Elon Musk Under Fire Over Response To “Insanely Racist” Tweet About Black Homicide Rates

Elon Musk

Elon Musk amplified a post falsely comparing the rates at which Black Americans murder their white counterparts.

Elon Musk is facing backlash after amplifying a tweet with a false claim about Black homicide rates.  

On Monday (June 18), Musk shared a characteristic response to a post claiming there was a significant increase in the number of Black people killing white people in America in the decades since the 1950s.  

“It’s true that things have changed since the 1950s,” a user with the handle eyeslasho shared. “1950s: Blacks killed about 600 more whites each year than whites killed blacks. Now: Blacks kill nearly 1,500 more whites each year than whites kill blacks.” 

Elon Musk expressed his amazement at the post, replying with “!” and highlighting the tweet to his 197 million followers on the platform. 

Elon Musk’s response attracted backlash from angry users, furious he would amplify such a post. “This is so insanely racist,” one person wrote.  

“This kind of stuff is why I’m trading in my Tesla smh. Elon has went full racist.” another person wrote.

“Look what this is in response to,” a third person said, quoting Musk’s post. “If Hitler had a twitter Elon would be under every tweet saying ‘wow very interesting.’” 

Elon Musk failed to clarify the figures, review any sources, consider any possible nuance or perform any other due diligence before responding. Alleged disparities in homicide rates between races are often used and misconstrued by racists to promote the bigoted idea that Black people are violent by nature.  

The tweet Elon Musk responded to reportedly drew from data that doesn’t include information about the race of the perpetrator of a homicide, only of the victim. FBI figures posted at the Bureau of Justice Statistics paint a different picture. 

Figures show most homicides are intraracial, committed by offenders of the same race as victims. In 2022, FBI data showed that 87 percent of white or Black homicide victims killed by a white or Black person were killed by someone of their own race. Additionally, the post failed to account for dramatic changes in population since the 1950s.