James Damore, the Google engineer who was fired for circulating an internal memo alleging the company values diversity-in-name-only, has filed a lawsuit against the tech giant, saying it discriminates against white, conservative men.
“Damore, Gudeman, and other class members were ostracized, belittled, and punished for their heterodox political views, and for the added sin of their birth circumstances of being Caucasians and/or males,” the lawsuit alleged. “This is the essence of discrimination—Google formed opinions about and then treated Plaintiffs not based on their individual merits, but rather on their membership in groups with assumed characteristics.”
None of this is terribly difficult to believe given the news yesterday that the company’s fact-check feature is only available for use if one is interested in fact-checking conservative sites. It simply doesn’t exist for most left-leaning news sites. Which could mean, and this is pure speculation, that their algorithm lists those sites specifically by name, rather than pulling from a list of search terms like “conservative” or “Trump”.
That kind of bias is creepy enough.
But the story just gets weirder:
I identify as a "yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin" and an "expansive ornate building" — totally normal 🙈 pic.twitter.com/WTKhVdJNQ5
— The Safest Space (@TheSafestSpace) January 9, 2018
WARNING: I’m about to be all kinds of politically incorrect (and seriously sarcastic).
What the ever-living…?
The Federalist deconstructs some of the finer points of the lawsuit, and that little nugget above falls under the “Living as a Plural Being” section.
In a section claiming Google tries to “stifle” conservative parenting styles, the suit reads: “Google furnishes a large number of internal mailing lists catering to employees with alternative lifestyles, including furries, polygamy, transgenderism, and plurality, for the purpose of discussing sexual topics. The only lifestyle that seems to not be openly discussed on Google’s internal forums is traditional heterosexual monogamy.”
A footnote next to the word “plurality” adds: “For instance, an employee who sexually identifies as ‘a yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin’ and ‘an expansive ornate building’ presented a talk entitled ‘Living as a Plural Being’ at an internal company event.”
The suit also includes a screenshot of the presentation on “living as a plural being” when the presenter is discussing how to address coworkers with multiple identities. Examples of “not okay” etiquette listed include “addressing any one headmate in particular; we’re all listening!”
I mean, look, I try to be as understanding as I can when it comes to respecting people’s lifestyle choices. We all have to find our bliss; and as long as everyone’s a consenting adult and there’s no active attempt to harm others, let your freak flag fly, person who identifies as a *squints* “expansive ornate building.”
But that’s not what’s going on here. According to Damore and his former colleague who joins him in the suit (nice to have a witness), Google was known to be a safe space for ideas that straight, white men — unless they had been abused — should not be hired. And to encourage employees who rallied hard against Damore’s memo to the point of being awarded for their allegiance to Damore hate. And foster an environment where an employee felt he must apologize and admit to “whitesplaining,” i.e. (from what is sounds like) engaging in a dialogue with a black employee. And to allow managers to gleefully email their assertions that they would “never ever” hire conservatives.
But the creepiest? Google is apparently a safe space for violence against those who disagree.
Damore’s memo prompted another employee to post this quote: “I’m a queer-ass nonbinary trans person that is fucking sick and tired of being told to open a dialogue with people who want me dead. We are at a point where the dialogue we need to be having with these people is ‘if you keep talking about this shit, i will hurt you.”
I don’t know about y’all, but I’d rather share a cubicle with the yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin or some annoyingly arch conservative who makes me roll my eyes 30 times a day over some kid who is so emotionally unstable he might brain me with a keyboard for being right of center.
But it was Damore who needed to be let go. The upside is Google sounds like a super creepy — possibly dangerous — place to work and at least you made it out with your life, James.