40; 28:16-20). And we are to be known as disciples of Christ by our love for one another (John 13:35). 

Local churches are largely made up of Believers from a local community. If we take the bait to “get away” from one another on the basis of race, we will ultimately find ourselves guilty of intentionally segregating local congregations according to race. Granted, a local church doesn’t have to be “multicultural” to be healthy and sound. But the local church that intentionally inhibits opportunities for racial diversity because its members harbor bitterness or fear towards a certain racial/ethnic group is not merely unhealthy, it is dead for it is not living by the Spirit but by the flesh (Galatians 5:20).

Jesus warned us that before His return, nation (ethnic group) would rise against nation (ethnic group). He warned us that because lawlessness would abound, the love of many would grow cold (Matthew 24). But those who endure until the end are who will be saved, as those who endure to the end will demonstrate that they truly belong to Christ. Those who belong to Christ are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation”, and Jesus has said that we are already hated because the world hated Him first (I Peter 2:9; John 15:18). If we allow our love to grow cold in the face of “anti-White” or “anti-Black” sentiments, are we truly prepared to show the love of Christ in the midst of “anti-Christ” sentiments? 

Seriously, we all need to refocus.

For the conservative Christian tempted to agree with Adams and count him a bold “truth teller”, plot twist: He’s agnostic, he has theorized that the truth is unknowable, and he believes Christianity is “all made up“. Even as his rhetoric might contain hints of positions with which the Christian can agree, because his worldview isn’t rooted in Christ, the best we can consume from him is leavened bread. That’s actually the best we can get from any political commentator – whether liberal or conservative. 

So, when it’s the truth we seek and direction we need, we should fix our eyes on Jesus Christ – not liberalism, not conservatism and most certainly NOT Scott Adams!