Now Reading
Claytoonz: Dilbert exposed

Claytoonz: Dilbert exposed

So Scott Adams has exposed himself as a racist now.

Who’s Scott Adams? He’s the cartoonist who created the comic strip Dilbert, set in an office setting with a stupid boss and a talking dog. I can’t give a better description than that since I never read it.

To be fair, I stopped reading comic strips a long time ago. I read them as a kid and Charles Schulz is my first teacher, but I lost interest in the funny pages after I became a political cartoonist which was about the same time that Calvin & Hobbes, Bloom County, and The Far Side all ended their runs. But even if I still read them, I wouldn’t read Dilbert. Again, trying to be fair, I wouldn’t read it, not because it’s a bad comic strip, but just because it doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t think it’s funny, but that’s just me.

Someone liked Dilbert though because it was in over 2,000 newspapers. When asked yesterday by the Washington Post how many papers still carried his strip, he said, “By Monday, around zero.”

The National Cartoonists Society awarded Adams its Reuben Award in 1998. It’ll be interesting if they make a statement… or not.

So what happened? Last Wednesday on YouTube, Adams called Black Americans a “hate group” and said white people should “get the hell away from” them.

Adams was upset by a Rasmussen Poll, a favorite of conservatives, that found a thin majority of Black Americans agreed with the statement “It’s OK to be white.”

Ranting on a live stream on YouTube, Adams said, “If nearly half of all Blacks are not okay with white people… that’s a hate group. 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.”

He also blamed Black people for not “focusing on education” and said, “I’m also really sick of seeing video after video of Black Americans beating up non-Black citizens.” I have not seen these videos.

He texted a reporter at the Washington Post, “Lots of people are angry, but I haven’t seen any disagreement yet, at least not from anyone who saw the context.” The context? The literal context is he called Black people a “hate group” and said white people should “stay away from them.” Just in case I have to say it for the record, I disagree with that.

Adams has been trolling for MAGA since Trump came down the golden escalator. He’s been a conspiracy-spreading goon for a while. He’s been racist for years but just hasn’t come out and admitted it. the San Francisco Chronicle stopped publishing Dilbert months ago after strips made jokes about reparations for slavery and inclusive workplaces.

Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, editor and chief of the Chronicle said, “His strip went from being hilarious to being hurtful and mean” and that “very few readers noticed when we killed it, and we only had a handful of complaints.”

The people who are OK with Trump saying “send them back” to black female members of Congress will say this doesn’t prove Adams is a racist. But he’s a racist.

My colleague Darrin Bell, who’s the only Black cartoonist to win a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning (and also the last cartoonist to win a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning) said, “His racism is not even unique among cartoonists.” He’s right. Right-wing MAGA cartoonists have been doing a lot of pro-white cartoons since Trump announced his candidacy in 2015. Basically, anyone who says Trump is not a racist is a racist.

Trump has made white nationalist goons more comfortable with exposing their hate and racism. Racist attacks have increased since 2015. The Proud Boys were created AFTER Trump came down the escalator and called Mexicans “rapists and murderers.” Membership in Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters, and the KKK increased AFTER Trump came down that racist escalator. But I don’t expect the MAGA cartoonists to intentionally reveal themselves now, but they are published in many mainstream publications. And syndicates like Cagle Cartoons, Creators Syndicate, and Counterpoint don’t have a problem with selling racist cartoons when those cartoons sell.

But for Adams, Dilbert isn’t selling anymore. Since Wednesday, it’s been dropped by the Washington Post, Detroit Free Press, San Antonio Express-News, Los Angeles Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and each of the 300 newspapers in the Gannett chain which includes the Arizona Republic, Detroit News, Cincinnati Enquirer, Indianapolis Star, Austin American-Statesman and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The publisher for the Plain Dealer said that pulling Dilbert was “not a difficult decision.”

Now, Adams is whining. He said, “Most of my income will be gone by next week. 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.”

Yes, his career is destroyed but nobody forced him to say, “You should absolutely be racist whenever it’s to your advantage. Every one of you should be open to making a racist personal career decision.”

One person who is supporting him and his racism is Elon Musk who I’m sure is someone’s pointy-haired boss.

Music Note: I listened to The Black Keys.

Clay Jones is the 2022 recipient of the RFK Human Rights Journalism Award in Editorial Cartooning, and won a 2021 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was a finalist for the Herblock Prize in 2019 and a finalist for the National Headliner Award in 2020. See more award-winning editorial cartoons from him at

— 30 —

Top headlines

Best in Internet Exploder