Politics, Science / Tech, Tech

Lawsuit Exposes Internet Giant’s Internal Culture of Intolerance

James Damore, the former Google engineer who was fired last summer after authoring a document questioning the company’s diversity policies, has filed a lawsuit against the company. In a 161-page complaint, he does far more than challenge his firing and accuses Google of systemic discrimination against and harassment of white and male employees, as well as of violating a California state law that prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of an employee’s political persuasion. He has joined together with another engineer by the name of David Gudeman who was also fired after he expressed politically incorrect views. Together, the two of them are requesting that their case be treated as a class action on behalf of all employees who have faced similar treatment at the hands of the Internet giant. The charges that they make are broad and far-reaching, but they are not asking that their claims be taken on faith alone. More than half of the complaint is taken up by an 87-page-long exhibit consisting of screenshots from internal systems used by Google employees to communicate. These screenshots present a stunning display of unprofessional behavior not just by rank-and-file employees but managers and even a senior vice president, including overt discrimination, prejudice on the basis of race and gender, conflation of dissenting political views with racism and sexism, punishment of those who asked questions about what behavior was permitted, endorsement of politically motivated violence, and even an attack on the very notion of truth itself.

The complaint alleges that Google’s affirmative action programs went beyond merely setting targets and conducting outreach events restricted to certain demographics. At a “Diversity Team Kickoff” event, a director announced plans “to freeze headcount so that teams could find diversity candidates to help fill the empty roles,” with “diversity candidates” being defined to mean “women and non-Caucasian individuals” (Complaint 46). In other words, Google saw fit to stop hiring white men at all for certain teams until the desired numbers of favored groups were met. Not only did Google practice this discrimination itself, but it also attempted to use its power in the industry to coerce other companies into doing the same, with one manager instructing his employees as follows:

Next time you get invited to speak at a conference, especially if you’re a white male – ask the organizer to confirm you’re the only white male on the panel / in the speaker lineup. If not, say you are honored, but must decline, and give the reason. And because you are at Google, guess what – they’re going to change the panel for you. You’ll feel bad about inconveniencing them. But not that bad. When the cheesy white male executive is in the “green room” and glaring at you because he was bounced for the panel in favor of a woman on his team, you’ll feel pretty damn smug. Or you won’t: you’ll feel bad that you might have put her in a tough spot, and you’ll go above and beyond to make good with the schmucky senior dude (Complaint 42).

Smug indeed. The willingness to displace all of the other people on a panel, people who presumably worked hard to earn those speaking opportunities, displays a level of ego that is striking.

Despite these glaring acts of discrimination, the social justice activists within the company are still not satisfied and are pushing for ever-more-extreme forms of affirmative action. Proposals have included adding points to the interview scores of favored candidates (Exhibit 25), penalizing senior vice presidents whose teams didn’t hire the desired demographics by taking away half of their equity compensation (Exhibit 25), and even an outright “moratorium on hiring white cis heterosexual abled men who aren’t abuse survivors” (Exhibit 83). One manager proposed an experiment in discrimination:

I think only women and [people of color] should be allowed to make hiring decisions at google [sic] for a year. And/or randomly assign a third of each position type to only be hired by women, [people of color], or unselected type. Look at the resulting data. Google likes experiments? Do an experiment (Exhibit 25).

Apparently, it never occurred to her that her proposal is a flagrant violation of federal civil rights laws. Another manager saw fit to take matters into his own hands, declaring that he would begin each interview with “a discussion of experience with diversity” and only proceed to the technical questions that assess a candidate’s qualifications for the job once he was satisfied that the candidate had met his ideological litmus test (Exhibit 25).

This tendency toward discrimination was accompanied by numerous instances of prejudice directed at white men. The complaint alleges that “the presence of Caucasians and males was mocked with ‘boos’ during company-wide weekly meetings” by individuals who included “high-level managers…who were responsible for hundreds, if not thousands, or hiring and firing decisions” (Complaint 3). One employee posted to a forum, “If you put a group of 40-something white men in a room together and tell them to come up with something creative or innovative, they’ll come back and tell you how enjoyable the process was, and how they want to do it again, but they come up with fuck-all as a result!” (Complaint 43) This claim is, of course, demonstrably false as evidenced by the many inventions and discoveries contributed to humanity by white men in their forties. When another employee complained to human resources that the post constituted harassment on the grounds of race, gender, and age, all of which are protected classes under federal law, Google responded that the post was acceptable because its purpose was “to highlight that it is helpful to have diverse perspective” (Complaint 43). It seems that Google’s definition of diversity does not require respecting the basic human dignity of all people.

