Since George Floyd’s death, formerly liberal-minded Americans started validating the anti-racist question of the century: What shall we do with the poor unfortunate Negro?
This singular question popularized a corporate philosophy that is the antithesis of civil-rights law, encouraging employers to entertain an individual’s immutable characteristics as part of the application process.
Business tycoons like Mark Cuban have drunk the diversity, equity and inclusion Kool-Aid despite it containing corporate carcinogens and have chosen to die on the hill of DEI in the social-media public square, Twitter/X.
In an exchange with prominent X user @TheRabbitHole84, who was advocating meritocratic employment, Mark Cuban admitted he takes into account an individual’s identity before hiring: “I’ve never hired anyone based exclusively on race, gender, religion. I only ever hire the person that will put my business in the best position to succeed. And yes, race and gender can be part of the equation. I view diversity as a competitive advantage.”
This public admission of identity-based hiring practices prompted Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner Andrea R. Lucas to remind Cuban his actions are unlawful.
Mark Cuban, she wrote, “EEOC Commissioner here. Unfortunately you’re dead wrong on black-letter Title VII law. As a general rule, race/sex can’t even be a ‘motivating factor’—nor a plus factor, tie-breaker, or tipping point. It’s important employers understand the ground rules here.”
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Lucus then provided a link to a thread in which she was quoted with a legal reminder for businesses across America who are practicing what Cuban is preaching: “[Lucas] said she sees ‘significant legal and practical risk’ in many corporate diversity programs. ‘Equal opportunity is our charge,’ she said of the [@USEEOC]’s mission, ‘but the law does not demand equal outcomes.’”
When businessmen like Cuban advocate identity-based hiring, they’re tacitly admitting they don’t believe these individuals are capable of competing without corporate training wheels to roll them into employment.
They’re confessing that when a black person like me walks into their office looking for a job just like everyone else, they see me as an object that requires pity instead of a human being who deserves respect.
Cuban states he sees “diversity” as a competitive advantage thanks to employees having different perspectives, but what this does is reinforce race and sex essentialism: We must all think the same because we are part of the same group.
But proclaiming you want diverse perspectives based on identity markers is a ruse to sanction breaking the law because there are no two individuals who have the same perspective on everything, no matter what they look like.
By default, we are all unique and see the world differently despite occasional overlaps in viewpoints.
Cuban and others like him completely overlook something when considering immutable characteristics in employment: If any discrimination is allowed, then what’s to stop it from one day being applied against any of us?
The lesson we learned after instituting the Civil Right Act’s Title VII wasn’t just that refusing to hire black people is wrong — avoiding hiring anyone based on that person’s identity markers is wrong full stop.
It might be en vogue today to pity black applicants and want to give us a leg up, but who’s to say that in the future there won’t be a demand to boomerang back and correct an overcorrection in hiring, harking back to a distant past mantra of “Blacks need not apply”?
DEI encourages corporate saviorism as a necessary benevolent act, but it’s a disingenuous practice that sees minorities as incapable of excelling without someone else pulling us up to prosperity.
It makes intelligent men like Cuban speak dogmatically about people who don’t look like him, reinforcing how we are being held down by invisible systems and only wealthy white men like him can (and must) save us.
Mark Cuban: We don’t need saving or want your pity.
If you want to help us, treat us like everyone else and let DEI die.
Adam B. Coleman is the author of “Black Victim to Black Victor” and founder of Wrong Speak Publishing. Follow him on Substack: adambcoleman.substack.com.