National Review editor tackles the Google controversy

Rich Lowry‘s latest column at National Review Online explains why a controversial document linked to Google should not be described as an “anti-diversity screed.”

The first thing to know about the instantly infamous “anti-diversity screed” written by an anonymous Google software engineer is that it isn’t anti-diversity or a screed.

The loaded description, widely used in the press and on social media, is symptomatic of the pearl-clutching over the memo, which questions the premises and effectiveness of Google’s diversity policies.

The document was meant — before getting splashed on the Internet — as an internal conversation-starter. The author posits that innate differences between the sexes might account for the disparity between men and women in the male-dominated world of high-tech.

He states repeatedly that he believes in diversity, and there’s no reason to doubt his self-description as a classical liberal. His exclamation-point-free memo is hardly a rant. He expresses the hope that “open and honest discussion with those who disagree can highlight our blind spots and help us grow.”

How naïve. The witless and inflamed reaction to his document instead underlines his point about “a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence.” …

… Obviously, the field should be open to women, and Neanderthal behavior in the workplace should be stamped out. But a company that believes implicit bias accounts for gender imbalances must be allergic to certain inconvenient facts. The Google author raised them — and will probably pay the price.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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