These are far from the only instances of prejudice documented in the complaint. Employees mocked those who expressed concerns about unfairness to those passed over by affirmative action, declaring that they “already have all the advantages in the world” (Complaint 40) and that “it’s not sexism / racism if it’s against males / whites” (Exhibit 76). Such concerns were dismissed as “devil’s-advocate troll-bullshit” (Complaint 41). One employee declared all white men to be part of the problem: “By being a white male, you are in a privileged class that is actively harmful to others, whether you like it or not. So, no, you really actually don’t get to complain about your right to an opinion” (Exhibit 53). Another pontificated, “The only way we ‘move past color’ in America is for white people to shut up and listen” (Exhibit 47). Slurs casually flung around included “whitesplaining” (Exhibit 58), “white fragility” (Exhibit 59), “white tears” (Exhibit 85), “toxic whiteness” (Exhibit 61), and of course “mansplaining” (Exhibit 74). In some cases, the slurs were sexually explicit, with one employee declaring that “being a computer programmer is even sweeter if you have a dick” (Exhibit 84) and another congratulating anyone who disagreed with him on his “white penis” (Exhibit 55). One employee compared the reaction of “straight white men” to her use of the word “privilege” to “vampires being fed a garlic tart at high noon” (Exhibit 52). A manager advised his subordinates, “It’s good to be periodically reminded, given how popular Dilbert is amongst us geek-folk, that the creator of Dilbert is…a paranoid sexist dickbag” (Exhibit 50). Another manager challenged others to “Stop Reading White Straight, Cis Male Authors for One Year” (Exhibit 51).

The intolerance on display was not just racial and sexual but also political. One employee openly declared, “I personally believe that a majority of self-identified ‘Republicans’ can be placed in the bucket category of idiots (or uneducated)” (Exhibit 3). Another proclaimed his hostility, “If you’re concerned about discussing conservative values at work, maybe you should be. Maybe that’s a feature, and not a bug” (Exhibit 2). An employee who sympathized with his heterodox colleagues recounted, “I have lost count of the times at Google…people tell me privately that they cannot admit their voting choice if they are Republican because they fear how other Googlers will react” (Exhibit 11).

Conservative ideology was treated by many as being the equivalent of racism and sexism: “The choice to be a Republican is the choice to align yourself with a white supremacist, xenophobic regime” (Exhibit 1). Another employee declared that “one of two major American political party [sic] has adopted white supremacy as a political platform” (Exhibit 1). When one employee discussed “Conservative Christianity” as being among “legitimate world views,” another responded, “I admire your tolerance, but pairing those two phrases still sounds like an oxymoron to me” (Exhibit 1).

The vilest treatment, however, was reserved for those who supported the candidacy of Donald Trump. One Trump voter at the company recounted his experience following the election:

As a Republican at Google and a person who voted for Trump, I already knew I was in the minority. What I didn’t foresee is the fact that I would have to come into work yesterday and hear my cube mates ridicule and mock people like myself that voted for Trump, and then have that behavior reinforced by senior leaders who sent emails condoning the beratement of Republicans (Exhibit 14).

When one employee urged others to show respect and try to understand one another even if they chose different candidates, another replied:

I mean no disrespect, but statements like this come off rather condescending IMO when the rule of law has been killing blackfolks for generations and is now well documented, and part of the platform of the man who was elected was that law would be harder on blackfolk. This sort of statement smells strongly of privilege that many people in the US do not have (Exhibit 15).

The notion that it would make a difference if someone voted for Trump for reasons other than his incendiary rhetoric was explicitly repudiated:

Unfortunately, when you vote for or nominate a candidate, you vote for the entire package. You can’t support Donald Trump without also supporting his racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia. Or even worse, if you vote for Donald Trump because of his economic policy or because you feel the other party is corrupt, then what you’re saying is that economics is more important than the safety of your peers (Exhibit 31).

In this climate of little tolerance for dissent, it is understandable that employees whose views differed from the prevailing opinions might wish to ascertain exactly what the boundaries were. However, the complaint alleges that employees were punished for merely asking such questions. Two such questions leading to punishment were as follows:

Are you insinuating that it is a “jerk move” to share your opinion about a political blog post if 98% of Googlers disagree with you, but it’s OK to share your opinion about a political blog post if 98% of Googlers agree with you? If so, how do you reconcile this view with [Senior Vice President Urs Hölzle’s] request to help make Google a supportive place for minorities of any kind? (Complaint 24)

Many Googlers have claimed that it is “harassment” or some other rule violation to critique articles that push the Social Justice agenda. A few Googlers have openly called for others to be fired over it. Do you support this viewpoint, and if so, can we add a clear statement of banned opinions to the employee handbook so that everybody knows what the ground rules are? (Complaint 24)

