If there are two things Americans love, it’s filing lawsuits and claiming victim status.
Now ex-Google employee James Damore is doing both. Damore, who was fired in August for sending a memo that went viral, is suing Google claiming discrimination on the basis of his race, gender and politics (culturally conservative). Or, what is often referred to in conservative circles as playing the race card.
Fox News commentator Andrew Napolitano attacks Al Sharpton for “playing the race card.”
Ben Carson says Jesse Jackson was playing the race card when he criticized the police shooting of a resident of Ferguson, Missouri.
Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee’s claims of racism were dismissed by the NY Post as “playing the race card.”
So now we see whenever anyone raises the issue of possible racism, even when it might have some merit, it is shot down as “playing the race card.”
How about James Damore? Does he seriously think white people face egregious discrimination in the tech industry, an industry whose owners, investors, managers, and employees they constitute the vast majority of? He says Google is putting extra effort into hiring women (in order to correct for perceived discrimination against and/or lack of women in tech). In fact, even in a natural state, there wouldn’t be 50-50 gender parity in most vocations or hobbies. Nonetheless, even if hiring an extra woman here or there makes results in one less qualified man being hired, is that policy that Google, a private company chose, an illegal infringement on men’s rights? It’s a drop in the bucket.
Damore wasn’t fired for his race or gender, anyway. He wasn’t even fired for his politics. We don’t know, from his memo, or much of his public statements, where he stands on political issues like taxes, welfare, healthcare, drug policy, gay marriage, or many others. He was fired for sending a long-winded memo opposing Google’s policy towards diversity.
One can argue against Google’s policy on gender diversity or its policy towards firing people simply for publicly disagreeing with its policy. It may very well have been stupid of Google. It may also have been stupid of Damore to send the memo. It was almost certainly an overreaction by social media hordes who don’t even work at Google spreading his memo along and acting offended. But doing “stupid” things is all well within our rights as individuals or companies.
Even if one were to be fired for holding a political position, political viewpoints are not a “protected class”, in the legal sense, afforded the same protections as people discriminated against for innate characteristics of their identity.