Responding to criticism, Professor Adam Kotsko, who stated publicly on Twitter that white people "should commit mass suicide," now says that he was joking.
His "suicide" comment came after Kotsko unironically said that white people, even those born 150 years after slavery ended in the US and whose ancestors never owned slaves, are still "complicit" in slavery. Dr. Kotsko has expressed surprise that his ironic statement was not picked up as satire, despite the fact that he repeatedly defended his previous, equally-ridiculous comment.
"A reasonable person," according to Kotsko, would be able to see which one of the following tweets was "ironic" (one of which was ironic, and the rest serious). See if you can tell the difference between his "serious" and "joking" posts:
This one refers to the Charlie Hebdo newspaper being attacked:
"Whiteness" exists only to "subordinate and exploit other races:"
Attacking Darren Wilson months after the case was put to bed, and despite the State Department, Grand Jury, testimony, and witnesses all saying that he killed in self-defense:
Saying that all whites are "complicit" in slavery:
Defending it here:
And saying this:
Give up? The very last tweet was "ironic," the rest were serious.
Reminiscent to YouTube "pranksters" who steal people's iPhones, then yell "prank, prank" when they are being chased, Dr. Kotsko also went on to say that, while he wasn't serious, he was trying to "offend" people:
I was in dialogue with an obviously bad-faith interlocutor on the subject of race, who clearly wanted to bait me into saying something “offensive,” and out of frustration, I decided I’d give them something to cry about and say something really “offensive” — scare quotes intended.
Despite this assumption towards a complete stranger on the internet, Dr. Kotsko's very next paragraph begins hilariously that the only people who were offended were people who "believe the absolute worst of a total stranger."
Update: Writing on his site today, Dr. Kotsko accepted some fault in his comment, saying, "It’s likely that if I had chosen to engage in dialogue rather than gotten impatient, one of my interlocutors would have volunteered the “mass suicide” consequence themselves. I decided to head them off at the pass, which in retrospect was a bad choice."
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