Just remember that Leftists are all for “tolerance” and “diversity” as long as you do EXACTLY as they say and believe EXACTLY as they do at that nanosecond or else there will be hell hath no fury like a Liberal disagreed with.
By now you’ve read about the ten-page “anti-diversity screed” that was published by an anonymous engineer at Google. Well, he’s no longer anonymous. His name is James Damore and yesterday Google fired him.
But before we go any further, I’d encourage you to read the actual memo Damore wrote. Because it is neither “anti-diversity,” nor a “screed.” What it is, is a rational case against the worst excesses of corporate identity politics and—most notably—it’s a case made from the left. Damore does not appear to be terribly conservative. Here are some selected passages:
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 chamber. 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.
I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should strive for more. However, to achieve a more equal gender and race representation, Google has created several discriminatory practices.
We all have biases and use motivated reasoning to dismiss ideas that run counter to our internal values. Just as some on the Right deny science that runs counter to the “God > humans > environment” hierarchy (e.g., evolution and climate change) the Left tends to deny science concerning biological differences between people (e.g., IQ and sex differences). Thankfully, climate scientists and evolutionary biologists generally aren’t on the right. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of humanities and social scientists learn left (about 95%), which creates enormous confirmation bias, changes what’s being studied, and maintains myths like social constructionism and the gender wage gap. Google’s left leaning makes us blind to this bias and uncritical of its results, which we’re using to justify highly politicized programs.
Whatever else you might think of Damore, he does not appear to be severely conservative.
Damore’s main points can be boiled down to three arguments:
(1) Because Google has an overwhelmingly liberal corporate culture, the company should be tolerant of dissenting opinions and cognizant of the dangers of confirmation bias.
(2) The differences in gender outcomes may be influenced by a host of factors, only one of which is discrimination.
(3) Google should try to remediate these differences in gender outcomes through non-discriminatory means.
That’s it. That’s the screed.
Ordinarily, you might read this and think that it’s nothing but common sense. But the reaction to the memo proved Damore’s point beyond a reasonable doubt.
Here, for instance, was the opening to a piece on the memo from Vice’s Motherboard: “Saturday morning, we reported the existence of an anti-diversity manifesto written by a Google software engineer that was shared widely within the company. . . .While the document itself contains the thoughts of one employee, responses to the document from other Google employees show that some people at the company share the same beliefs.”
No kidding: This sounds like something from The Lives of Others. Motherboard went on to note that several Google employees internally had called for the firing of the anonymous engineer. There’s more. But the best part came in the form of a response from Google’s Vice President of Diversity, Integrity & Governance, Danielle Brown (how much revenue do you think her division brings in?), who wrote to her colleagues:
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.
In sum: This employee voiced “incorrect” thoughts which will not even be linked to so that other employees may form their own opinions and, by the way, it’s crazy to have any concerns about not being able to speak freely at Google.
This is Stalinist.
Not in the literal sense—Damore didn’t’ wind up in a gulag. (Not yet, anyway.) He was merely deprived of his livelihood a few days after writing a samizdat essay in which he politely and compassionately expressed a coherent set of rational ideas.
But just like in Stalin’s Russia, at Google there are Right Thoughts and there are Wrong Thoughts. These categories are determined by those in power and the average worker dissents from them, even by an inch, at his peril.