One employee responded to the latter question, saying, “yes, the posting of this kind of ‘critique’ – and in fact, the posing of this very question itself – directly contributes to the creation of a hostile work environment for women at this company” (Exhibit 21). In doing so, he seems to be engaging in what the equity feminist Christina Hoff Sommers has termed “fainting couch feminism,” treating women as too fragile to be exposed to an opinion with which they might disagree and thereby reinforcing many of the stereotypes that earlier generations of feminists fought so hard to erase.1

Some of the behavior on display at Google went beyond hate speech into the realm of outright endorsements of politically motivated violence. One employee proclaimed:

This is why I refuse to condemn rioters or punching Nazis. This is targeted, political, defensive violence. It’s what happens when you leave otherwise nonviolent people with no other choice, and it’s what happens when a movement ignores everything else: facts, morality, empathy, justice, fairness, whatever…

So, let some black bloc guy punch a Nazi, and let the world point and laugh. Let it be symbolic and let all the Nazis fear. And then repeat after me: this is not normal. This is not normal (Exhibit 39).

Others join in the calls for violence: “If you subscribe to an ideology that, as a matter of fact, wants to kill people because they are different – and has, by the millions – then you deserve being punched in the face. Repeatedly” (Exhibit 40). One employee declared that “we are at a point where the dialogue we need to be having with these people is ‘if you keep talking about this shit, I [sic] will hurt you’” and that “the only way to change people’s minds is to make being a fucking nazi [sic] have consequences” (Exhibit 40). Another casually announced, “Also in the mood to punch Nazis, but none within punching distance” (Exhibit 41). For one employee, simply being a male engineer was enough to justify the desire for violence: “Every time I’m reminded of the travails of Kathy Sierra it makes me want to pound a brogrammer in the face” (Exhibit 48). Another employee announced his participation in #TheIdesofTrump, a movement to protest Trump on the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar (Exhibit 81).

Yet perhaps the most shocking revelation in the complaint was the declaration by Senior Vice President Urs Hölzle that the scientific method should not be applied to questions pertaining to diversity:

As engineers, we’re trained to pay attention to the details, think logically, challenge assumptions that may be incorrect (or just fuzzy), and so on. These are all excellent tools for technical discussions. But they can be terrible tools for discussion around race, discrimination, justice, and so on, because these discussions touch topics with a high cultural and emotional content. That’s because questioning the exact details can easily be perceived as questioning the overall validity of the effort, or the veracity of the historical context.

Behind Hölzle’s statement is the assumption that it is wrong to question the validity of a diversity effort that treats people differently due to innate characteristics beyond their control or the truth of the narrative used to justify it. Instead, these claims must be taken on faith. The emotions of those who would benefit are so inviolable as to warrant suppressing inquiry into the facts, yet no regard is given for the emotions of those who are suffering from this discrimination. Those who believe this should be ashamed to call themselves supporters of either science or justice.

Hölzle goes on to compare questioning the narratives behind diversity programs with going to a funeral and criticizing the deceased. It would be the wrong time to do so out of respect for the mourners, even if the deceased was a person who deserved criticism. This is undoubtedly true, but it also a deeply flawed analogy. A funeral lasts for a short period of time. The fact that someone has died does not grant that person the right to be perpetually treated as infallible. If now is not the right time to question these policies, then when is? No answer is provided to this question.

For a better example of how to address these issues, we might do well to look to Alan Dershowitz, a Jewish law professor at Harvard, who was once confronted with an anti-Semite who denied the historical accuracy of the Holocaust. Rather than seeking to censor the anti-Semite, Dershowitz instead proposed a debate between the two of them that would take place at Auschwitz, where the evidence for the Holocaust is located.2 As Justice Louis Brandeis said when defending the importance of transparency and free speech, “Sunlight is said to be one of the best disinfectants.” If one is confident in the strength of the evidence to support one’s claims, then there is no good reason to fear scrutiny.

Based on the information revealed in Damore’s complaint, we would do well to recognize that Google has through its actions forfeited a great deal of its credibility. It cannot claim to be a neutral arbiter of information when it denies a hearing to any ideas that do not conform to its politically correct dogma. It cannot claim to be a leading proponent of science when it prioritizes emotions over truth. It cannot claim not to be evil when it censors and discriminates. The case is still in its earliest stages, and there is no doubt that even more of Google’s ugly internal culture will be revealed when witnesses begin to be interrogated. It seems likely that Damore’s charges will resonate with a jury that, unlike Google, will contain Americans from across the political spectrum. Yet whatever the outcome of the case is in a court of law, what has been revealed ought to affect the degree of trust that the public extends to Google.

 

The author is a software engineer. Gideon Scopes is a pseudonym. Given the current climate surrounding political expression in the technology industry, his real name has been withheld.

