Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman claims Martin Luther King Jr. would’ve been “opposed” to DEI.
Ackman made the comment on Monday (January 15) during a conversation with X owner Elon Musk and Democratic presidential candidate Dean Phillips.
The billionaire cited statements King made in his “I Have a Dream Speech” about wanting his children “to be judged not by the color of their skin but the content of their character” as the reason why the civil rights leader would be opposed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs.
“I think Dr. King would be very opposed to this sort of ideology, even though you know, diversity is a good thing, even though of course, a culture where everyone feels comfortable and included is critically important,” Ackman said.
Chris Metzler, a DEI expert who created certification courses at Georgetown and Cornell universities, said Ackman’s remarks were “just ridiculous, but not surprising. He and they — because he’s not alone in this — want to take the ‘content of your character’ part of that historic speech out of context to fit their narrative. It’s wrong,” per NBC News.
Ackman’s latest DEI comments follow his attack on Dr. Claudine Gay, who recently resigned as the first Black president of Harvard University. In a lengthy post on X, Ackman attempted to discredit Gay and her accomplishments.
“We are well past the point where Claudine Gay is the only one to blame for the mess that is Harvard. Ultimately, when management fails, the board needs to step in. It has failed to do so,” Ackman previously said. “As a result, the reputations of the eleven individuals who comprise the board are in the process of being destroyed. It is sad to watch this happen as there are some very high-quality people on this board.”
Bernice King, MLK’s youngest daughter, has also previously called out individuals for misinterpreting her father’s famous speech.
“People using “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” to deter discussion of, teaching about, and protest against racism are not students of the comprehensive,” King tweeted in August. “My father’s dream and work included eradicating racism, not ignoring it.”
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