Jack White is joining Trent Reznor as the latest high-profile rocker to quit Twitter.
In an extensive statement posted to Instagram on Sunday, White ripped into Elon Musk over his decision to reinstate former president Donald Trump.
While Musk insists that his motives are in the name of free speech, White sees it otherwise. “Tell it like it is; people like you and Joe Rogan (who gives platforms to liars like alex jones etc.); you come into a ton of money, see the tax bill, despise paying your fair share, and then think moving to Texas and supporting whatever republican you can is going to help you keep more of your money,” White wrote.
“You intend to give platforms to known liars and wash your hands like pontius pilate and claim no responsibility?” White continued. “trump was removed from twitter because he incited violence multiple times, people died and were injured as a result of his lies and his ego, (let alone what his coup did to attempt to destroy democracy and our Capitol). And how about the division and the families broken apart from his rhetoric and what it did to this country?”
“That’s not ‘free speech’ or ‘what the poll decided’ or whatever nonsense you’re claiming it to be; this is straight up you trying to help a fascist have a platform so you can eventually get your tax breaks,” White added before posing Musk with the following question: “How many more billions do you need that you have to risk democracy itself to obtain it?”
In his statement, White said he is a believer in free speech, but argued that with power comes responsibility. “for example i’m not about to let the KKK hold a rally at our record label’s performance stage,” White stated. “That’s one of the platforms we control and have a say in, it’s not town square operated by the government. And if i owned a gas station,i wouldn’t be selling the KKK gasoline to burn crosses either and then wash my hands as if i didn’t help facilitate hatred.”
As such, White said he is deactivating the Twitter account for his label, Third Man Records. “Its a shame that our label’s artists will lose a social media outlet to promote their art, and i apologize to our artists for having to do this, but we are not going to even tangentially support you or this platform that will help conspiracy spreading liars and out of touch narci-capitalists tear this country apart, all for trump’s ego and your tax break agenda,” White said.
You can read White’s full statement below. His comments are especially significant given his past enthusiasm for Musk’s electric car company Tesla. White owned a Tesla Model S and boasted about using the vehicle’s audio system to mix The Raconteurs’ most recent record. He also played a free concert for Tesla employees in 2018.
Earlier this weekend, Trent Reznor announced his own plans to leave Twitter, saying, “We don’t need the arrogance of the billionaire class to feel like they can just come in and solve everything.”