Editorials

White, privileged and a victim? This is Trump’s America

Google’s new head of diversity has rejected an internal commentary from an employee who suggested women don’t get ahead in tech jobs because of biological differences. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
Google’s new head of diversity has rejected an internal commentary from an employee who suggested women don’t get ahead in tech jobs because of biological differences. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) AP

Who says Team Trump isn’t getting anything accomplished?

Last week, as Google fought allegations that male workers there are paid less than females, a white male software engineer made national news with a claim that women were biologically unsuited to tech jobs and Google’s real workplace victims were conservative men.

Elsewhere in American culture, far right pundits attacked Procter & Gamble for an ad showing African-American parents discussing racism with their children. Part of the conglomerate’s “My Black Is Beautiful” campaign, the ad depicted African-American mothers telling children that “pretty for a black girl” is not a compliment, that “some people think you don’t deserve the same privileges just because of what you look like” and that knowing how to talk to police “when you get stopped” is “not about you getting a ticket – it’s about you not coming home.”

If the Googler’s lament about political correctness sounded familiar, it’s because reverse racism has been an obsession for this White House.

The ads reflect a sad rite of passage familiar to black families, and, in our opinion, mark a milestone in corporate inclusion. Conservative pundit Michelle Malkin charged that they downplayed improvements in race relations, insulted law enforcement and played as “a kinder, gentler version of Black Lives Matter propaganda.” P&G, she wrote, “should stick to selling diapers instead of filling them.”

How odd, for the victim card to be played now by the historically privileged. Though American culture is surely more diverse, the same can hardly be said for its power structure.

White men still dominate the top income brackets. Caucasians are more likely to own property, to marry, to be called back for job interviews, to attend college in this country – and still far less likely to be shot by law enforcement.

White men dominate government and the corporate world, including Silicon Valley. According to a Recode survey, women hold less than a third of leadership jobs and less than 27 percent of technical jobs at major tech companies.

At Google, three-quarters or more of the leadership and tech roles are filled by men, not women. Black employees hold 1 percent of Google’s technical jobs and 2 percent of leadership positions. The numbers for Hispanics there are 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

So why the sudden white whining?

“Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence,” wrote James Damore, the apparently un-shamed Google dissenter. If that sounds familiar, it’s because reverse racism has been an obsession for President Donald Trump.

Trump has made it his mission to end the yoke of political correctness that supposedly came with the election of President Barack Obama, the son of a black man and white woman. From the border wall he has vowed to build to preparations at the Justice Department to sue colleges over affirmative action admissions, Trump has invited the powerful not just to settle for the usual spoils of success, but to grab the moral perks that usually are reserved for society’s victims.

By Tuesday, Damore’s manifesto had cost him his job and he was threatening to sue, though the law is clear that an employee’s right to free speech ends at a company’s right not to tolerate a hostile workplace. But who knows what “hostile’ will mean, by the time Trump’s era is over.

The arc of the moral universe is long, as the saying goes, but it bends toward justice. Or something like that.

  Comments