Daniel Frampton: You can have any opinion you like – so long as it is Google’s

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Damore, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones; so let it be with Damore. The noble BBC hath told you Damore was sexist: if it were so, it was a grievous fault, and grievously hath Damore answer’d it. Here, under leave of the BBC and the rest – for the BBC is an honourable broadcaster; so are they all, all honourable broadcasters – come I to speak in Damore’s funeral.

James Damore, software engineer and author of the now infamous Google memo, has been fired by the company, all because he had the temerity to propose that ‘we need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism’. This proclamation was tantamount to heresy, of course, implying that men and women aren’t necessarily the same. Out came the long knives, not exactly in the Senate House, but at Google headquarters. Damore apparently breached their standards of ‘diversity and inclusion’. Google is not so familiar with the concept of irony, it seems.

The mainstream media have played their part, unquestionably, in building up Damore’s funeral pyre. Argumentum ad hominem is standard leftist procedure, sifting through Damore’s supposed controversies at Harvard, for example. As well as this, simply being referred to as ‘anti-feminist’ is considered to be enough of a condemnation in today’s intellectual climate. This is despite the fact that Damore went to considerable lengths to counter such accusations in his memo, stating at the outset that ‘I value diversity and inclusion’. He made the mistake of believing he was dealing with a reasonable and rational work environment.

The memo itself, circulated internally, highlights research suggesting that there are apparent biological differences that explain why women are underrepresented in certain fields of employment, including tech. However, Damore makes a point of adding that ‘these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions’. Moreover, Damore subscribes to Google’s policy of encouraging gender equality. He merely suggests that Google could achieve this by making employment more congenial for women, rather than relying on discriminatory quotas.

Damore’s measured tone and numerous caveats did nothing to spare him the usual attempts at character assassination by the Left. This has been accompanied by a wanton campaign of misrepresentation by the mainstream media, including the BBC, whose headline ‘Google employee anti-diversity memo causes row’, dated 7 August, affirmed the false narrative that the memo was ‘anti-diversity’. Although the BBC subsequently presented the case for and against the memo’s foundation in science, this deliberate distortion of Damore’s well-argued memo persisted.

The broadcaster Kate Bevan, whose commentary on the memo was featured on the BBC website, also mischaracterised Damore’s communication to a shameful degree, claiming that the Google employee wrote that a large number of his female colleagues at Google were not good enough for the job. ‘The best engineers are not necessarily male’, she comments. This is obviously true. Yet Damore’s memo does not actually contradict this point. Either Bevan has not read the memo or she has wilfully misconstrued its general thesis for the sake of inciting a furore founded on fake news. But why should she do this? The answer is very simple. Bevan, like so many others, must generate a comprehensive culture of calculated outrage in order to delegitimise valid arguments that, if proven to be true, present an existential threat to the Left’s own worldview.

Bevan declares that ‘I’m not very keen on the mob going for people to get the sack… but in this case he was acting in a way that was detrimental to his colleagues’. In other words, she is in all in favour of free speech, but in this case, because Damore’s memo opposes her own feminist ideology, we should throw him to the mob. Her entire claim, so typical of the Left, has been designed to justify a cosy bigotry couched in supposed tolerance of diversity; that is to say, every diversity apart from the only diversity that really matters, which is a diversity of opinion. Diversity has essentially been weaponised in order to silence dissent.

Damore’s memo also featured the proposition that ‘in highly progressive environments’, such as Google, ‘conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility’. Far from contradicting this statement, Google reinforced it by sacking the author. Danielle Brown, Google’s ‘brand new VP of Diversity, Integrity & Governance’, claimed in a memo of her own that Google seeks to build ‘an open, inclusive environment… fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions’ –  but only so long as such discourse continues ‘to work alongside the principles of equal employment’. Brown, much like Bevan, undercuts her own avowals of tolerance by appealing to a hierarchy of supposed sweetness and light. It is drivel, but it is drivel with a purpose. It sends a clear message: Damore is correct, alternative views are not welcome at Google. Get used to it.

