The firing of a Google programmer who authored a controversial memo criticizing the company’s diversity initiatives has become a cause célèbre for many on the right.
They see the case of James Damore confirming their suspicions that Silicon Valley suppresses conservative viewpoints and are turning their fire on his former employer.
Damore’s internal memo became public when published by Gizmodo last Saturday. Titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” it argued that Google’s initiatives to close its workforce gender gap were misguided because the disparity was more a result of biological differences between men and women than biased hiring practices or sexism.
Women are underrepresented in professions like coding, Damore argued, in part because they are more susceptible to “neuroticism,” leading to higher levels of anxiety and a low tolerance for stress.
The memo sparked a firestorm of controversy, reopening long debates about sexism and diversity in the tech industry. Google fired Damore on Monday.
But conservatives and activists on the right from many stripes have been rallying to Damore’s defense.
Wesearchr, a crowdfunding site that supports alt-right causes, launched a fundraiser for him that has raised $40,000 as of Friday afternoon.
Some GOP lawmakers also took to Twitter to show their support for Damore and scold Google.
“I am very troubled by @google’s treatment of James Damore,” wrote Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.). “You shouldn’t lose your job for telling the truth!”
Sen. John CornynJohn CornynNew GOP immigration bill would drastically increase border surveillance: report The growing Chinese threat to advanced technology industries GOP senators ask Trump to hold off on Venezuelan oil sanctions MORE (R-Texas), the number two Republican in the Senate, said in another tweet that the firing violated Damore’s First Amendment rights.
And on Friday, New York Times columnist David Brooks, seen by many as a voice for the moderate conservatives, called for Google CEO Sundar Pichai to resign. Brooks argued that Damore’s memo presented valid points and was being unfairly mischaracterized by the media.
“He could have wrestled with the tension between population-level research and individual experience,” Brooks wrote in his column about Pichai. “He could have stood up for the free flow of information. Instead he joined the mob.”
A Google spokeswoman declined to comment to The Hill for this story.
For his part, Damore…