Silicon Valley Conservatives Find Little Support Within Tech Community
The firing of Google engineer for a memo has set off a debate over political values.
When a Google engineer was fired recently for an internal memo that, in part, slammed Google’s “silencing of conservative political opinions,” it was a wakeup call for many other conservatives who call the tech community home. (He was ultimately let go for “perpetuating gender stereotypes,” not the former.)
As Bloomberg reports, some conservatives in tech now fear for their jobs or that they’ll become pariahs within their companies if they say or do the wrong thing in support of conservative values. With open floor plans in many offices, notes Bloomberg, this has made it difficult for, say, a Trump supporter to enjoy a safe environment to hang a Make America Great Again poster or hang a portrait of George H.W. Bush. Also, conservatives don’t feel safe posting their values to social media platforms like Facebook.
As one Microsoft engineer, quoted anonymously, told Bloomberg: “If you get labeled as a bad person because you voted the wrong way and start getting ostracized, it will impede on your job because most people can’t flip modes. They can’t have a heated political debate with you and then flip modes and have a heated technical debate with you.”
One Google employee, Shashi Ramchandani, who identifies himself as socially liberal but fiscally conservative, told Bloomberg that he sees the problem as a Silicon Valley one, not specifically, a Google one. “I had more trouble coming out as a conservative than I did with my race or orientation or any other minority status,” he said.
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