‘Changing a culture is hard, and it’s often uncomfortable’, an unapologetic Brown writes. In essence, Damore was a casualty of war, she tells us – a war that has been declared by the Left, which now finds itself in possession of some considerably influential internet platforms. An entire generation of social justice warriors has graduated from leftist campuses and has come to infiltrate such companies as Google. This also includes YouTube, which recently announced that it would apply ‘tougher treatment’ to so-called ‘controversial’ content deemed ‘potential’ hate speech.

Demonetisation and the placing of content in what YouTube terms a ‘limited state’ actively discriminates against dissenting opinions. PragerU videos, promulgating conservative points of view, have been subject to similar forms of ‘soft’ censorship already. Twitter has also been known to bar non-leftists from its platform. Conservatives will have to develop strategies of their own to combat this novel form of warfare.

Damore’s statement that Google is an ‘ideological echo chamber’ hostile to conservative opinion is somewhat irrelevant now. What is really significant here is that Google has all but confirmed this notion by firing the author of the memo.

In other words, it appears that Google has chosen a side, prompted perhaps by Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. The facade is crumbling. The firing of Damore marks what I think is an instinctive escalation in a cold war that has been growing increasingly hot over the past decade. My heart is in the coffin there with Damore. It may be that this game of pretend is now at an end. The SJWs have graduated.

(Image: TopRank Marketing)

Daniel Frampton

  • martianonlooker

    “‘The best engineers are not necessarily male’, she comments. This is obviously true”.
    With large successful tech firms like Google, Apple etc why is that statement obviously true? Throughout history we would be hard pushed to find female engineers that, although they may be exceedingly capable, are at the top of their profession. A bit like female chess players, whilst very good, are not at the very top. Repeat with tennis players, marathon runners…

    • Craig Martin

      BLASPHEMY!

      Stone the Martian!
      Stone it!

    • Individually some of the best are, but I suspect the average for males is higher, but that is based on my years of experience, and not broad research.

  • James Chilton

    The ambition of Google is to monitor all human life from the cradle to the grave.

    Google is the future.

    • Johannes Factotum

      Well, people can always not turn their computer on. It is possible to live without it.

  • WFC

    As somebody else has quipped:

    Google – we value diversity
    Damore – men and women are different
    Google – you’re fired.

    The other point is that Damore was noting that Google’s workforce is not equally male and female, was exploring why, and making suggestions to enable Google profitably to employ a higher proportion of women: and was fired for his pains.

    Which leads to the conclusion that Google doesn’t want to employ a higher proportion of women.

    • Likely true, bust uses evidence not in hand. Cali tech has always been nerdy boy heaven.

  • Colkitto03

    “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” George Orwell.

  • Simon Platt

    Damore’s “measured tone and numerous caveats”, and others’, have been shown, again, to be useless. People: stand up to the bullies. You owe it to posterity. (Does that sound pompous? It isn’t meant that way.)

  • UKCitizen

    Another corporation not preaching what it practises.

  • StopIslamofascism

    Google Megacorp needs to be broken up. No way is it healthy for one company (or one individual within the company such as Zuckerberg) to start dictating to individuals or even whole nations how things are to be run without pushback. Microsoft is in the same boat. Throw them to the winds.

    • CRSM

      Microsoft is extremely annoying, though it’s not in the same league as ‘G’ and ‘A’.

      • You do, of course, know that the company that owns Google begins with ‘A’, and ends with ‘Z’. As well as YouTube and other divers wonderful things. Zuckerberg at least has the excuse that he founded Facebook, as Gates did Microsoft. And yes, the pushback is beginning, but only beginning.

        • CRSM

          I was of course thinking of the one that Starts with ‘A’ and ends with ‘pple’!

          • Of course, and they are just as bad, although they don’t manage quite as much metadata as Google since the search engine captures a large percentage of it.

          • Johannes Factotum

            Damn, CRSM, I’ve just spent 21 hours trying to work out the company ‘A’-‘Z’….

