Black Organizations and DEI Activists Add Pressure To Combat Anti-DEI Tactics From Major Corporations
Civil rights, political, and advocacy groups have banded together to fight the growing antics of dismantling diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts from major corporations and billionaires.
The National Urban League, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Black Economic Alliance are some groups working tirelessly behind the scenes to fight this attack on the culture. Urban League President Marc H. Morial called the tactics a “literal slap in the face.” “We’re up against an effort to contort and misrepresent what DEI really means,” he said.
Morial and other Black leaders have been rallying together in recent weeks after billionaires like X, formerly known as Twitter, owner Elon Musk, and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman began pushing their opposition to DEI initiatives.
In December 2023, the Tesla founder tweeted, “DEI must DIE. The point was to end discrimination, not replace it with different discrimination.” He continued to ruffle some feathers when he attacked DEI programs put in place by the airline industry. He criticized DEI efforts by United Airlines and Boeing for wanting to hire pilots and factory workers of color. To make matters worse, he pushed false claims that diversifying workspaces will make air travel less safe.
Ackman pushed the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. into the discussion, claiming that the activist’s “I Have A Dream” speech proves he would be against DEI. He also led the push to get Harvard’s first Black president, Claudine Gay, out after feeling Gay provided a weak response to antisemitism on campus.
Morial believes there is more work to be done within the DEI space. Thanks to legislation like the Civil Rights Act and equal employment opportunity programs, Black people have been offered balance in the workplace. “That opportunity might get you in the door, but it can’t sit for the test,” he said. “It can’t do the homework. It can’t sit for the bar exam or the medical board. You have to do that, and Black people have succeeded in doing the work when given the chance.
He isn’t alone in the fight. Activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton holds protests at Ackman’s NYC office every Thursday until changes are made. The Congressional Black Caucus sent a letter to each Fortune 500 company questioning their DEI commitments, pledged in 2020 at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to Daily Caller, the letter asked the companies to share data on their progress. “We know continued investments in diversity initiatives are essential to the success of your business and our country’s economy. We also understand companies are recalculating their risk tolerance in light of these unprecedented challenges that seek to dismantle your programs,” the letter reads.
“Our request is that you act on the overwhelming evidence and positive outcomes by expanding your company’s commitments to and investments in diversity initiatives, including supplier diversity programs. Together, we can overcome these baseless attacks and build a more resilient and inclusive economy that ensures continued prosperity for all.”