The Google Archipelago: Steaming Morsels from the Damore Class Action Suit
I hope it’s clear that I'm not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn't try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the majority. My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don’t fit a certain ideology. I'm also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I'm advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism). —James Damore, from the Google memo that started it all
Most of you are probably acquainted with the story of James Damore and his famous Google memo. Some of you probably have even read it; and those of you who are not social justice activists and who can appreciate empirical common sense may have seen that it is a reasonable, intelligently written paper, solidly based on empirical evidence, intended to stimulate a discussion on how to improve conditions at Google by making them less driven by a subjective “progressive” ideology. Most of you probably also know that, as a result of his memo, he was persecuted, threatened with messages like this:
and, shortly thereafter, summarily fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” No, really. As you can see from the message above, which Mr. Damore received at work from a fellow employee at Google, the antagonists had no worries about Google’s management finding out about the threats, as they well knew the management felt likewise. In fact—or should I say allegedly—the threats and persecution were actually encouraged by higher-ups in the Google management hierarchy.
Recently Mr. Damore and another ex-employee of Google who met with similar treatment, David Gudeman (who was terminated primarily because he expressed skepticism over the claim that a fellow employee was targeted by the FBI simply for being a Muslim), filed a class action suit before the Santa Clara County Superior Court of California against Google, on behalf of themselves and everyone else who has undergone workplace discrimination at Google on the grounds of their gender (male), race (white), and/or political orientation (non-left). The text of this lawsuit is now available online, for example here, and it makes very interesting reading. I hardly would have dared to imagine that such an ideologically indoctrinated leftist dystopia could exist in America, unless maybe at someplace like a New Age commune or some feminist group in California. (As the old Zappa song goes, “California’s got the most of them, you could say it’s got a host of them…”)
I read the lawsuit, all 161 pages of it, with interest bordering on spellbound fascination; and one of the visceral effects it had upon me was that it caused me to feel overjoyed that I don’t work for Google. For me, it would be like hell. (To be fair though, interacting on a daily basis with fanatical Evangelical Christians, or even with fanatical dogmatic Buddhists, would equally be hell.) Actually, I’d guess that most big tech firms in America, especially in California, are similarly wallowing in PC hysteria and enforced ideological conformity. The Democrats are now the party of the corporate elite—the Social Plutocrats. I suppose I should revise a former post, “The Lunatic Fringe and the Lunatic Center,” as it is now apparent that big tech is another seething hotspot for the Lunatic Center of the new left.
Anyway, the text of the lawsuit begins with a brief summary of the case, followed by more elaborate details on Damore’s and Gudemans’s travails especially, although also mentioning several other employees who also met with allegedly illegal discrimination and harassment. Next comes the longish list of laws Google has allegedly broken. The document concludes with two exhibits: Damore’s famous memo as Exhibit A, and a lengthy collection (more than 80 pages) of posts and memes from Google’s internal message boards, accessible to all employees, demonstrating the prevailing atmosphere of social justice mania at the California branches of Google, Inc. Following is a copy of the case summary, and after that some of the more striking examples from Exhibit B, with occasional commentary.
Plaintiffs bring this individual and class action on behalf of themselves and on behalf of a class and subclasses defined as all employees of Google discriminated against (i) due to their perceived conservative political views by Google in California at any time during the time period beginning four years prior to the filing of this Complaint through the date of trial in this action (“Political Class Period”); (ii) due to their male gender by Google in California at any time during the time period beginning one year prior to the filing of this Complaint through the date of trial in this action (“Gender Class Period”); and/or (iii) due to their Caucasian race by Google in California at any time during the time period beginning one year prior to the filing of this Complaint through the date of trial in this action (“Race Class Period”) (Political Class Period, Gender Class Period, and Race Class Period referred to collectively, as “Class Periods”). These violations also subject Google to claims for violation of California’s Business and Professions Code section 17200 et seq.
Throughout the Class Periods, and in violation of California law, Google employees who expressed views deviating from the majority view at Google on political subjects raised in the workplace and relevant to Google’s employment policies and its business, such as “diversity” hiring policies, “bias sensitivity,” or “social justice,” were/are singled out, mistreated, and systematically punished and terminated from Google, in violation of their legal rights.
Google’s open hostility for conservative thought is paired with invidious discrimination on the basis of race and gender, barred by law. Google’s management goes to extreme—and illegal—lengths to encourage hiring managers to take protected categories such as race and/or gender into consideration as determinative hiring factors, to the detriment of Caucasian and male employees and potential employees at Google.
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. 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.
Google employees and managers strongly preferred to hear the same orthodox opinions regurgitated repeatedly, producing an ideological echo chamber, a protected, distorted bubble of groupthink. When Plaintiffs challenged Google’s illegal employment practices, they were openly threatened and subjected to harassment and retaliation from Google. Google created an environment of protecting employees who harassed individuals who spoke out against Google’s view or the “Googley way,” as it is sometimes known internally. Google employees knew they could harass Plaintiffs with impunity, given the tone set by managers—and they did so.
Google employs illegal hiring quotas to fill its desired percentages of women and favored minority candidates, and openly shames managers of business units who fail to meet their quotas—in the process, openly denigrating male and Caucasian employees as less favored than others.
Not only was the numerical presence of women celebrated at Google solely due to their gender, but the presence of Caucasians and males was mocked with “boos” during company-wide weekly meetings. This unacceptable behavior occurred at the hands of high-level managers at Google who were responsible for hundreds, if not thousands, of hiring and firing decisions during the Class Periods.
Plaintiffs bring this action to vindicate their legal rights, and to stop Google from repeating these practices against other employees or prospective employees now, and in the future.
