Screengrab via James Damore/Twitter

Google memo writer says being a conservative at Google is like being gay in the 1950s

Try again.

Aug 18, 2017, 10:26 am



Ana Valens

Fired Google memo writer James Damore is comparing being a conservative at the company with being gay before Stonewall—a time when gays were beaten, killed, and imprisoned for their sexuality.

In an interview with Business Insider, writer Steve Kovach asked Damore how he would respond to Google’s female employees who felt attacked by his comments in the memo. Damore fired back with another hot take, saying that conservatives at Google were forced to “stay in the closet” while working for the company.

“Obviously, no one should feel attacked. I was simply trying to fix the culture in many ways,” Damore said to Kovach. “Really, it’s like being gay in the 1950s. These conservatives have to stay in the closet and have to mask who they really are. And that’s a huge problem because there’s open discrimination against anyone who comes out of closet as a conservative.”

Damore proceeded to argue that the company has “longstanding complaints” and “lawsuits against Google” over conservatives’ treatment at the company. In his opinion, he wasn’t fired for the memo’s sexist comments. He was fired “for wrong-think.”

“There is a dominant ideology at Google, and anyone who dissents against that is either shamed or ostracized. And when it became apparent that I wasn’t backing down to the shame, they had to fire me,” Damore said. “There are many practices that harass conservatives that have illegal bias against certain groups. And I was simply pointing them out.”

It’s safe to say that treatment of conservatives at Google pales in comparison to the social, political, and economic oppression that LGBTQ people faced during the 1950s. So shortly after the interview’s publication, Damore’s comments went viral.

In particular, Twitter users pointed to Alan Turing, an English computer scientist and cryptanalyst who was chemically castrated by the British government for being a gay man. Many felt Damore’s comments were ridiculous in comparison to the horrific treatment Turing faced prior to his death.

In the wake of Damore’s memo, Google has been scrutinized over its treatment of employees. Over 60 female Google employees have considered filing a class action lawsuit for sexism within the company, and three women of color have come out alleging that they experienced racial and gender discrimination while working for the tech giant.

H/T Business Insider


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*First Published: Aug 18, 2017, 10:26 am