‘They Betrayed Me’: Google Engineer Who Wrote Anti-Diversity Memo Feels ‘Punished’
The Google engineer who was fired for writing a memo criticizing the company’s diversity policies, among other aspects, said Wednesday that “it really feels like they betrayed me.”
“The whole point of my memo was actually to improve Google and Google’s culture,” Damore said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “They just punished me and shamed me for doing it.”
Within the lengthy memo, Damore confronted a number of issues he saw exhibited by the tech conglomerate. He said Google should: “de-moralize diversity,” “stop alienating conservatives,” “confront Google’s biases,” “stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or race,” “be open about the science of human nature,” and “have an open and honest discussion about the costs and benefits of our diversity programs.”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote his own missive Tuesday, explaining his reasoning behind the termination.
“First, let me say that we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it,” Pichai wrote. “However, portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”
Apparently Damore crossed that symbolic line, despite Pichai also stating that “people must feel free to express dissent.”
“I am definitely hurt,” Damore said. “I love Google. And I’ve always been a fan of Google even before I joined.”
After the interview host asked if Damore identifies with the moniker the “alt-right,” he said he was actually “more of a centrist.”
“I don’t think we should have such a strong ideology that really divides different people,” Damore said.
The anchor also cited a blog post written by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, which alleged that Damore and his memo would not have been so purportedly supported if it was addressing minorities, like Hispanic or black employees.
“I think that’s just a false analogy,” Damore said. “She’s trying to lump me in with racists and other bigots, which I am not. I am not a sexist and I am not a racist.”
“So I think that’s just trying to smear my image, rather than actually looking at the evidence,” he continued. “Very little of the responses have been actually looking at the science. They’ve just been calling me names.”
While Damore says he feels “betrayed,” it is possible he could have predicted the whole ordeal, since he asserted within that memo that “honest discussion about these biases is being silenced by the dominant ideology.”
Damore may have lost his job at Google, a duty he prized, but he may soon find employment elsewhere. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange offered him a job after hearing the news, also saying “censorship is for losers.”
Regardless, Damore says he doesn’t regret developing and publishing the memo, even if it did get him fired.
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