Who Is James Damore? The Ex-Googler's Anti-Diversity Manifesto Fired Up The Alt-Right
It may be 2017, but white men in positions of privilege and power are still wont to espouse misogyny and racism. The latest culprit is James Damore, the former Google engineer whose anti-diversity memo railed against the company's diversity policies. Now, some extreme alt-right supporters are rallying around his cause, calling for a boycott of the company.
Damore's anti-diversity manifesto made headlines over the weekend after several media outlets published the memo. Its primary argument is that Google discriminates against male employees by advancing an equal gender representation philosophy within the company. It hits many of the highlights of conservative ideology, such as the "myth" of the gender wage gap, the idea that all women are inherently less adept at math and science, and that diversity programs aren't worth it because of financial costs.
"Discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech is as misguided and biased as mandating increases for women’s representation in the homeless, work-related and violent deaths, prisons, and school dropouts," Damore wrote in the document, which was published in full by Gizmodo.
The bizarre document, and Damore's subsequent termination by Google, has caught the attention of alt-right activists praising Damore's courage in speaking his mind. Right-leaning crowdfunding platform Wesearchr established a fundraiser for Damore with a $60,000 minimum goal. The platform has previously supported fundraising bids to finance an investigation to prove that French president Emmanuel Macron is gay and an exclusive interview with George Zimmerman.
"We can't let James Damore be bullied like this without a fight," the Wesearchr staff wrote on the fundraising page. "When the Left gets someone fired, it's our duty to get that person back up on their feet and stronger and more secure than ever. If we don't, then we're next. James Damore stood up for the truth. Let's stand up for James Damore."
According to the web page, Wesearchr has been in contact with Damore, and he requested the fundraiser. Donors have already raised $5000 to "help James get back on his feet and see if he can fight Google." Damore told The New York Times that he has "a legal right to express concerns about the terms and conditions of [his] working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behavior, which is what [his] document does." However, according to Business Insider, California has strict laws protecting employers' rights to fire people who promote political views while on the job.
The worst part of the whole situation might be Google's own self-reported stats, which show that the diversity Damore hammered in his memo doesn't even exist. Overall, the company's workforce is 31 percent female and 69 percent male. In the tech sector, those numbers dip even further — only 20 percent of Google engineers are female. The company is even more racially homogenous than it is sexually exclusive. 56 percent of Google employees are white, 35 percent are Asian, four percent are Hispanic, and two percent are black.
The public debate over the justice in Damore's termination is sure to rage for quite some time — it's a prime example of the subjective nature of "truth" and how it tends to split Americans along ideological lines. Whatever comes from it, Damore's firing presents a complicated moral quandary. While some argue that Damore deserved what he got, many others claim that the company's swift termination merely proved his point.