Ex-Google employee James Damore made quite a disturbing false equivalency when he compared being a conservative at the tech company to being gay in the 1950s.
The engineer was fired from his job at Google after releasing a sexist, anti-diversity internal memo titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” calling out gender and politics in the company, writing, “Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture.” He claimed that diversity efforts, like trying to hire more female employees, have led to a discriminatory environment.
Business Insider interviewed Damore this week about the memo and his firing. During the conversation, the Harvard graduate compared being conservative at Google to the persecution of the gay community in the ’50s.
“I was simply trying to fix the culture in many ways,” he said. “And really help a lot of people who are currently marginalized at Google by pointing out these huge biases that we have in this monolithic culture where anyone with a dissenting view can’t even express themselves. Really, it’s like being gay in the 1950s. These conservatives have to stay in the closet and have to mask who they really are. And that’s a huge problem because there’s open discrimination against anyone who comes out of the closet as a conservative.”
As the Human Rights Campaign notes, the ’50s were one of the most conservative periods of American history and the government was attempting to stop the spread of communism. During that time, the “Lavender scare” witch hunt occurred, when thousands of LGBT people were targeted and fired from their jobs as they were dubbed a “security risk” and more vulnerable to Soviet influence.
Twitter was not having it. And pointed out that Damore could use a history lesson.
That’s right, back in the 1950s gay people were all given $160,000 a year, someone made them lunch and they got to play with Lego. https://t.co/2XLKezm7zp?ncid=edlinkushpmg00000313— Tabatha Southey (@TabathaSouthey) August 18, 2017
Alan Turing was chemically castrated for being gay in the 1950s. Fuck this guy. https://t.co/ZuSo5AoUVh?ncid=edlinkushpmg00000313— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) August 18, 2017
I'm trying to figure out how he thinks that's the same thing. pic.twitter.com/csAza4lL2q— aaron jackson (@aaronjackson_co) August 17, 2017
I'm sure writing a manifesto alleging female coworkers are biologically inferior might've had more to do with it.— Robert Hallock (@Thracks) August 18, 2017
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.