DI­VER­SITY

Public News (Houston) - - FRONT PAGE - by Bart Pearston

An aw­ful lot has been hap­pen­ing lately in the name of “Free Speech”. It is our most val­ued right and premier amend­ment. I found it ironic then that in light of me­dia hys­te­ria over protests which mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties con­tinue to al­low to be­come vi­o­lent, the same me­dia has ba­si­cally swept one such atroc­ity “un­der the rug”. Last week, Google’s CEO, Sun­dar Pichai, fired a VP of Engi­neer­ing, Ari Balogh for writ­ing a “Di­ver­sity Man­i­festo” memo chal­leng­ing the com­pany’s ac­tual di­verse makeup ide­o­log­i­cally. The man­i­festo crit­i­cizes com­pany ini­tia­tives aimed at in­creas­ing gen­der and racial di­ver­sity and ar­gues that Google should in­stead fo­cus on “ide­o­log­i­cal di­ver­sity”. In it he wrote, “ques­tion­ing our as­sump­tions and shar­ing dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives” is an im­por­tant part of Google’s cul­ture, but said that stereo­types and harm­ful as­sump­tions have no place in such de­bates.

“One of the as­pects of the post that trou­bled me deeply was the bias in­her­ent in sug­gest­ing that most women, or men, feel or act a cer­tain way. That is stereo­typ­ing, and it is harm­ful,” Balogh wrote. This is clearly a call for IN­CLU­SION. But not in the Bizarro P.C. world in which we cur­rently find our­selves.

In his re­leased state­ment, Pin­chai claims that Balogh vi­o­lated the com­pany’s “Code of Con­duct” by writ­ing the in­ter­nal memo al­though it wasn’t him who re­leased it to the press, Moth­er­board, and Giz­modo. Re­leas­ing In­ter­nal memos to the pub­lic mean­while IS a vi­o­la­tion of Google’s “Code of Con­duct” but none of the “Leak­ers” was ever rep­ri­manded. Di­ver­sity Head, Danielle Brown, and many em- ploy­ees pres­sured him pub­licly through twit­ter and in a classic, “Do as I say and not as I do” the re­lease claims that ALL Google em­ploy­ees, “make an ef­fort over the com­ing days to reach out to those who might have dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives from your own”. In a Town Hall meet­ing held on­line last Thurs­day, Pichai de­scribed hav­ing to cut short his fam­ily va­ca­tion to Europe and Africa to de­nounce the im­plied sex­ism and racism that the hir­ing of less qual­i­fied mi­nor­ity em­ploy­ment in­stead of ide­o­log­i­cal di­ver­sity is harm­ful to the com­pany. This kind of free­dom of speech was de­scribed as “harm­ful” to the com­pany’s em­ploy­ees and war­ranted dis­missal.

Maybe it is just me, but isn’t the act of fir­ing some­one with a dif­fer­ent opin­ion just prov­ing his fact of the ac­tual lack of tol­er­ance of ide­o­log­i­cal di­ver­sity? I un­der­stand that pri­vate com­pa­nies can hire and fire “At Will” legally, but such a pow­er­ful com­pany’s ob­vi­ous bias has to make one won­der about its po­ten­tial im­pact on the in­ter­net.

Al­ready chal­lenged by Con­ser­va­tive groups and web­sites as be­ing ei­ther cen­sored or de­moted when searches are per­formed, this ac­tion fur­ther strength­ens their com­plaint that Google de­nies. Di­verse and di­ver­sity in my dic­tio­nary def­i­ni­tion are a “Wide va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ing things”. Ap­par­ently out in Sil­i­con Val­ley, that wide va­ri­ety isn’t quite as wide as they pride them­selves on. So of­ten the very ones claim­ing to be for some­thing are the big­gest vi­o­la­tors of ex­actly the thing they push. I’m look­ing at you Google.

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