Washington Post
Why Google’s firing terrifies social conservatives so  much
By Erick Erickson
August 8,  2017
“I  strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should 
strive  for more,” the Google employee_wrote_ 
 .  “Women on 
average show a higher interest in people and men in things. … Women on  average 
are more cooperative. … Women on average look for more work-life balance  
while men have a higher drive for status on average,” he continued. 
“The  male gender role is currently inflexible. Feminism has made great 
progress in  freeing women from the female gender role, but men are still very 
much tied to  the male gender role. If we, as a society, allow men to be 
more ‘feminine,’ then  the gender gap will shrink, although probably because 
men will leave tech and  leadership for traditionally feminine roles,” he 
wrote. These are all quotes  from James Damore, the Harvard-educated employee 
who worked as a Google engineer  until being fired for daring to suggest 
Google needs more diversity but should  rethink how to foster that diversity. 
According  to the tech site Gizmodo, Damore wrote an “anti-diversity screed.
” Re/Code  referred to it as “sexist.” The tech site Mashable assailed 
anyone who defended  Damore as being part of the “alt-right.” The problem, 
chiefly, is that many  critics claimed Damore said things he did not and 
painted the things he did say  in the worst possible light.
It  is, for example, true that Damore said women suffered from “neuroticism”
 more  than men, but he made clear he was using the psychological, 
scientific  terminology for suffering higher anxiety and having a lower stress 
tolerance in  job and life situations. He did not mean it as a pejoratively as 
the left  painted it. In fact, he did not pull his statements out of thin air 
or make them  up. Damore based his statements on sociological and 
psychological studies that  are accepted by the scientific community, of which 
he is a 
Social  conservatives are looking at what Google has done and, while 
acknowledging  Google has every right to fire an employee, are concerned this 
outcome bodes  poorly for anyone who thinks differently from the left. 
There  are shadows of Brendan Eich’s ouster from Mozilla in this. Eich, 
Mozilla’s  then-chief executive, was driven from his job by outrage generated 
by technology  reporters and pundits for having the audacity to give money to 
a traditional  marriage campaign in California. No one questioned Eich’s 
qualifications or  abilities in technology. But Eich had the wrong values and 
thoughts, so he had  to be fired. Silicon Valley has no place for social or 
intellectual  conservatives. Or look at Silicon Valley’s treatment of Peter 
Thiel, the gay  billionaire, who has had the audacity to give legitimacy to 
President Trump.  Thiel is now treated as a pariah in the tech press.
In  his _Google  memo_ 
 , Damore made clear that he, too, wanted 
to increase diversity at the  company. But he also wanted Google to 
consider other ways to do it. For example,  noting that “women generally … have 
stronger interest in people rather than  things,” Damore suggested Google 
could “make software engineering more  people-oriented with pair programming 
and more collaboration.” Noting that women  often find it difficult 
negotiating for a higher salary, Damore noted this was a  generalization and 
some men shared this characteristic. He encouraged  Google to abandon 
women-only programs on salary negotiation and make it  available to anyone who 
that problem. For daring to suggest Google not  stereotype men and women, 
Damore stands accused of stereotyping people. 
Unfortunately,  many believed Damore dared to engage in wrongthink. 
Danielle Brown, Google’s  vice president of diversity, declared she disagreed 
Damore but said, “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.” It is pretty clear 
now, despite those words, views  outside left-wing groupthink are not shareable 
inside Google.
This  is par for the course at Google. Ben Domenech, publisher of the 
Federalist,  noted in June that Google’s Eric Schmidt declared anyone who 
disagreed with him  politically would not be operating from “science-based 
” According to  Google’s current chief executive, Sundar Pichai, Damore 
had to be fired for  daring to cross “the line by advancing harmful gender 
stereotypes in our  workplace.” This is an ironic line to take, considering 
Damore’s memo pointed  out repeated instances of Google engaging in stereotypes 
and generalizations  that often apply people regardless of gender. 
The  firing feels rather Orwellian. Damore agrees with diversity. Damore 
admits and  acknowledges that there is a gender and race diversity problem, 
and he shared  his employers’ desires to fix it. But he wanted to caution the 
company not to  perpetuate sex or race-based programs that do not fix the 
problems. He likewise  dared to suggest that intellectual diversity was as 
important as skin color and  gender diversity.
Many  in the left-leaning tech press were so outraged Damore would differ 
from their  views that they could not even fairly assess his views. He has 
been treated as a  sexist, racist outcast who is anti-diversity. His views 
were mischaracterized or  characterized in the worst possible light to dismiss 
him and his  ideas
By  daring to think differently, even by relying on studies and using 
defined words  in the sociological and psychological lexicon, Damore was 
as an  anti-diversity bigot. No matter how Damore had phrased his memo, it 
seems he  would have offended someone and been fired. The only way to avoid 
it would be to  keep his mouth shut and embrace the groupthink. 
Therein  lies the problem for Google. Despite what Brown may have said 
about diversity of  ideas at Google, it is clear no one can have diverse ideas 
at Google. Doing so  might lead to offense, and offense must lead to job 
termination. It creates a  situation in which one’s views, no matter how 
reasonable or how commonly  shared they are, can be out of bounds if they 
with prevailing  groupthink. 
Conservatives  have every reason to be worried by Google’s actions. Google 
has become the  default search engine for the world. It does not take a 
rocket scientist to know  how easy it would be for Google to change its search 
algorithms to devalue what  its employees believe is wrongthink. With Google 
in a near monopoly position for  Web searches, it has the ability to 
alienate conservative thought, Christian  values and others to Internet silos 
ghettos that most would be unable to  find. 
The  most troubling part is that much of the political left would be okay 
with  silencing because they see censorship of ideas they hate as a positive 
thing for  the world. Many of the left seek to win culture wars not on the 
merits of  arguments and ideas but simply by punishing and silencing any who  

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