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Mark Cuban hits Elon Musk over DEI comments

(The Hill) — In a series of posts on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Mark Cuban hit Elon Musk over his comments about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

Musk, the owner of X and Tesla, posted online multiple times Wednesday that DEI efforts are racist.

“Discrimination on the basis of race, which DEI does, is literally the definition of racism,” Musk posted.

In a separate post, Musk was responding to comments about Harvard President Claudine Gay resigning and said “DEI is just another word for racism. Shame on anyone who uses it.”

Cuban, an entrepreneur, former host of ABC’s “Shark Tank” and part owner of the Dallas Mavericks, took to the platform to give Musk his thoughts on DEI in a numbered and lettered list.

“Good businesses look where others don’t, to find the employees that will put your business in the best possible position to succeed. You may not agree, but I take it as a given that there are people of various races, ethnicities, orientation, etc that are regularly excluded from hiring consideration,” Cuban wrote. “By extending our hiring search to include them, we can find people that are more qualified. The loss of DEI-Phobic companies is my gain.”

Tesla and SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk pauses during a conversation in London, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool)

Cuban added that the United States is a country with very diverse demographics, but trust in businesses is declining. People tend to connect more easily to people who are similar to them, and having a diverse workplace that is representative of your stakeholders is good for business, Cuban said.

The businessman said he made the mistake for many years thinking that treating people equally means treating them the same, and he deemed equity a core principle of business. He urged Musk to recognize his employees’ differences and “play to their strengths where ever possible.” Cuban said inclusion is all about creating environments without unnecessary stress that will increase productivity. It’s not easy to make employees feel comfortable, Cuban said, but it is necessary for inclusion.

Cuban slammed Musk in a final post, saying if he doesn’t see the need for DEI within his companies, or recognize the “competitive advantage” DEI efforts would provide, he should look at the comments below.

“These are the same people that work for you or are your co-workers. Everyone is entitled to their [point of view], but these same feelings, even if they are [not] said out-loud, are heard loud and clear at work,” Cuban concluded.  

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