James Damore has penned an open letter explaining why he was fired from Google after submitting observations on gender roles that challenged the ideology of his workplace. Damore raised questions about topics that are considered “taboo” in Google, such as the company placing gender diversity ahead of an employee’s merits or skills, effectively creating an environment where co-workers will be punished for disagreeing with this agenda, and rewarded for portraying unyielding obedience to progressivism.
The official reason that Sundar Pichai, Google’s Chief Executive, gave for Damore’s termination was that some of his statements “violated the company’s code of conduct” and “cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace”.
After being fired on Monday, James Damore has since published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal explaining Google’s reaction to his statements, and the company’s decision to punish anyone who does not blindly follow their alt-left agenda.
I was fired by Google this past Monday for a document that I wrote and circulated internally raising questions about cultural taboos and how they cloud our thinking about gender diversity at the company and in the wider tech sector. I suggested that at least some of the male-female disparity in tech could be attributed to biological differences (and, yes, I said that bias against women was a factor too). Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai declared that portions of my statement violated the company’s code of conduct and “cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”
My 10-page document set out what I considered a reasoned, well-researched, good-faith argument, but as I wrote, the viewpoint I was putting forward is generally suppressed at Google because of the company’s “ideological echo chamber.” My firing neatly confirms that point.
How did Google, the company that hires the smartest people in the world, become so ideologically driven and intolerant of scientific debate and reasoned argument?
We all have moral preferences and beliefs about how the world is and should be. Having these views challenged can be painful, so we tend to avoid people with differing values and to associate with those who share our values. This self-segregation has become much more potent in recent decades. We are more mobile and can sort ourselves into different communities; we wait longer to find and choose just the right mate; and we spend much of our time in a digital world personalized to fit our views.
Google is a particularly intense echo chamber because it is in the middle of Silicon Valley and is so life-encompassing as a place to work. With free food, internal meme boards and weekly companywide meetings, Google becomes a huge part of its employees’ lives. Some even live on campus. For many, including myself, working at Google is a major part of their identity, almost like a cult with its own leaders and saints, all believed to righteously uphold the sacred motto of “Don’t be evil.”
Echo chambers maintain themselves by creating a shared spirit and keeping discussion confined within certain limits. As Noam Chomsky once observed, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”
But echo chambers also have to guard against dissent and opposition. Whether it’s in our homes, online or in our workplaces, a consensus is maintained by shaming people into conformity or excommunicating them if they persist in violating taboos. Public shaming serves not only to display the virtue of those doing the shaming but also warns others that the same punishment awaits them if they don’t conform.
In my document, I committed heresy against the Google creed by stating that not all disparities between men and women that we see in the world are the result of discriminatory treatment.
When I first circulated the document about a month ago to our diversity groups and individuals at Google, there was no outcry or charge of misogyny. I engaged in reasoned discussion with some of my peers on these issues, but mostly I was ignored.
Everything changed when the document went viral within the company and the wider tech world. Those most zealously committed to the diversity creed—that all differences in outcome are due to differential treatment and all people are inherently the same—could not let this public offense go unpunished. They sent angry emails to Google’s human-resources department and everyone up my management chain, demanding censorship, retaliation and atonement.
Upper management tried to placate this surge of outrage by shaming me and misrepresenting my document, but they couldn’t really do otherwise: The mob would have set upon anyone who openly agreed with me or even tolerated my views. When the whole episode finally became a giant media controversy, thanks to external leaks, Google had to solve the problem caused by my supposedly sexist, anti-diversity manifesto, and the whole company came under heated and sometimes threatening scrutiny.
It saddens me to leave Google and to see the company silence open and honest discussion. If Google continues to ignore the very real issues raised by its diversity policies and corporate culture, it will be walking blind into the future—unable to meet the needs of its remarkable employees and sure to disappoint its billions of users.
Demore’s original “manifesto”, despite being branded as “sexist” by the leftist media, was widely praised by researches as a well thought out article with logical conclusions. Four scientists have claimed that James Damore’s Google manifesto is scientifically accurate, as reported by Quillette.
The majority of James Damore’s co-workers at Google appear to disagree with the company’s decision to terminate his employment, as a blind survey of 440 Google employees found that 56% of respondents felt the decision to fire Damore was unwarranted.
In the mobile app Blind, where users must use their work email addresses to verify they are employees at a given company, a survey of Google employees reflected the divisions. Of 440 Google employees who responded to a Blind survey on Tuesday and Wednesday, 56% said they disagreed with Google’s decision to fire Mr. Damore.
Defenders of free speech and those who support Damore’s right to express his views openly without fear of retaliation have also rallied to his cause, organizing a nationwide #MarchOnGoogle event to take place on Saturday, August 19th. The website www.MarchOnGoogle.com has been formed to coordinate this march, which will take place at Google’s offices around the country.
It’s time to #MarchOnGoogle
Google is a monopoly, and its abusing its power to silence dissent and manipulate election results.
Their company YouTube is censoring and silencing dissenting voices by creating “ghettos” for videos questioning the dominant narrative.
We will thus be Marching on Google!
People across the country will be protesting in front of the offices of every Google office.
Protesters may also be exercising their free speech rights, which Google does not respect, by protesting in front of the homes of Google’s executive team.
Today, the March on Google was announced by Jack Posobiec and a coalition of free speech activists around the United States.
The site: www.MarchOnGoogle.com
The date: Saturday, August 19th.
Locations: Anywhere Google Has An Office
Organizers are reaching out to James Damore to invite him to speak as well as planning a “Google Meme Contest” Post your BEST Google Memes to the hashtag #MarchOnGoogle – the winner will be announced with a special prize on the day of the march!
In addition to an organized march on Google, banners have appeared around the company’s offices branding them as “Goolag”, and mocking them for suppressing diversity of thought.
USA Today reported yesterday that “In one of the ads, Google CEO Sundar Pichai is pictured side by side late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Next to Jobs is a picture of the Apple logo with the company’s famous slogan “Think Different.” Next to Pichai is the Google logo but instead the text reads “Not So Much.”
I have no doubt that the executives at Google thought their troubles were over when they capitulated to the intolerant left , condemning and shamming James Damore for daring to encourage an open discussion of ideas that would be considered “taboo” to the cult of social justice. However, if Google would have taken a step back and used logical thought processes to evaluate the consequences of their decision to fire Damore, they would have realized that act only made him a hero to everyone who fights against censorship, intolerance of opposing opinions and the suppression of open dialog.
Damore has now become an icon, leading the charge against Google’s attacks on anything they consider “anti-progressive”. Simply examine his Twitter account, which features a picture of him wearing a t-shirt displaying “Goolag” in Google’s corporate colors and has motivated hundreds of meme’s criticizing the company’s censorship of conservative opinions.
Unsurprisingly Damore’s new Twitter account, which goes by the name @Fired4Truth, has gained over 63,000 followers only days after he started it, and he now has a platform to fight back against Google’s censorship.
In short, Google made a serious tactical error if their objective was to silence dissent. You can never fight an idea with force, shame or punishment. An idea can only be beaten by a better, stronger and more effective idea, which it appears the progressives are sorely lacking at this point.