Elon Musk called Mark Cuban a “racist”

Elon Musk called Mark Cuban a “racist”

Elon Musk and Mark Cuban

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and entrepreneur Mark Cuban on Monday again engaged in a heated discussion on social media regarding diversity and inclusion practices.

What Happened: The war of words between the high-profile business magnates was sparked by a comment made by Musk, criticizing diversity and inclusion mandates in the airline industry.

Musk said, “The airline industry can’t find enough qualified pilots even without insane DEI requirements!”

The comment was in response to a news piece shared by a user named ‘The Rabbit Hole,’ which read that United Airlines is aiming to have half of the pilots trained in the next decade to be women or individuals from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Following Musk’s criticism of diversity efforts in the airline industry, Cuban jumped in to defend a hypothetical school’s freedom to select their students. “It’s a for-profit school. If they want primarily purple people eaters from Mars, it’s their choice,” Cuban said

The conversation escalated when Musk labeled Cuban a racist. Musk further proposed that Cuban could disprove accusations of racism or sexism by including an Asian woman and a white woman in his basketball team.

“Mark Cuban is a racist,” Musk said, adding, “The only way to prove he is not racist AND sexist is to put an Asian woman and a white woman on his basketball team!”

Why It Matters: The spat between Musk and Cuban comes in the backdrop of an ongoing debate over diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

Cuban, a strong supporter of DEI, has previously argued that these initiatives help companies discover untapped talent. He believes that without DEI, people from different racial, ethnic, and orientation backgrounds might be overlooked during recruitment. On the other hand, Musk’s comments on social media seem to reflect a more skeptical stance towards DEI mandates.

The fallout from the departure of Claudine Gay, the former President of Harvard, has ignited this fierce debate over DEI. Following Cuban’s earlier defense of DEI initiatives, he also clashed with Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) over the issue, asserting that his basketball team, the Dallas Mavericks, does indeed mirror the demographic diversity of America.

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