In an interview with Cathy Young of Reason, recently-fired Google engineer James Damore revealed the company sent regular emails soliciting examples of "microaggressions" in the workplace.
Damore told Young in an interview published this week that, at Google, "'microaggressions' are being taught and compared to actual violence." He further divulged that a weekly email is sent to 20,000 Google employees "where people submit examples of" microagressions. Asked whether the microaggressors are ever identified in these emails, he replied, "Sometimes they are, and other times it's obvious to whoever reads it (which is a large portion of the company now)."
Damore recalled one email that included an employee complaining about a coworker who "[suggested] to use a picture of an attractive person on an ad to increase the number of clicks. According to Damore, that was "apparently a case of 'lookism'" to the offended Google employee.
So-called microaggressions have risen to prominence in recent years as professors and administrators are increasingly diligent about raising awareness of the concept among students. A recent New York magazine article defined them as "inadvertently offensive things members of majority groups say or do to members of marginalized groups in everyday life." One example might be expressing surprise that a woman is studying engineering or mathematics.
Damore was fired by Google last week after a memo he penned urging the company to respect and facilitate ideological diversity went viral, leaving his coworkers outraged for suggesting there were biological differences between men and women that impacted women's representation in the tech industry. To sensitive progressives in Silicon Valley, that may as well constitute a "macroaggression."
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.