As he's increasingly leaned into culture war rhetoric, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has started railing against the very concept of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Across several racist tirades, the mercurial entrepreneur has denounced the practice, arguing that minorities shouldn't get preferential treatment and even that it's unsafe to have Black people become pilots — because, in his racist estimation, they apparently aren't smart enough.
His comments — besides being appalling — may also be highlighting a glaring double standard.
This week, Musk's EV maker Tesla quietly removed language about minority workers in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as Bloomberg reports, seemingly to fall in line with Musk's increasingly outspoken racist beliefs.
"With a majority-minority workforce, empowering our employee resource groups to take charge in driving initiatives that attract, develop and retain our passionate workforce is vital to our continued success," reads the sentence, which was included in a document from a year ago, but makes no appearance in the latest filing.
In other words, Tesla whiplashed from bragging about its affirmative hiring policy to pretending it never existed — a sad reality, especially given the company's already embroiled in several lawsuits accusing it of racial discrimination.
The latest omission in its SEC filing shouldn't come as much of a surprise, though, given Musk's disparaging of DEI practices. Earlier this month, Musk even endorsed a tweet suggesting Black students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities have lower IQs and shouldn't become pilots.
Musk has argued that hiring practices should be based on merit alone, claiming that DEI itself is "racist" without providing any kind of evidence or acknowledging the racial biases that have led to discriminatory hiring practices.
"It will take an airplane crashing and killing hundreds of people for them to change this crazy policy of DIE," he tweeted, intentionally mixing up the letters of the acronym and falsely accusing airlines of ignoring merit-based evaluations.
It's a sad state of affairs, with Tesla now turning its back on its "majority-minority" workforce. Worse yet, workers at the company's factories have long complained of discrimination as it is.
In 2022, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued the carmaker, claiming that black workers are "severely underrepresented" in management positions.
Then last year, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the company as well, citing rampant racism, and even the discovery of swastikas and nooses at its plant in Fremont, California.
Outside of Tesla, a resurgence of conservative activism has inspired major corporations to abandon their diversity hiring efforts, a trend that was likely spurred on by the Supreme Court ruling against affirmative action in higher education back in June.
And Musk is very much riding this populist shift to the right to foment even more online rage.