A social media exchange between X owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Dallas Mavericks minority owner Mark Cuban went viral earlier this week as Cuban attempted to challenge the tech mogul’s stance on DEI policies.
In a thread, Musk called DEI “just another word for racism,” adding that people should be ashamed to use it. He also posted, “Discrimination on the basis of race, which DEI does, is literally the definition of racism.”
Cuban could not help but respond. He laid out his thoughts on each element individually and even compared business executives’ stances on the issue to their stances on healthcare, claiming DEI is “not seen as a core competency in most companies” and that it is “just a huge expense that they don’t have time to focus on.”
He concluded his argument by telling Musk to pay attention to the replies from users.
“So what’s the conclusion?” he wrote. “If you don’t think there is a need for DEI and it doesn’t create a competitive advantage for your company, just look at the @x posts/replies/quotes below. These are the same people that work for you or are your co-workers. Everyone is entitled to their POV, but these same feelings, even if they are not said out-loud, are heard loud and clear at work.”
However, his points were met with plenty of criticism from users who pointed out the seeming hypocrisy in his argument, telling him to “practice what you preach” when pointing to the lack of diversity in the leadership of his companies.
Musk quipped back in a reply that effectively ended the argument, asking Cuban, “Cool, so when should we expect to see a short white/Asian women on the Mavs?” and adding to the enjoyment of fans and users following the exchange.
Others expressed their support for Musk and hostility toward DEI initiatives.
“DEI is racist and illegal. If your employer has a diversity program, it’s time to sue them into the dirt. Collect your check, make yourself rich on those who want to be racist towards Whites and Asians,” posted Adam Lowisz.
“DEI promotes everything it claims to eradicate,” wrote X user therealZNO.
Cuban tried to further defend himself by responding with an old article about his willingness to let Brittney Griner play for the Mavs. This prompted even further backlash from fans, who quickly called the argument in Musk’s favor.