MSNBC anchor Joy Reid ripped billionaire Elon Musk following his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter on Tuesday evening – alleging the South Africa-born billionaire and Tesla boss wanted the social media platform because he “misses” the country’s apartheid era.
Reid argued that Musk’s plan to dial back Twitter’s strict content moderation policies to protect freedom of speech would lead to more abuse on the platform – citing the potential rise of anti-Semitism and misogyny.
“Elon Musk, I guess he misses the old South Africa in the 80s,” Reid said. “He wants that back.”
Reid made the claim during the latest edition of her show “The ReidOut” – noting at one point that Musk-owned companies “have a history of open racism” and questioning the potential implications for Twitter. She referenced the state of California’s pending lawsuit against Tesla over alleged racial discrimination at one of its factories.
Apartheid was a system of racial segregation and discrimination that took root for decades in South Africa until its collapse following mass protests in the 1990s. Musk, 50, was born and raised in South Africa and moved to Canada as a teenager before eventually relocating to the United States.
Reid’s remarks can be viewed on Mediaite.
Musk sought to clarify his stance on Twitter’s policies toward free speech on Tuesday.
“By ‘free speech’, I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people,” Musk said.
But Reid was dismissive of Musk’s plans, describing the billionaire as a “troll” whose “idea of freedom is freedom to be a jerk and to be cruel and to have no one be able to stop you.”
Reid also slammed excitement among conservatives following Musk’s acquisition of the company.
“They want to come in and be able to punch people in the face and walk around and laugh about it and then not have anyone be able to stop them,” she added. “The enjoyment they get out of being in this ‘town square’ is being able to harass people, being able to attack people.”
Musk’s Twitter takeover has prompted a sharp response from liberals and left-leaning users – with many vowing to delete their accounts or leave the platform.
Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King was among the critics of Musk’s move, declaring it was “about white power.”
“The man was raised in Apartheid by a white nationalist. He’s upset that Twitter won’t allow white nationalists to target/harass people. That’s his definition of free speech,” King said.
Reid has a history of criticizing conservatives on her nightly opinion program.
Earlier this week, former NFL player turned conservative pundit Jack Brewer threatened to sue Reid after claimed his charity’s decision to host children while attending Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signing of an anti-critical race theory bill was tantamount to “child abuse.”
Joy Reid suggests Elon Musk ‘misses’ South Africa apartheid – New York Post