Last Friday, we documented Alex Epstein’s melt-down when the Washington Post’s Maxine Joselow reached out with questions about a story she was working on, regarding some content Epstein wrote while in college that disparaged Martin Luther King Jr., and used white nationalist rhetoric about the “inferiority” of non-Western cultures. Epstein rallied his oil-selling and/or racist friends to say he wasn’t racist, and when the piece didn’t run when initially scheduled, he believed he had successfully intimidated the Washington Post.
But a week later, Joselow’s Washington Post story ran, focused on his bloviating undergraduate drivel, and it was just as devastating for any potential credibility Epstein might’ve tricked anyone into thinking that he had.
In case you missed it, we encourage you to go check it out. Joselow’s reporting shows that while Epstein likes to earn fossil fuel funding by pretending he cares deeply about developing countries, the reality is that he thinks these places are inherently inferior and deserve to be in that position because of their non-(white)Western culture.
There’s plenty more though, as documented by Documented and covered by Nick Cunnigham at DeSmog, for instance that Epstein wrote that “Locke, Aristotle, and Newton have had no equivalents in Africa or Asia.” Which is as racist as it is wrong, because all three relied on African metallurgy, two of those white men used Arabic numerals not Roman when writing on Chinese-invented paper, and the third is no more unique than Confucius, the Dalai Lama(s), Siddharta Guatama (Buddha), or any other well-published early philosopher known to anyone not fetishizing white Western canon for the express purpose of denigrating others.
And Epstein was explicit about Africans, Latin Americans, Indian, and Native Americans being inferior to Europeans, as he took issue with the fact that “African and African American studies department has 23 classes” and what’s worse, “in many of these classes, African culture is presented, not as inferior to Western culture, but on equal footing with it.”
Then there’s the Martin Luther King Jr. pieces, because Epstein twice wrote about how angry he was that MLK Day is a holiday Duke students get time off for, in 1999 and again in 2000 after his fellow students expressed outrage and disbelief that anyone could be so intentionally stupid. In 2000, Alex wrote “that because of the bad ideas he promoted, Dr. King is responsible for a great part of the destruction that has occurred in America today, especially among black Americans, the group he supposedly saved.”
Yes, young Alex quite literally blamed MLK for the problems caused by the white supremacy MLK (nonviolently) fought against.
But since the Post story didn’t include the MLK content, and just that he considers non-Western cultures (that just so happen to be non-white) to be inherently inferior, Epstein’s response was to declare victory!
Yes, because the Post only ran a whole story and newsletter post about his Western Civ chauvinism but not including his attacks on Martin Luther King Jr. and the idea that Duke students deserve time off for his holiday, Epstein is trying to spin what any human with a shred of decency or shame would consider a career-ending embarrassment into a point in his favor.
To be fair, it did get Alex onto Fox News’s website, which is a huge win for him, in that a bunch of Fox fans will now know him as the guy who didn’t get canceled for being racist in college. What an inspiration for that audience!
That makes sense though, because Epstein lives on turning failure into success. Fossil fuels are causing climate change? Alex says they’re good, and makes money doing it! Martin Luther King Jr. fought racism? Alex says MLK’s bad, and gets a ton of attention from fellow I’m-not-racist-but… friends that elevates his brand and grows his audience!
Washington Post’s Maxine Joselow proves that Alex’s fossil fuel lobbying purportedly on behalf of developing nations is purely in his fossil fuel funders interests, because Alex thinks those cultures are inherently inferior to white Western ones, but doesn’t flat-out label him “racist”? Success!
Given his career though, Epstein's response — spinning a story in the Post proving he’s a career liar who exploits developing nations he looks down on as a tool to sell fossil fuels as a victory — well, it actually makes a lot of sense!
Can’t be shamed into shutting up if you’re shameless!