          • Sorry it was opaque. I was referring to Alphabet, which is the owner of Google, and more.

      • StopIslamofascism

        Not just “annoying” but outright predatory with unelected political influence across the globe. Break ’em up.

  • David

    Even if you, in taking an evidence based approach, bend over backwards to be understated and ultra polite, avoiding utterances which the most thin skinned person would find reasonable, it is true that any, I stress, any comment that is not totally subservient to the crazy leftist, multicultural, social” justice” warrior creed then, you are attacked with full fury and hatred, anyway.
    They seek not dialogue to advance knowledge and reason, but total, total obedience to their ever shifting set of false values. So given this environment you may as well just come straight out and say it as it is.
    We can’t reason with these zealots, so don’t try.
    Just use plain old evidence backed argument and evidence and speak over the heads of the rampant children, to the normal people who still exist outside their brainwashing empire. We must not be cowed by these anti-science, anti-western, anti-Christain bullies; we must stand and fight them !

    • CRSM

      You think Google’s bad. Have you seen the communications that manage to get out of the totalitarian fortress of that other US icon? You know, the technology company beginning with the letter ‘A’.

    • Johannes Factotum

      An example: Clare Balding interviewing some blissfully p.c.-unaware local man at a country event she was covering. She asked him why such and such was of interest to him, he replied, “It just appeals to men” and with a clear twinkle in his eye conveyed by the smiley tone of his voice (it was radio) he continued, “Just like you ladies with your handbags and shoes” at which Balding immediately interjected harshly with,”That is offensive”, appeared to realise her mask had slipped and attempted to recover by adding, “But I know what you mean”. The silence, no doubt shocked at being attacked in such a way, from the man was deafening. Now, I have never, and I mean never, been out with a woman or know a woman – and I have known many in my 59 years – who did not like their collection of shoes and handbags, and were always adding to them – and I bet Balding does, too; there is that ‘can’t reason with zealots’ of which you wrote.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    If I were an employer I would love to offer Damore a job. He’s got it all; brains, insight, and the courage to speak the truth. That’s in complete contrast to the average leftie corporate automaton that companies like google look for. There are alternative search engines to google of course. Just google “search engine”.

    • paul parmenter

      And if I were an employer, I would never offer Danielle Brown a job in a million years. Anyone who can come out with such hideous, unthinking, self-contradictory twaddle is bad enough, but happily expecting to make a career out of it – because presumably she is not capable of offering anything better – would take her completely beyond the pale.

      I wonder what her salary is. But of course Google must have plenty of dosh to toss down the drain.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        Perhaps “HR” at google stands for “Human Remains”.

        • Johannes Factotum

          How about the ‘Hopelessly Right-On’ department?

      • Ordovici

        She is a classic example of self-regarding American MBAs. Damore seems far more likely to make an employer a lot of money.

    • Johannes Factotum

      I agree, but… “Just ‘google’ “search engine””? Why use ‘google’ as a replacement for ‘search’? Do you comprehend what has happened for you to consciously or unconsciously do that?

      • Politically__Incorrect

        It was said consciously. There is a sweet irony in using google to find its own replacement

        • Carbonari1848

          I have purposefully used Google a few times in the last few days to search for stuff like “Google Hates Ideological diversity” and “Political bias at Google”.

          Not really to find anything. Just to stick 2 fingers up at them

  • Great Briton

    At least if we don’t approve we can stop using Google.
    I use Bing and predict that Google is now sliding down the slippery slope to oblivion

    • Carbonari1848

      I switched from Google to startpage.com as soon as this story broke.

      • Johannes Factotum

        Well done. I’ve been using Startpage since it began. It has some minor shortcomings regarding content, but nothing to impede one. I use Firefox – though I don’t like their corporate ‘right on’ mentality – because of the great range of apps that block ads, pop-ups, annoying videos, and much else; my web pages are still and calm, when I disable the apps, the pages become almost demented with unwanted activity.