 

References

1 Sommers, Christina Hoff. How fainting couch feminism threatens freedom [Internet]. Washington (DC): American Enterprise Institute; 2015 Jun 22 [cited 2018 Jan 28]. Available from: http://www.aei.org/multimedia/how-fainting-couch-feminism-threatens-freedom/

2 Dershowitz, Alan. The Case for Israel. Hoboken (NJ): John Wiley & Sons, Inc; 2003. 265 p.

Filed under: Politics, Science / Tech, Tech

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The author is a software engineer. Gideon Scopes is a pseudonym. Given the current climate surrounding political expression in the technology industry, his real name has been withheld.

73 Comments

  1. Chester says

    Excellent piece, Gideon. I have been loosely tuned into James Damore’s story through content produced by Joe Rogan, Jordan Peterson, Tucker Carlson, Ben Shapiro, etc. You deftly cover a lot of ground and balance the contents of the lawsuit with your own analysis in a seamless manner. This is a great read for anyone who has not read the full memo detailing the lawsuit but is interested in the development of James Damore’s battle against the ideologues and radical leftists in Google. Thanks for the article.

  2. <>

    I don’t know what they talking about? Communisim under Stalin, Socialism under Mao or Pol Pot or Nazism (not that it’s a statistic to be proud of but Nazism killed the least number of people all told.)

    • Alistair says

      Well, as a historian and statistician; a better metric should control for the population under control of the regime and duration of regime, rather than raw deaths.

      So murders-per-population-year gives a more reasonable comparison of the brutality of the two great tyrannies of the 20th century. Still doesn’t make the Soviets look good though.

  3. Daniel PV says

    Good golly gosh. That was hard to wade through. There was always going to be a point where this happened, it was just a matter of time before someone compiled evidence against them, and took it to court. I find the whole “Nazi punching” thing comical. “Nazi” meaning, of course, “anyone with a dissenting political opinion to mine”, in order to legitimize acting violently against them. The stupid thing is, these type of people would never punch an actual Neo Nazi, as Neo Nazi are usually very nasty, physically strong, violent people. “punching a Nazi” is probably going to be your last act on earth if you were ever stupid enough to try it. I’d be afraid to punch a Nazi, that’s for sure.

    • Michael says

      Hilter’s Nazis *were* the ones punching “anyone with a dissenting political opinion” in the face. That is the ironic hypocrisy of all those who endorse Nazi punching. A free society reaches truth and justice through open and civil discussion of ideas, not through violence and the suppression of ideas (even the offensive ones).

      Love your enemy.

    • Adam Kolasinski says

      The current liberal use of the word, “Nazi,” is a manifestation of the epithet treadmill.

      At first, the progs go around calling anyone who disagrees with them “far right.” That loses its cache pretty quickly, when everyone to the right of Elizabeth Warren gets labeled as “far right.” So then they use “Alt-Right” or “white nationalist,” but that too soon loses its cache. Now they’ve escalated it to calling everyone who disagrees with them “Nazis.”

      The good news is that I don’t think there’s a more extreme epithet they can jump to. The bad news is that there really are Neo-Nazis out there (though not many), so I’m not sure how we will be able to accurately talk about these genuinely dangerous people if leftists abuse the term “Nazi” so much it loses its meaning.

      • Shugtastic says

        The problem is that to find something worse than “Nazi” they’d probably need to choose from Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot – and they’re ALL too ideologically close to home for the current illiberal liberals.

      • The same thing applies to all the other labels they bandy about – Bigots, Racists,Sexists ageists. By ridiculous and innacurate use of these words they have become meaningless.

        • richard40 says

          That is why I have noticed they no longer use racist or bigot, its white supremecist now. But once that is misused enough by the leftists it will no longer have any meaning either.

    • Hogarth says

      “Nazi” meaning, of course, “anyone with a dissenting political opinion to mine”

      See also: racist, misogynist, bigot, homophobe, and a slew of other words that will also have any potency boiled out of them.

  4. Change the donation system on this site from patron to paypal.me/quillette and I would have probably donated a buck!

  5. Zachary Reichert says

    Well, thank goodness I work in a highly competitive manufacturing environment. Those in charge here absolutely do not care what you look like or what you think, as long as you get the job done properly. They cannot afford to do anything else.

  6. Computer science types are frequently rigid and dogmatic and ignorant of everything except their specialty (and maybe science fiction). Programming — now called “coding” — requires explicit specification of procedures for computing devices. This attracts a certain kind of personality that dislkes vagueness and ambiguity and concentrates on detail. Programmers often have strong opinions about technical matters. I’d like to see a personality analysis of these opinionated lefties. Programmers weren’t lefties at all when I was one, though. Don’t know how that lefty worldview became popular in the domain.

    • Taupe Pope says

      They still aren’t lefties or at least not SJWs for the most part. This stuff is coming from HR, PR and admin.

    • Joseph Emminger says

      I’m with you. I work in IT and I find the industry to be a funny mix of white collar/blue collar, but it’s so strange how software development has been saturated with Left-leaning ideas. You don’t see the same culture surrounding mission critical applications like document storage.

