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Twitter’s new CEO, Parag Agrawal, is already stirring up some pretty unhappy conservatives, who have pulled out a decade-old tweet quoting a joke made on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
You can count the number of hours on one hand after it was announced that Jack Dorsey is stepping down as CEO and Agrawal was announced as his successor before the tweet surfaced and claims of racism were raised.
Back in 2010, Agrawal tweeted a snippet from a segment of “The Daily Show,” writing, “If they are not gonna make a distinction between muslims and extremists, then why should I distinguish between white people and racists.”
"If they are not gonna make a distinction between muslims and extremists, then why should I distinguish between white people and racists."
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) October 26, 2010
The full quote actually came from comedian Aasif Mandvi, who joined Stewart and fellow comedian Larry Wilmore on the show that night to discuss the firing of Juan Williams, an NPR employee. In 2010, during an appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor,” Williams commented that when he’s on a plane, if he sees someone “identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslim, I get worried. I get nervous.”
In response, Mandvi and Wilmore joked about which stereotypical actions they perform, as a Muslim man and a Black man respectively, to freak people out.
When Stewart asked why they don’t make the effort to change peoples’ minds, Mandvi joked, “If they’re not going to make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?”
In a follow-up tweet that night in 2010, Agrawal pointed out that he was, in fact, quoting Mandvi. That said, most of those criticizing Agrawal this week have not addressed that, and are skewering him for posting the quote at all.
“This is Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s new CEO and the person who’s going to be deciding what kind of speech is allowed on Twitter,” Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn tweeted.
Meanwhile, political commentator Clay Travis asserted, “Things are going to get way worse on here with @jack gone.” You can check out more angry quote tweets below.
This is Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s new CEO and the person who’s going to be deciding what kind of speech is allowed on Twitter: https://t.co/W4HYeNSxlf
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) November 29, 2021
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) November 29, 2021
New Twitter CEO is openly an anti-white racist. So predictable https://t.co/2TyKakvyvx
— Melissa Tate (@TheRightMelissa) November 29, 2021
The new CEO of Twitter, ladies and gents: https://t.co/sgbaeFV5ER
— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) November 29, 2021
So, Twitter's new CEO is a racist. Why am I not surprised? https://t.co/KHFVx3CZGc
— Brandon Morse (@TheBrandonMorse) November 29, 2021