Elon Musk brands diversity, equity and inclusion 'propaganda words'

Musk says they 'must die' despite Telsa highlighting efforts to provide equal opportunities to staff

Elon Musk frequently uses X, formerly known as Twitter, to lament 'woke' culture. AFP
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Elon Musk believes diversity, equity and inclusion are “propaganda words” despite efforts by his company Tesla to promote such initiatives.

“DEI must DIE,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Friday. “The point was to end discrimination, not replace it with different discrimination.”

The Tesla chief executive added: "'Diversity, Equity and Inclusion' are propaganda words for racism, sexism and other -isms. This is just as morally wrong as any other racism and sexism. Changing the target class doesn’t make it right!"

Many companies around the world consider diversity, equity, and inclusion, commonly referred to as DEI, a top priority. The aim is to help various groups, such as people of different races, ethnicities, religions and abilities, overcome unfair treatment by implementing initiatives like training, mentorship and inclusive hiring programmes.

Tesla published its first DEI report in December 2020.

“We are proud to be a majority-minority company with a large representation of employees from communities that have long struggled to break through the historic roadblocks to equal opportunity in the US,” Tesla’s Impact Report from last year reads.

Earlier on Friday, Musk also criticised Microsoft Word’s Inclusivity Feature.

He shared a screenshot X revealing a blue squiggly line under the word "insane", with MS Word suggesting an alternative due to its perceived implication of mental health bias. “Microsoft Word now scolds you if you use words that aren't ‘inclusive'!” he wrote as the caption.

The tech billionaire shared a second screenshot where he wrote "11000 lbs” on Word, but the platform showed a suggestion: "Perspectives – Consider a different perspective,” before showing "11,000 lbs (about 4989.51 kg)" and "11,000 lbs (about twice the weight of an elephant)." In the caption, Musk wrote, "And this too."

Microsoft Word's inclusivity feature promotes the use of language that is considerate and inclusive. It points out words or phrases that might be seen as biased and offers alternative suggestions, encouraging users to be more aware and sensitive in their language.

The feature doesn't prevent users from typing specific words, but instead suggests alternative words to use or issues warnings about potentially non-inclusive language. It is not compulsory and can be turned off.

In a follow-up tweet, Musk expressed his concern about "wokeism" infiltrating various aspects of life, writing: "Wokeism has literally infiltrated everything on this planet. We must stop it."

Updated: December 16, 2023, 6:39 AM