      I think it has to do with the increased usage of smartphones. Software development has moved away from desktop applications into portable applications. It’s also a fact that programming is much more abstract today than it was 20 years ago. You don’t even have to interact with hardware to write an app for Android OS, for example. Abstract thinking, abstract ideas.

  7. Deafening Tone says

    On the pseudonym, nice reference to (I presume) the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925. Then, as now, fundamentalists who reject the premise of science had their day in court–and in the media–and it didn’t end well for the fundamentalists.

  8. Francisco Pastrami says

    Don’t be a puss “Gideon” give your real name! Don’t be afraid of the consequences!

  9. Joanne Bartley says

    The key phrase here seems to be ‘proposal’. Some wild ideas were proposed by people but didn’t become policy, some stupid comments were made on online forums…. Presented on mass out of context, they look awful. We see a lot of these ‘proposals’ in this article and not the debate around them, or the concrete policy. It’s all presented to make Googlers look nuts, and Damore look like a victim of a nasty culture.

    He should never have lost his job over that memo, and I hope he wins his case. But I don’t know how you stop Googlers exploring these ideas in internal comms (however silly those ideas are) without getting into censorship.

    If this was some woman claiming ‘look what those men said in the locker room’ this is why I don’t get paid so much… I bet all Damore’s fans would be going ballistic about locker room men having a right to their dumb views. Free speech etc.

    There is a lefty sort of culture at Google, the key thing is that the bosses of Google don’t act unlawfully. I think they probably did. But this article seems to be veering towards suggesting mad equality policies should not even be discussed in a company of people who care about equality of opportunity. I hope they do get discussed, however mad they are, so a balanced lawful way gets chosen. I wish Damore had kept his job to write a reply on a forum and make his point. And I hope he doesn’t turn this into some other kind of debate, about these views being “wrong” and “unacceptable.”

    • William Blaxton says

      The logical standard applies- if it wasn’t white males who were being harassed, demeaned, and discriminated against, all hell would have broken loose. But as the Google employee said, white men are inherently bad. We used to quaintly refer to that as racism, but today it is a central dogma of the new fundamentalist religion of Intersectionality.

      Your equation of this openly blatant racist and misandrist speech in the workplace with some imaginary kind of a-ok “locker room talk” is absurd. If the races and genders in the referenced comments were switched, there would be instant outrage and firings- as there should be.

      Finally, none of the racist and sexist proposals referenced in the article are about “equality of opportunity.” They are clearly and openly about equality of outcome, which has been tried in many times and places always with the same result- tyranny and murder.

    • RE:But I don’t know how you stop Googlers exploring these ideas in internal comms 

      Don’t provide the platform. Expect employees to spend work hours working, not mining for likes on distracting social media platforms. This is part of the complicity. The company provided the weapon that the bad actors used in the assaults.

      • Friedrich Oppenstahl says

        It’s valid there should be wider standards for exploration than consensus, but what the article describes is the consensus at Google, enshrined by:

        – mandatory diversity classes
        – choruses of boos
        – expressions of intent to act by those with power
        – punishment for discussion

        The last one is elegantly damning: since discussion-standards are broader than consensus standards, you only punish discussion when it’s well outside the consensus. This is relevant because the consensus is the ideology you can expect them to spread through their products. That’s why this should cost them credibility. Well-handled extremist discussion, where contrary views moderate the call to action, would, to my view, enhance their credibility, but unfortunately that’s not what anyone is describing.

        Thank you for pointing out the difference, Joanne! Fair enough if you’re more optimistic, but I just don’t think it’s supported by what we’ve got.

    • You’re an idiot, these are not just proposals, they literally talked about their execution of hiring practices in a discriminatory matter. You are a bad person.

      • Andrew Roddy says

        William Blaxton, your comment is reasonable and therefore conspicuous by its presence.

    • Robert Franklin says

      I don’t know the CA law, but I suspect the issue addressed is whether there was a hostile work environment. If so, then all of the statements quoted are highly relevant.

  10. farang says

    Curious, this. In the 1980’s, in the Bay Area, corporations with federal contracts were mandated to have EEO departments, that would give the factory workers the same spiel about why women and minorities should be granted privileged promotions over white males to fill empty supervisory positions. Their spiel consisted of “because of things that happened in the past” to justify reverse discrimination.

    Apparently now that it is happening to White male management/white collars workers, they are finally awakening to the intolerance of these Communists. Yes, Communists, attacking the majority of the nation’s population to impose their ideology and weaken the fiber of our nation.

    I’d be thrilled to debate Dershowitz at Auschwitz: it is a fact, a FACT that at Auschwitz the total inmates deceased there has OFFICIALLY dropped from 4.5 million to today’s 1.5 million. That is a FACT.