  • Ordovici

    There’s quite a lot to be concerned about in Google’s oppressive behaviour – but the last laugh will be on them – the intolerant crap they come out with has now been disseminated across the net and we are all laughing at the 19 yr old right on tools wearing lemon yellow t-shirts and dungarees that they employ.

    Google has spent the last ten years laughing at 50 somethings like me but not been looking over their shoulders. They will be AOL in 10 years. My teenagers think they are dinosaurs already.

  • Ordovici

    Google’s ‘brand new VP of Diversity, Integrity & Governance’,

    Is this a position you would be boasting to your friends about over a Friday night drink. Most of mine would laugh in my face including my wife.

    • Johannes Factotum

      He probably does, because his circle will only include those of like mind.

  • HardcastleCraggs

    Why, man, Google doth bestride the narrow world
    Like a Colossus, and we petty men
    Walk under his huge legs and peep about
    To find ourselves dishonorable graves.
    Men at some time are masters of their fates.
    The fault, dear Daniel, is not in our stars
    But in ourselves, that we do still use Goolag,
    And not some other search engine.

    • Johannes Factotum

      Indeed, for “there are more things in Heaven and Earth, Daniel, than are dreamt of even in Google’s philosophy”.

  • paul parmenter

    Just out of interest – does anyone have any example of a woman being sacked because of expressing an opinion that was deemed by her employer to be “sexist”? Given that there are plenty of cases of men suffering this fate?

    • Johannes Factotum

      No, sorry, but I know a couple in the Metropolitan Police who have thrived because it is the first word from their lips. They keep getting moved up because no-one dare shut them up.

  • Dodgy Geezer

    I can’t see anything wrong with this.

    Everyone knows that Conservatives are different from us, They come from a different place, and have a different culture. Even their cooking smells different. We don’t want them here.

    I don’t like living next door to them. They move into a neighbourhood and very soon all your friends move out, and they take it over completely. I have nothing against them as people, but I wouldn’t let my daughter marry one. Nasty things!

    • Labour_is_bunk

      1. You might try posting comments relevant to the article.

      2. Are you stuck in a 50/60’s timewarp – where maybe such thinking was prevalent then, but very rare today?

      3. I don’t want anyone here who might try to murder me. What’s wrong with saying that?

      • Dodgy Geezer

        Good grief! Do I have to put a sarcasm marker on things before you will realise?

        At least you got the 50s reference…..

  • Carbonari1848

    I have a vision of the future.

    It is of a University where the only department left is Gender Studies, and three enormous feminist professors sit in the empty building, arguing under a single, flickering bulb while the night howls outside.

    Rubbish blows in drifts in the angry wind. All around the campus is nothing, just a wide belt of inky night. As the camera pans out, we start to pick out one or two campfires of civilization, until a wider galaxy of light appears.

    From a distance, the black ring around the university appears distinct – it seems as though the world is a single body that has isolated a malignant cell. The world slumbers, with men and women in each others arms, finally at peace.

    • Johannes Factotum

      Aside from when I first used the Internet, many years ago, I don’t use (knowingly) any Google products – show your displeasure and protest that way.

  • Johannes Factotum

    Every time I read something of this nature, be it political, social, religious, whatever, this quote comes to mind:

    “What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists, is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.”

    Robert Kennedy

  • PierrePendre

    What feminists and their male supporters miss every time they explode in fury at suggestions that men and women are not equal in every respect is not just that they reject the findings of neuroscience (and the evidence of our own eyes) but that the “hurt” women allegedly feel is because they themselves doubt their equality. At least, that’s what Google seems to be saying. Despite half a century of militant feminism, relentless propagandising and affirmative action, women are still riddled with self-doubt and lack of confidence in their ability to compete. If that were not the case, why are Google’s female employees unable to take Darmore’s memo in their stride. Their lack of self-belief sounds louder than all the feminist rants that we must believe in total equality between the sexes because their ideology pretends it is true. Is it really so hard to accept that there are some things men do better than women, and vice versa, as well as many things both sexes do equally well? As is so often the case in these rows, the psychology that really drives feminism seems to be envy of men pure and simple.