Google's meltdown over a conservative employee's memo pretty much proves everything he said; UPDATE: Fired

Headshot image of Dan Calabrese
Published by: Dan Calabrese on Tuesday August 08th, 2017

Thoughtcrime.

For days now you've seen media headlines about the "anti-diversity manifesto" that some anonymous Google employee wrote. That's not actually what it was.

Now I'm well known for criticizing the use of anonymous sources by the news media, and because this guy has chosen to remain anonymous we can only ascribe so much authority to what he says. Then again, it wasn't his idea for his memo to spread like wildfire over the Internet, and to be used as evidence of latent sexism, racism or whatever else.

It's actually a very thoughtful piece of work in that it challenges the premises Google embraces about why women and other minorities are underrepresented in certain job categories. Google simply assumes the reason is discrmination, and that the answer is "diversity," whatever that means. End of discussion. The writer makes a pretty convincing case that there could be a whole host of other reasons for the numerical disparity, and suggests that if Google's interest is in solving the problem rather than engaging in moral grandstanding, it could seriously consider the role some of these other factors might play.

That . . . did not go over well:

Google executives over the weekend rushed to denounce an engineer's memo that ascribed gender inequality in the technology industry to biological differences, a view that sparked outrage at the internet giant and inflamed tensions over sexual harassment and discrimination in Silicon Valley.

The unnamed engineer asserted in the 3,000-word document that circulated inside the company last week that "Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture" which prevented honest discussion of the issue.

"Distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership," he wrote.

The memo stoked the heated debate over treatment of women in the male-dominated Silicon Valley that has boiled for months following sexual harassment scandals at Uber Technologies Inc and several venture capital firms.

Google's recently hired vice president of diversity, integrity and governance, Danielle Brown, sent a memo in response to the furor, saying the engineer's essay "advanced incorrect assumptions about gender."

"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," Brown wrote.

"But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws," she added.

That quote is simply astonishing. Put more simply, you're free to express your opinion without fear, as long as it agrees with our opinion.

The Internet is overrun with reports that this guy claimed women are biologically incapable of coding, along with other such claims that would be absurd on their face if he had actually made them. But he didn't. You can read the whole thing here. What he did was point to both biological and cultral differences that might explain why women would be less inclined to pursue certain kinds of work, and why they might find such work less interesting than other kinds given the opportunity to try them.

I don't agree with everything he asserted, but his arguments are worth taking seriously. He also makes a very strong case that Google's monolithically left-wing culture makes conservatives feel marginalized and sends a message that their opinions are unwelcome. If you need any further evidence that this statement is true, all you have to do is look at the way Google reacted to this guy's memo.

GDP growth for Obama's final year? A measly 1.6 percent

This has become the left's go-to method for achieving acceptance of its agenda: Anyone who dares to challenge it will be hounded, found and cast out to the nether regions where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. If you're not being savaged on Twitter, you'll get attacked on late-night "comedy" shows or held up by your own employers as an example of all that is wrong with America.

In the memo, the writer pleads with the company to allow a real honest conversation about these issues. That's what the left always claims to want, but they really don't. An honest conversation would mean that someone with a particular point of view isn't subject to shame and ridicule for expressing that point of view - which is exactly what happens now.

I wonder if the left really thinks it's winning the argument by essentially frightening dissenters into silence. Then again, maybe the left isn't really trying to win the argument. Maybe it's trying to make sure there can't be one.

UPDATE: The author's name is James Damore, and he's been fired by the company that wants you to know you can feel safe expressing their opinions. But not yours.

Dan's new novel, BACKSTOP, is a story of spiritual warfare and baseball. Download it from Amazon here!