    • Anon who saw the archive.is says

      Good luck, debating him in Auschwitz would be debating gay rights in Saudi Arabia, its illegal and pretty much entrapment. Now get him to debate in Poland who said “we refuse to be accused of siding with the nazis during ww2” and that would be something to watch, because Israel is pushing as is the States that “Poland were nazis” which is a dick move considering they have quite the sizable numbers in deathcamp victims as well.

    • Hogarth says

      1,500,000? Is that all??? Well okay then – much ado about nothing.

  11. Moishe Pipik says

    The “Progressives” who claim to hate Nazis also hate Jews! It makes no sense, of course, but they claim the 12 million Jews of the world are somehow oppressing the 1.2 Billion Muslims.

    • This statement is complete BS, and I challenge you to provide a link to any progressive saying that.
      It’s a fact that Israel oppresses its Arab population (who are predominantly Muslim), and even more so that of the Occupied Territories. That comes to roughly 6.3 million Israeli Jews (46% of world Jewry) oppressing 5.2 million Muslims (0.2% of the world total).
      I hasten to add that in reality, it’s not even all Israeli Jews oppressing all Israeli Muslims; rather, it’s a small minority of Jews at the top of the Israeli power structure. To ignore this distinction would be to overlook the primacy of class and commit the “apex fallacy.”

      • Deafening Tone says

        I feel a “No Scotsman” fallacy coming on…

  12. Hopefully none of these “proposals” or “suggestions” became real policies; either way, this is clear evidence that willfully ignorant social justice activism is NOT isolated to college campuses. Working professionals hold these types of dogmatic opinions and have potential sway over many others, for their positions of power within Google or simply for being at Google, as referenced by one of the managers above.

    • snelson134 says

      The problem is that they did. Damore’s firing is proof they did.

      • I was trying to maintain a distinction between the type of “policy” a manager or other higher-up may implement in accord with his/her own ideological bent, and those that are actually in writing; here though, as you allude to, that distinction is useless. Either way Damore and who knows how many others are out of jobs. Turns out the folks who have been calling out those possessed by identity politics are not just crying wolf, or making a mole of an anthill.

        To snelson134 and other commenters: What can be done?

        Jordan Peterson suggests getting more college students interested in going to Truth University than Social Justice University (Jonathan Haidt’s terms), but that only begins to rectify the situation on campuses, and slowly at that. Other Quillette articles have pointed to certain required coursework for all college students, to weed out the notion of emotion superseding fact and reason. This may also be effective; for example, UC Berkeley requires all undergraduates to take an “American Cultures” course before graduating, each of which has an entire unit on intersectionality (among other radical postmodern dogma presented as fact), equipping students with the necessary pseudoscience for activism. But this solution is again isolated to college campuses, and the problem is clearly not.

  13. Pingback: Lawsuit Exposes Internet Giant’s Internal Culture of Intolerance – Quillette – HISTÓRIA da POLÍTICA

  14. Angus says

    Friends don’t let Friends use GOOLAG.
    “War is Peace.
    Freedom is Slavery.
    Ignorance is Strength.”
    – George Orwell, 1948

    “Divisiveness is Unity.
    Opinion is Violence.
    Discrimination is Inclusiveness.”
    – Google, Present day.
    —————————————————
    Goolag decided to reduce its three word motto to two: Be Evil

  15. The problem is foreigners running a company who are completely at odds with the constitution and bill of rights.

    This si what the country would have looked like if HRC had won. A complete fascist authoritarian government.

    • Nonsense. Constitutional rights don’t apply in the workplace if it’s privately owned because we live in a capitalist system. This is true regardless of who’s in the White House (and it’s ironic that you say it would be worse under Clinton given the evidence of foreign influence on Trump). What gives Damore’s lawsuit a chance is federal and state nondiscrimination laws, not anything in the Constitution.
      Want to create a solid legal basis for enforcing constitutional rights in workplaces? Make them all public property.

      • Of course, Federal non-discrimination laws are based on the 14th Amendment and Art. 1 § 8 (the commerce clause), which bind the states because Federal law is the supreme law of the land, Art. VI.

        Further, if a private company, like Google or Alphabet, has any federal contracts or accepts any grants, they too are subject to federal non-discrimination laws.

  16. What this controversy shows is how (irritatingly) politicised every facet of life has become in the West.

    Personally, I don’t think the workplace is an appropriate arena to discuss politics, whether one’s views are left or right (if those terms even make any sense anymore). The workplace is for work, and we generally don’t get to choose our colleagues, so the professional thing to do is to avoid discussion of controversial topics that have no direct relevance to work. I honestly don’t understand how these overgrown adolescents manage to get anything done, what with their constant obsession with political activism.

    • I think it’s probably a side-effect the cult-like mentality reigning in many “hip” companies these days, where you are encouraged to think that your job is not just a job – one part of your life – but your entire identity. As such, there is no divide between professional and private life.

