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Google's 'tolerance' is too intolerant

By Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

For example, Damore's memo omits evidence that bias, conscious and unconscious, still holds women back in the tech fields. A study by university computer students last year, for example, looked at 3 million "pull requests" for computer code at GitHub, an open-source repository of codes with which users can build software. The study found that "code written by women was requested at a higher rate (78.6 percent) than code written by men (74.6 percent)," according to The Guardian, as long as the gender of the woman was not revealed. When the code author's gender was revealed, the acceptance rate dropped to about the same as men.

That study hardly settles every argument, but it does offer evidence of how women can, as a group, receive less reward for the same or superior effort. Like Damore's memo, it invites more discussion like that which Google's diversity program seemed to offer Damore, until the discussion he brought up ruffled too many feathers.

In fact, it was with that in mind that Damore titled his memo "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber." He calls for more diversity, not less, and even concludes with suggestions for what he calls "non-discriminatory ways to reduce the gender gap" and increase the diversity of views in Google's diversity programs and policies.

Firing Damore makes a martyr of him. To figures of the "alt-right" movement (a rebranding of new-Nazis, in my humble opinion), he became an instant hero, another sacrificial white male victim of liberal, pro-diversity "Social Justice Warriors," the alt-right label for those of us who think our society benefits from its diversity.

We Americans can find even more ways to make diversity work for us, not against us, as a society. But first we need to talk.

 

And, when others make their case, we need to listen -- and maybe learn to be better explainers.

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(E-mail Clarence Page at cpage@chicagotribune.com.)

(c) 2017 CLARENCE PAGE DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.
 

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