EXCERPTS FROM EXHIBIT B
First, let’s start with examples of the heated reaction against Damore’s rather mild, objectively written memo:
This one is from when the memo was still being worked on, long before it went internationally viral. It was feedback to Damore, who replied that, for example, men are now left behind in academia, with more female graduates at every level; whereupon Mr. Dumazet (assuming that he identifies as a male) insisted that the fact was irrelevant because the statement was “highly triggering” for him.
After the memo went internationally viral.
It is evident that a common claim is that anyone disagreeing with a leftist, “progressive” orientation is “creating a hostile work environment.” That is, leftists intolerant of unorthodox points of view blame their own hostility on the nonconformist who triggered that hostility. This is actually taken seriously, even to the point of concentrating anger and hatred at a person who merely stated an alternative point of view. (This one actually is from the main text of the lawsuit, not Exhibit B.)
(This one also is from the main text, not Exhibit B.)
This one is interesting because someone trying to prove Damore wrong kept finding evidence on Google searches corroborating his claims. So…she appears to suggest that Google searches should be modified to produce more politically correct (mis)information on the subject.
Next come some examples of general PC mania, man-shaming, and white-shaming on the Google campus.
One finds that Tim here, a “queer-ass nonbinary trans person” who was born biologically female and identifies as a male, is one of the most aggressively intolerant posters cited. Later on we will see that he/she is a supporter of anarcho-communist antifa and advocates violence against Trump supporters. I assume he/she can get away with greater extremism in a politically correct environment because he/she is a member of a “victim” class.
This one is remarkable because it’s not advocating the use of “they” as a neutral pronoun, but “they” as applying to people with multiple personalities, some of whom apparently work at Google. For example, the main text of the lawsuit mentions a talk given on the Google campus by an employee, a “person” who identified as a plurality of beings, one being a “yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin,” and another an “expansive ornate building.” Now that’s diversity.
Another exposition on non-progressives generating a hostile work environment. (This one is from the main text.)
The next two are amusing because the first guy publicly denies the existence of blacklists (mainly of vocally conservative employees) then admits to using a kind of informal one, whereas the next is one of several I could have chosen who openly admits to their existence and use.
Here is one with a manager at Google suggesting a public, not covert, blacklist.
May as well add that the use of such blacklists is illegal in the USA.
Next are some choice examples of the Google echo chamber’s bias against conservatives and of course Mr. Trump. Also the posters’ willingness to equate Trump voters with Fascists and Nazis.
This one is apparently suggesting that Google should not permit the Republican Party.
This one is kind of amusing in a Dr. Strangelovian, black humor sort of way, but also sobering with regard to its seemingly willful self-deception. The thing is so strange that I consider it worthy of a commentary:
“Trump won with the minority popular vote.” Well, most Communist leaders win with no vote at all, or else one with a single candidate. Did the current leader of China win with a majority vote, hmmm?
“He’s controlling narratives away from negative views of his party.” Well isn’t that what he’s supposed to do? The implication seems to be that Trump should passively accept the viciously negative propaganda hurled at him by the left—who presumably should be allowed to control the narrative themselves.
“His policies involve cutting off resources to marginalized communities.” I suppose this is true, but I’ve never seen this counted as a distinguishing feature of Fascism. Libertarians would no doubt do the same, even to a greater degree. But this person would probably call Libertarians Fascists also.
"His rise to power was strongly aided by technology." Yeah, like every other politician for more than a century.
"His rise to power was strongly aided by technology." Yeah, like every other politician for more than a century.
“He wants to march tanks through DC in a show of military might.” Did Trump ever say that, or is this person just vehemently guessing? Anyway, Communists throw military parades all the time. And tanks don’t march.
“He has a singular focus on restoring manufacturing jobs to the US…” Is building up industry Fascist? Didn’t Stalin do the same, bigly? I’m assuming that our accuser here is conjuring up images of Hitler pulling Germany out of the Great Depression with his industrialization, as he geared up for the effort to gain some Lebensraum.
“And he and his team regularly harp about ‘unity’ and patriotism.” Well, obviously, unity and patriotism are Fascist, except when non-Fascists harp on them. But it seems to me that unity alone is something progressive leftists insist upon, at least in words, while they divide society up into mutually antagonistic categories.
And I just love this last part: “Donald Trump exploited a loophole in the Constitution in order to take over the government.” !!! In other words, the US Constitution says that the election of the President is determined by the Electoral College, not the popular vote. This is just too good.
The trouble is, though, that this Google memo, which apparently got nobody fired or into any trouble at all, is advocating antifa and political violence against the “Fascists” defined above. Which leads to some examples, including a later section of this same post:
One thing to note here is that our accuser and exhorter is continually attributing Marxist traits to Fascism—or at least traits that apply equally well to communism as to the far right. For example, “over time, fascists have adapted and found ways to re-brand themselves that bypass people’s defenses…” I shake my head in wonder over this. This is exactly what Marxism has done, much more so than Fascism. Most American progressives nowadays are probably oblivious to the fact that the social justice movement is in large part an elaborated, mutated form of Marxism—cultural Marxism or neo-Marxism as promulgated by the clearly Marxist Frankfurt School. And if you tell them this, they are likely to deny it vehemently, without knowing about it one way or the other. Anyway, moving on…
And finally, a few attempts at sanity.
In conclusion, I would just like to say that I hope Mr. Damore and his friends win their case; it would be a glorious victory for equality (of rights and opportunity), freedom of thought and expression, and justice; but Google no doubt has a battalion of slick lawyers rivaling that of Monsanto. Plus it’s California. Even so, all the negative publicity will hit Google hard, at least as another major embarrassment. Let it be so. Shaming can go both ways.