  17. Darwin T of BC Humanists says

    “Google it” now morphs into “Google hit”.

    What a way to poison your mind with this postmodern piffle. This is what dogma sounds and acts like. Religion for the secular. It is as if they never heard of reason and thought.

    Best of luck Mr. Damore. Prepare yourself for a long trial and appeal process. While you are at it please get ready physically to defend yourself by rigorous exercise and self-defensee courses. It will help also with the stress you are about to endure.

  18. innotecture says

    This article mostly talks about talk at Google. Google is apparently a woke commune. White men are an endangered species – like the giant panda or the gorilla. It is instructive to compare this to the stats. Women make up 30% of Google’s workforce and African-Americans less than 2%. As a woke commune, Google kinda sucks.

    It’s almost as though Google pays lip service to the ideals of diversity but fails to actually do anything about it – like most US corporations. Having worked in the corporate sector for 20 years (including for a number of US technology companies), yes I have seen “virtue signalling” around diversity. But I have seen a truckload more sexism, racism, homophobia and just plain bullying.

    And if the posters here believe that conservatives are uniquely targeted, they should try uttering the phrase “hey, how about we have some kind of labour union round here?” in their workplace and see how many milli-seconds they last.

    I don’t believe Damore should have been fired – both because I think corporations should tolerate a diversity of views within them (Elizabeth Anderson’s Tanner Lectures are instructive here) but also because it made him a martyr for the Breibart crowd. However lots of people get fired for saying the “wrong” thing at work every day and yet 99% of them are not given acres of news coverage across Fox News.

    • snelson134 says

      That would be because we’re not stupid enough to think a labor union is anything other than a Democrat shakedown machine.

    • Re:hey, how about we have some kind of labour union round here

      I’ll handle my own negotiations and keep my entire paycheck (minus taxes) for myself, if you don’t mind.

  19. Shugtastic says

    The problem with Google – and why it will cost them severely – is that they treat the workplace like a college campus. One dominated by radical feminists, trans activist and regressive neo-Marxists – and that’s just the employees. That the management class – or the faculty, if you like – have been so ideologically complicit only makes it all the more startling.

    Any workplace that ignores employment law in favor of progressive stacks and political persecution cannot be allowed to continue unhindered. Google have not just forfeited their credibility, they’re going to forfeit many millions of dollars too. Damore deserves every penny.

    • There’s nothing Marxist about the identitarians. What better proof of this than the fact they’re supporting a corporation’s power to suppress a worker’s rights for the sake of accommodating non-class-centered sensibilities?

      • William Blaxton says

        “There’s nothing Marxist about the identitarians.”

        He said neo-Marxists. Yes, it isn’t the exact same philosophy written by Karl Marx in the 1800’s, but they both agree that a dominant lens (if not *the* dominant lens) with which to view social reality is as a realm of conflict between an evil oppressor class and a noble oppressed class. The modern Intersectionals just multiplied and changed the contents of the classes. For them, working class whites are now oppressors (along with all whites, of course- implicit bias, structural racism, etc.)

        One thing I find striking are the ancestral crimes and guilt charged to modern day whites. It reminds me of the Christian anti-semites who would incite the mobs by blaming Jews for “killing Christ.” In fact, the abhorrent idea of collective Jewish guilt for the death of Christ has been so widespread throughout history that it had to be officially repudiated by Pope Paul VI in 1965.

      • True, they are clearly see themselves as Maoist and Stalinist cadre rooting out the Four Olds for the greater glory of their internationalist and corporatist masters.

  20. David says

    Get in there folks a flick a few bucks to his fundraiser. This could be history being made.

    • snelson134 says

      Just be prepared for your name etc. to be subpoena’d and distributed to Antifa.

  21. evilhippo says

    The question is how long for the consequences of such a corporate culture to undo what came before it? I only ask as I’m wondering when shorting Google stock might be a lucrative move 😉

  22. The person talking about the conference doenst know what they are talking about.
    1. Unless you are a keynote speaker at a large conference there is no prep area or “green room”. There is no such thing for mere panel discussions.
    2. If someone was not invited to participate they wouldn’t be there sitting around.

  23. DuckDuckGo.com works every bit as well as Google for searches, with the added benefit of not tracking you.

    If you hate left wing tyranny, swith your browser search defaults today.

    Disclosure: I have no connecton to Duckduckgo other than wanting to do whatever I can as a consumer to weaken Google’s grip and punish them for their moonbattery.

    • Good suggestion on DDG…

      Also protonmail.ch for email and inoreader.com for RSS reader (if those are being used much any more).

      Bravo for browser, or Opera + its included VPS … and you can get further away from Google.

