I have no idea whether Google engineer James Damore is a bigot or not, but I am convinced that most of the people attacking him have proven themselves to be bigots by their responses.
Last week, Damore shared a 10-page memo on Google’s internal communication system. His thoughts have pushed buttons of millions of progressives, sending many into hyperventilating attack mode — because Damore outlined his views about why Google is approaching the issue of diversity very poorly. He claims that the company’s drive to promote women and minorities has resulted in a lack of ideological diversity instead.
Damore has been called all sorts of names, most of which use language I wouldn’t even repeat. If I ignore the attacks containing profanity, most of the least offensive among the rest claim he’s sexist and bigoted. Many people have called for him to be fired. Why?
Damore believes that “politically correct” thinking permeates the drive inside Google for “diversity.” He lays out his views that there are differences between men and women, on average, which make the average man more interested in developing software than the average woman, which he believes explains why more men than women work in tech.
He goes to great lengths to explain why he thinks the company’s current approach to diversity — blaming explicit and implicit bias for any differences between gender representation in jobs — is wrong. He’s being viciously attacked for this opinion.
When Gizmodo first reproduced his document over the weekend, the headline referred to it as a “screed.” But how many of the people screaming have actually read it? How many have addressed the substance of what he wrote? And why is it “anti diversity” to lay out a reasoned opinion that differs from the mainstream view which is now accepted as gospel?
Isn’t diversity of thought supposed to be a good thing?
I don’t care enough about the specifics of the argument to read the entire thing — and it seems way too wordy to me — but the parts I’ve read are sane and well-reasoned. He questions much of progressive left dogma, though, and that sort of genuine diversity is not allowed.
I doubt I would agree with every word he wrote — and I know of some legitimate rebuttals to certain things he wrote — but I do know that if his point of view is being shut down without even addressing the logic and facts of his essay, the real problem here is that some people are unwilling or unable to think clearly when their own biases are questioned.
People can have honest disagreements about a lot of things, but shutting someone down because he questions your ideological faith is a terrible approach to reasoned argument.
The mainstream believes today that a quota system — formal or informal — is a good way to create diversity, at least when it comes to skin color or gender. But when it comes to philosophical or social views, the nice-sounding words about diversity are thrown out the window.
The people attacking Damore don’t want diversity. They want to make sure people are punished for not agreeing with them. They don’t want to addressed Damore’s thoughts or his reasoning. They merely want to shout him down and call him names.
I genuinely have no idea what Damore is like. He might be a jerk who’s using reasoned discourse to hide his dislike of women and non-whites. Maybe. But what I read of what he wrote didn’t come across that way to me.
There are legitimate discussions to be had about which personality traits a company should hire for and how much of a difference it might make to hire different sorts of people. But to define certain narrow categories as representing diversity — but pretending that conformity to that dogma is diversity — is hypocrisy.
Damore is right about some of what he wrote. He’s wrong about other parts. Debating which parts are right and wrong aren’t the point here. The point is that a polite and reasoned argument is being shouted down by bigots who want to lynch someone who dares to present a different point of view.
The people attacking Damore don’t want diversity. They want conformity of thought. Damore committed the ultimate crime of thinking for himself and suggesting that the majority might be wrong.
To viciously attack someone — and call for him to be fired — for daring to disagree with the secular religious faith of the crowd is the height of bigotry.
In this way, at least, Damore’s critics are proving that he’s correct.
Update: A few hours after this was published, reports came out saying that Damore has been fired, which will certainly teach others with unpopular opinions to keep their mouths shut when they have diverse opinions.