In more ways than one.
As the New York Times reports:
Google on Monday fired a software engineer who wrote an internal memo that questioned the company’s diversity efforts and argued that the low number of women in technical positions was a result of biological differences instead of discrimination.
The memo, called “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” angered many in Silicon Valley because it relied on certain gender stereotypes — like the notion that women are less interested in high-stress jobs because they are more anxious — to rationalize the gender gap in the tech industry. The memo quickly spread outside the company, as other Google employees railed against many of its assumptions.
James Damore, author of the now-infamous memo, identifies himself as a “classical liberal”. It begins with the following paragraphs (with adjusted formatting):
I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at
population level differences in distributions. If we can’t have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem.
Psychological safety is built on mutual respect and acceptance, but unfortunately our culture of shaming and misrepresentation is disrespectful and unaccepting of anyone outside its echo
Despite what the public response seems to have been, I’ve gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired. This needs to change.
Damore’s memo focuses on supporting the following arguments:
- Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety .
- This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.
- The lack of discussion fosters the most extreme and authoritarian elements of this ideology.
○ Extreme: all disparities in representation are due to oppression
○ Authoritarian: we should discriminate to correct for this oppression
- Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership.
- Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.
Because Damore holds these views, Google fired him.
To explain Google’s action against Damore, memo Danielle Brown, Google’s Vice President of Diversity, Integrity, and Governance, wrote the following memo to employees:
I’m Danielle, Google’s brand new VP of Diversity, Integrity & Governance. I started just a couple of weeks ago, and I had hoped to take another week or so to get the lay of the land before introducing myself to you all. But given the heated debate we’ve seen over the past few days, I feel compelled to say a few words.
Many of you have read an internal document shared by someone in our engineering organization, expressing views on the natural abilities and characteristics of different genders, as well as whether one can speak freely of these things at Google. And like many of you, I found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.
Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul. As Ari Balogh said in his internal G+ post, “Building an open, inclusive environment is core to who we are, and the right thing to do. ‘Nuff said. “
Google has taken a strong stand on this issue, by releasing its demographic data and creating a company wide OKR on diversity and inclusion. Strong stands elicit strong reactions. Changing a culture is hard, and it’s often uncomfortable. But I firmly believe Google is doing the right thing, and that’s why I took this job.
Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions. But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.
I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and I can tell you that I’ve never worked at a company that has so many platforms for employees to express themselves—TGIF, Memegen, internal G+, thousands of discussion groups. I know this conversation doesn’t end with my email today. I look forward to continuing to hear your thoughts as I settle in and meet with Googlers across the company.
Because nothing says “we love diversity” more than firing someone who holds a perspective outside of the corporate zeitgeist.
The liberal media has already lined its talking points over the firing. This isn’t surprising, given that they are based on political dogma rather than actually understanding the facts behind this particular case.
As can be seen in the NYT article above, rather than focus on Damore’s concern about an ideological echo chamber in Google’s Mountain View campus, SJWs are defending the firing on the premise that the memo “sought to rationalize the gender gap in the tech industry”. Newsweek‘s article on the firing, in addition to focusing on the gender gap, is bringing in the alt-right’s supposed reaction to it:
Google has fired the employee that wrote a widely criticized memo suggesting that “biological differences” are the reason why there are so few women leaders in the tech industry. The tech giant’s decision sparked outrage on social media, with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and alt-right media outlets claiming the company was censoring James Damore, the sofware engineer behind the leaked memo.
Bringing in the alt-right into the story is an obvious attempt to obfuscate the simple fact that Damore was fired for pointing out that Google lives in an ideological echo chamber.
Which is, you know, censorship.
And a social justice campaign can’t be complete without its dutiful priests reciting their creed to the heathens via Twitter.
Brief reminder that racism, sexism, ableism, etc. are prejudice plus power. That's why "reverse sexism" isn't real: men hold systemic power.
— Pup Chantilly (@aphyr) August 6, 2017
If men really hold systemic power, I’m sure Damore would like a little bit more of that right about now.
Speaking for myself, Google’s firing of Damore really hits home.
It has become increasingly clear that the social justice movement has infiltrated corporate human resources departments. All Damore’s firing did was merely put an exclamation point on the matter.
As someone who works in a corporation, yet also identifies himself as a libertarian, the Google firing is among the scenarios about which I am most concerned.
After all, there is a reason why I am writing anonymously.
Social justice warriors, otherwise known as American Maoists, would like nothing more than for non-leftists, within and outside of companies, to shut their piehole so that their fairy tale sense of reality may take hold. (Of course it never will, primarily because they don’t understand human nature, but that’s another matter.)
What Google, if not SJWs, will discover, however, is there is a consequence to every action.
In the end, regardless of how the liberal media spins this particular incident, American corporations who react poorly to well-reasoned arguments will be hurting no one but themselves. And their bottom line. The sooner businesses realize this, the better.
Meantime, I’ve got some more blog posts to write before the American Maoists get to me.