  24. stevengregg says

    What’s going on at Google is just an extreme example of what’s going on at corporations everywhere in America. Anywhere you go, if you’re a white male conservative, HR wants to do you evil.

  25. sestamibi says

    “It seems likely that Damore’s charges will resonate with a jury that, unlike Google, will contain Americans from across the political spectrum.”

    Yeah right. Sadly, not in Santa Clara County, where the populace is quite in tune with Google-style PC.

  26. Phloda Svoboda says

    This is is exactly what I point to when people say, “Just wait until those snowflakes get into the real world.” Google IS the real world and it is apparently totally built around snowflake preservation and advancement. All the big international players are either already there or damn close.

    Hell, as a retired white mail, I started to feel discriminated against more than 20 years ago. In today’s pop culture you can’t swing a dead cat lady without hitting a scenario wherein women are wise and running things and white men are the dolts who haven’t a clue.

  27. Some interesting partisan selectivity is on display here: “Or even worse, if you vote for Donald Trump because of his economic policy or because you feel the other party is corrupt, then what you’re saying is that economics is more important than the safety of your peers.” Given that Clinton voted for the Iraq war authorization, couldn’t one similarly say, “If you vote for Hillary Clinton because of her economic policy or because you feel the other party is corrupt, then what you’re saying is that economics is more important than the safety of GIs and Iraqi civilians”?

  28. It appears that Google employees have far too much free time.

  29. Pingback: New top story on Hacker News: Lawsuit Exposes Internet Giant’s Internal Culture of Intolerance – Tech + Hckr News

  30. Their social engineering dreams of SJW’s – at least as quoted here at Google – is at the level of freshman bull session: “Y’know, it would be cool if we only let women and black people do all the hiring for a year.” As these are tech wizards and “sophomore” means wise fool, then perhaps I should give them credit for having advanced one year further than that.

  31. Ziggi says

    I have just read Damore’s files – it’s paralyzing! What an incredible tyranny so called “liberal lefts” are ready to implement in a purpose to enforce their “social justice” ideas. Living in Warsaw, Poland and being 50 years old I immediately recalled communist regime and is suffocating atmosphere of pervasive censorship, “only true” ideology, moral superiority over “imperialist capitalism” and complete ruthlessness against “class enemy”. Google has replicated this madness to the perfection!

  32. Dropan says

    Let me guess – you voted Kaczynski because he doesnt push liberal agenda, am I right?

  33. Caligula says

    The text of civil rights laws appears to protect equal opportunity, yet “disparate impact” precedent inevitably pushes employers toward teh safe harbor of Proportional Representation.

    Yet prioritizing proportional representation above all else may conflict with equal opportunity; indeed, unless the methods used to achieve proportional representation are restricted, it will almost surely do so.

    Further, some employers seem to go well beyond legal requirements in seeking proportional-representation “diversity,” perhaps because their management is concerned with the company’s public image or for some other reason.

    In theory, an employer that gives preference to proportional representation over performance when selecting, retaining and promoting employees will be at a competitive disadvantage. Nonetheless, Google and other silicon-valley superstars are considered such desirable places to work (or at least to have on one’s resume) that they probably attract so many high-quality job candidates that they can afford to reject many of them solely on “diversity” grounds with little harm to their overall competitiveness.

    Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court has waffled and fudged for decades now on when, where, and for what reason employers may use preferences based on race, sex, or ethnicity. At least, there has never really been a definitive ruling that insists the best way to avoid unlawful discrimination would be simply to … not discriminate. Instead, we’re left with the legal murk on when, where and how much discrimination is permitted (or required?), especially when seeking diversity.

  34. The Discoverer says

    This whole imbroglio is an excellent example of the current intolerant regime in America, especially in our so-called institutions of higher learning. The culture is sick from rampant PC. Here is an Aussie who has written very well about the eventual destruction of the culture that embraces PC.

    General Map of his Writings

    http://www.ourcivilisation.com/study.htm

    On Political Correctness:

    http://www.ourcivilisation.com/pc.htm

    Decline of our civilization:

    http://www.ourcivilisation.com/signs/chap9.htm

    Unless we regain the belief in true Freedom of Speech and Thought, which you either support or you don’t, there is no middle ground, then we will spiral down into intolerance and civic disruption the like of which we have never yet seen. Being 80 I will likely not see the denouement, but it is coming. Trump is just the canary in the societal coal mine. This is not nearly over. And it may be like the state change from water to steam, sudden and unexpected, not to say violent.

    When one of the premier educational institutions in this country, if not the world, has to send this kind of letter out to incoming Frosh, you know we are far down the rabbit hole.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/08/25/dont-ask-us-for-trigger-warnings-or-safe-spaces-the-university-of-chicago-tells-freshmen/

  35. Steve says

    I believe Pol Pot wins the per capita brutality prize. Either way, communists dominate the list.

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