Yousaf reacts to Musk’s ‘racist’ comment
American billionaire’s response to a clip of Scottish first minister’s 2020 speech sparks backlash on social media
BILLIONAIRE businessman Elon Musk called Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf a “blatant racist” after watching an edited clip of the Asian politician’s three-year-old speech.
The Tesla and SpaceX owner’s comment sparked a storm on social media while Yousaf reacted to his claim by posting a GIF.
Musk responded to a post by End Wokeness, a verified account on the social media platform X – formerly known as Twitter – of an edited video footage from Yousaf’s speech in Holyrood, in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd in the US in 2020.
In that speech, Yousaf, then Scotland’s justice secretary, talked about the under-representation of people of colour in senior positions.
The SNP leader of Pakistani heritage said: “Some people have been surprised or taken aback by my mention on my social media that at 99 per cent of the meetings that I go to, I am the only non-white person in the room.
“Why are we so surprised when the most senior positions in Scotland are filled almost exclusively by people who are white?
“Take my portfolio, for example. The Lord President? White. The Lord Justice Clerk? White. Every High Court judge? White. The Lord Advocate? White. The Solicitor General? White? The chief constable? White. Every deputy chief constable? White. Every assistant chief constable? White. The head of the Law Society? White. The head of the Faculty of Advocates? White. And every prison governor? White.”
The background of the speech was a debate on challenging racism, where Yousaf argued the situation was no different at other departments.
The 45-second edited clip was posted with the comment: “Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf openly despises white people” and “Why would Scotland’s Parliament and King select a guy who hates almost 100% of the country?”
In response to the post, Musk, who owns X, said “What a blatant racist!”
Without naming anyone, Yousaf on Friday (27) posted a GIF, comparing himself to a Scottish Asian shopkeeper character Navid, dancing in the TV comedy Still Game. The accompanying message read: “Racists foaming at the mouth at my very existence.”
The first minister’s spokesman said Yousaf “has been on the receiving end of racist hate, abuse and death threats his entire life, and has stood firm against hatred and bigotry, of any kind, throughout.
“Sadly, much of the racist abuse and threats of violence the first minister faces are directed his way on X – formerly known as Twitter.
“Mr Musk should use his position to tackle racism and hatred that goes unchecked on the social media platform he owns.”
Yousaf previously spoke about abuse he had endured, saying his experiences had ranged from being subjected to overt racism to Islamophobia. He had said the situation had worsened after the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election as US president.