Di­ver­sity de­bate

Re “Sex­ist memo a new blem­ish on di­ver­sity in tech,” Aug. 8, “Free speech limit seen in Google case,” Busi­ness, Aug. 9, and “How ef­fec­tive is di­ver­sity and bias train­ing?” Busi­ness, Aug. 10

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

How ironic that an ar­dent de­fender of free speech — Google — fires an em­ployee for speak­ing out and cir­cu­lat­ing a po­si­tion on Google’s cor­po­rate em­ploy­ment prac­tices dif­fer­ent from the cor­po­rate model.

In fact, I strongly sus­pect that the em­ployee’s memo will have a very ben­e­fi­cial ef­fect on women’s rights in the work­place by start­ing an ac­tive and pub­lic de­bate on the is­sues the em­ployee has raised.

I am sure many, like me, strongly dis­agree with the viewpoint of the memo writer. But, as the say­ing goes: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will de­fend to the death your right to say it.” Ken Gold­man Beverly Hills

Ob­vi­ously, Google’s idea of di­ver­sity doesn’t in­clude al­low­ing an opin­ion di­verse from its own.

This is not di­ver­sity. It is cen­sor­ship, and this par­tic­u­lar act of cen­sor­ship is giv­ing the au­thor’s views more at­ten­tion.

Google should al­low the opin­ion to live or die on its own. Think out­side the box? I guess they meant some­body else’s box. Don Tonty Los An­ge­les

I don’t want to get caught up in the de­bate about di­ver­sity in tech­nol­ogy so much as to com­ment about how de­bates are con­ducted th­ese days. This one fol­lows a very fa­mil­iar pat­tern.

Some­one pub­lishes opin­ions that dif­fer from some or­tho­doxy or an­other, so they’re sub­jected to a firestorm in both so­cial and reg­u­lar me­dia with the re­sult that they’re forced out of their job. So much for free speech.

I ac­tu­ally read James Damore’s pa­per when it first ap­peared. I don’t nec­es­sar­ily agree with his con­clu­sions, but I can’t com­plain about the way they’re pre­sented — the pa­per was well thought out and re­spect­fully pre­sented. Mar­tin Usher Thou­sand Oaks

If fe­male “weak­nesses” such as com­pas­sion and gen­eros­ity were uni­ver­sally con­sid­ered more valu­able than the abil­ity to in­tim­i­date, the world would be a much dif­fer­ent place.

An in­clu­sive ques­tion that a fe­male su­per­vi­sor might ask such as “what do you think we should do?” el­e­vates the cal­iber of a work en­vi­ron­ment to one of mu­tual re­spect, as op­posed to a male-dom­i­nated arena in which “com­peti­tors” are con­sid­ered a threat whose ef­forts must be sab­o­taged.

El­bow­ing oth­ers out of the way and cover­ing for un­der­per­form­ing bud­dies (rather than fo­cus­ing on ex­cel­lence) are el­e­ments of a dys­func­tional male cul­ture, as ev­i­denced by our cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion. Jen­nifer Rabuchin Bur­bank So an em­ployee writes that Google im­poses group­think and does not wel­come dis­sent­ing view­points. Google fires him. Point proved. Mitchell Keiter Beverly Hills

Google em­ployee James Damore ap­par­ently uses com­pany time and as­sets to pub­lish a man­i­festo claim­ing women are an in­fe­rior species that do not be­long in his work space and then com­plains about be­ing fired for ex­press­ing his thoughts. That’s chutz­pah on steroids.

He just told his com­pany that could not trust the work prod­uct of co­em­ploy­ees if they hap­pen to be fe­male. Does he be­lieve that Google’s re­sponse to his be­hav­ior would be any dif­fer­ent if said he could not be com­pat­i­ble with black or Jewish co-em­ploy­ees? Frank Fer­rone El Ca­jon

Most as­suredly, James Damore’s memo was re­plete with bias and dis­played a glar­ing lack of judg­ment, es­pe­cially in 2017.

But is Google any less cul­pa­ble in its fir­ing of Damore? Our world is im­per­fect, peo­pled by in­sen­si­tive and mean­spir­ited in­di­vid­u­als. As a per­son of color, I was sub­jected to racial barbs, slurs and stupid com­ments.

The great ma­jor­ity of the tech world’s hires are some of our coun­try’s best and bright­est, and hope­fully, they are ca­pa­ble of win­now­ing the chaff from the grain. Do we re­ally ex­pect that we can be pro­tected, in­su­lated and san­i­tized from ev­ery word that hurts us?

If Damore had been al­lowed to stay on the job, I think he would most as­suredly have been a pariah, and nat­u­rally os­tra­cized and ex­cluded by his co­work­ers.

The con­tent of Damore’s memo is ugly and rep­re­hen­si­ble, but does ex­pres­sion of an un­pop­u­lar thought au­to­mat­i­cally vi­o­late a code of con­duct? Steve Sato Tor­rance

Mar­cio Jose Sanchez As­so­ci­ated Press

HEAD­QUAR­TERED in Moun­tain View, Google is draw­ing flak for a con­tro­ver­sial memo and fir­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.