Elon Musk’s free speech stance sparks woke fear about the future of Twitter

By Jonathon Van Maren

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is one of the most fascinating figures in America. He is obviously not a conservative person—he’s been married three times, and his most recent child (with the Canadian singer Grimes) was born via surrogate. On the other hand, Governor Greg Abbott revealed in an interview about the Texas Heartbeat Act that in their conversations together, Musk has “consistently” stated that he “likes the social policies in the state of Texas.” Musk is a mixed bag, and his political views are difficult to categorize. 

But because of his position on freedom of speech, progressives are currently melting down over his decision to purchase 9.2 percent of Twitter for $3.7 billion, making him the largest shareholder and promptly earning him the offer of a position on Twitter’s board of directors—although the company is seeking to calm woke staff members by assuring them that Musk will not have a hands-on role in running the company. These fears have not been calmed by the fact that Musk reportedly rejected the offer of a board position to keep his options open—including buying more of Twitter. 

Musk apparently reached out to The Babylon Bee prior to making his purchase to ask them about how they’d been treated after The Bee’s Twitter account was locked for awarding Richard “Rachel” Levine a “Man of the Year” award. Levine identifies as transgender, and Twitter bans anyone who refuses to use the preferred pronouns of LGBT people or even those who “deadname” transgender people. (Deadnaming is a trans term for using someone’s previous name, such as calling Bruce Jenner by the name he was known as for decades rather than his current preference, “Caitlyn.”) 

But now, Twitter’s largest shareholder is being accused of being a “transphobe.” Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal is evening hosting a Q&A session for staff with Musk after many took to social media to complain that Musk might interfere with their woke brand and accusing him of being anti-LGBT. Specifically, staffers complained about a tweet he sent in December 2020 mocking the obsession surrounding preferred pronouns. In response to backlash at the time, Musk affirmed that “I absolutely support trans, but all these pronouns are an esthetic nightmare.” He pointed to Tesla’s high rankings as an LGBT-friendly workplace as evidence. 

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