I have been remarking for a while that it is not a coincidence that Google refers to its Mountain View headquarters as a “campus,” as the politics of Google appear to be a close replication of college campus politics, with identity politics running amok. They might want to rethink this.
We covered Google’s disgraceful firing of James Damore (here, here, and here), but today the Wall Street Journal has a front page feature that reveals what a horrible swamp Google has become. The lede of the article tells of a speaking invitation to Ingrid Newkirk, the lunatic head of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), whose invitation was rescinded at the last minute, when she had arrived at Google’s parking lot. Who thought inviting Newkirk was a good idea in the first place?
The article is behind the Journal‘s robust paywall, but here are a few highlights along with some commentary:
In 2008, a Google chef generated an online debate, with more than 100 comments on Google’s internal message forums, by serving a “Free Tibet Goji Chocolate Cream Pie” in the cafeteria, a reference to the political movement opposing China’s rule of the Asian region. The chef initially drew a suspension, which another manager at Google overturned on free-speech grounds, according to Laszlo Bock, who wrote about the flap in a book about the company culture called “Work Rules!”
I wonder if you can order a rare hamburger at Google’s cafeteria? Meanwhile, with the enthusiasm for identifying as any gender you want these days, I’ve been wondering why you have to identify as a human being at all. Why can’t I identify as a unicorn, or a pig? (Some people already identify me as a pig, so why not make it official.) As Harry Jaffa once remarked—as quoted in a certain recent book coming out in paperback next fall—“Whether you want to belong to the human race is now a matter of personal preference.”
Well guess what:
At a recent Google event titled “Living as a Plural Being,” one employee gave a talk explaining why the speaker sexually identified as “a yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin” and an “expansive ornate building” . . .
PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk intended to run with this theme in her proposed talk at Google:
She planned to show a video in which RZA, the Wu-Tang Clan hip-hop artist and outspoken vegan, transforms from a black man into an Asian woman and eventually into a bear and a chicken. “It doesn’t matter if we have fur or feathers or fins, the length of our nose or the number of legs,” RZA says in the video’s voice-over. “We’re not different in any important way.”
Humans not different from bears or chickens in any important way? Oh-kay.
It was Newkirk’s “appropriation” of racism, or comparison of the lack of formal animal rights with racism, that sparked the backlash. Apparently, no one at Google bothered to Google “intersectionality.”
A pamphlet Ms. Newkirk planned to distribute to those attending shows pictures of a cow, a chicken and a bunny with the heading “How Bigotry Begins.” The talk was canceled about an hour before it was to begin, with goodie bags ready and the auditorium already starting to fill. . .
The story then goes on the explain how Newkirk recorded a phone call in her car in the parking lot with a Google employee who was part of the affinity group hosting Newkirk:
“There was, like, a sort of outcry in response” to the prospect of the talk, said the Google employee, David Barry, according to a transcript reviewed by the Journal. “And the last thing that Google wants, that we want to do, is to make people, like, feel alienated, or hurt people, like, who voiced concern over this talk,” said Mr. Barry, whose LinkedIn profile describes him as an associate account strategist at Google. [Emphasis added.]
“Like. Like. Like.” I thought that was Facebook’s thing? Like, learn to talk, dude.
Now excuse me while I Google the best prices for popcorn futures.