Google’s firing of engineer James Damore for the thought crime of “advancing harmful gender stereotypes” was a dreadful piece of smiley-faced fascism. Damore, as you’ve probably heard, had written an in-house memo protesting Google’s political “monoculture” that excludes conservative thought. And, while supporting diversity, he pointed out that differences between men and women may account in part for their different career choices and results. Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent a note to employees saying that “we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves,” but I guess that means something different in the original German since he then canned the Googler in question for exactly that.
Leave aside the fact that this is despicable and unAmerican behavior. It also creates a terrible atmosphere for your other employees, especially the ones who disagreed with the victim. Twitter feed Pol/News/Forever spread around some tweets by Google employees declaring that they would now be keeping track of colleagues guilty of WrongThink.
You can almost hear the slavering hatred:
Colm Buckley: “You know there are certain “alternative views, including different political views” which I do not want people to feel safe to share here… You can believe women or minorities are unqualified all you like — I can’t stop you — but if you say it out loud, then you deserve what’s coming to you. Yes, this is “silencing”. I intend to silence these views… Take your false equivalence and your fake symmetry, and shove them hard up where the sun doesn’t shine.”
Kim Burchett: “I am considering creating a public-inside-google document of “people who make diversity difficult”…which calls out those googlers who repeatedly made public statements that are unsupportive of diversity… Things I’m still pondering: should inclusion on the list require something resembling a trial? should people be removed after some period of time if they start behaving better?
Colin Winter: “One of the great things about Google’s internal communication mechanism… is that, as a manager, I can easily go find out if I really want to work with you.”
Kelly Ellis: (Responding to a colleague who mildly opined that Damore’s original memo was misrepresented and that Damore’s firing validates his notion of the suppression of ideas.) “Your reply…ignores the many women Googlers who have expressed the frustration they feel as a result of this. F*** off. Thanks for using your real name here, though. Makes it easier to update my spreadsheet.”
Google’s monoculture has turned these employees into snarling, hate-filled, censorious little thought-police who live under the misapprehension that their seething rage is virtue. It reminds me of what happened in the Soviet Union when neighbor turned in neighbor to ensure the regime believed in their loyalty to the Right Ideas.
This is a terrible thing to do to people who work for you. All Google had to say was, “We disagree with Damore, but we support our employees’ right to speak,” and they would have reaffirmed a culture of tolerance. Instead, they’ve taken an inexcusable action that has twisted the hearts of the people who work for them and turned them into informing drones.