Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stepped down on Monday, and announced that CTO Parag Agrawal will be taking over. Agwaral's tenure at Twitter then immediately started in the most painfully Twitter way: a pile-on based on a tweet he made a decade ago.
The tweet in question was made on October 26, 2010, at 5:29 AM EST. The tweet quotes an episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and says: "If they are not gonna make a distinction between muslims and extremists, then why should I distinguish between white people and racists."
Add to this out-of-context tweet–which is itself saying that not all white people are racists just as not all Muslims are terrorists but let's put that aside for now–the fact that Agrawal is Indian-American and that Twitter under Dorsey's tenure has devolved into a cesspool of cancellation, bad-faith brigading by "free speech" types, and racism, and you can already see where this is going.
Agrawal's 2010 tweet now has nearly 7,000 quote-tweets and climbing. The majority of the quote-tweets are from people claiming some version of "reverse racism," i.e. that Agrawal is actually being racist to white people, which in the feverish conservative imagination is a real problem.
"Who are POC gonna blame once they are in charge and have completely blackwashed every aspect of White built society?" said another poster with "Germanic blod" in their bio.
"A good time to remind you that critical race theory teaches explicitly that 'all white people are racist' (Applebaum, 2010) and that 'White identity is inherently racist' (DiAngelo, 2018)," tweeted one right-wing pundit with over 275,000 followers.
It's sobering to witness the degree to which Twitter's deranged "culture" has jumped on the tweet of its new CEO in the most predictable and exasperating way: A completely innocuous tweet from a decade ago being taken completely out of context and used as a cudgel by thousands of people making a terrible point.
This is a somewhat time-honored tradition, in which a formerly somewhat obscure person gets a new, high-profile job and people immediately look for something apparently disqualifying in their past tweets (Agrawal was CTO of Twitter, but wasn't exactly in the public eye to this level.) This tweet-searching tradition is something that those on the right decry as "cancel culture," but only when people who disagree with them do it.
Welcome to the gig, Parag. Maybe "decentralization" will help?