The Wall Street Journal has a story today about a former Google engineer named Kevin Cernekee. Cernekee, who hasn’t told his story publicly before, claims that he was fired last year after battling they company for years over his conservative views.
Before moving to the Bay Area in 2015 to work on Google’s laptop lines, Mr. Cernekee says, the region’s dominant liberalism struck him as “just like something to occasionally read online and laugh at. At Google, I jumped right into the middle of it, where, holy crap, these people actually exist.”
Early on, he stood up for a colleague who publicly suggested that Google not consider race or gender in hiring decisions. “A bunch of people jumped on him and started cussing him out and calling him names,” Mr. Cernekee says. “And then his manager showed up in the thread and denounced him in public. I was very disturbed by that.”
Cernekee continued to battle the company’s culture from within for the next three years. When another engineer named James Damore put a document on the company’s internal discussion forum discussing differences between men and women in 2017, Cernekee invited him for lunch to hear more (though he says he doesn’t agree with Damore’s thesis). Damore was fired a week later and his views were denounced by the company’s CEO. Cernekee made it another year:
Mr. Cernekee, 41 years old, spent much of the next three years battling Google over his perceived violations, and pressing his contention that right-leaning employees were being treated unfairly, according to interviews, documents and copies of posts on Google’s internal message boards. In one example from 2017 that he reported to human resources, a manager publicly asked on a board about employees holding views like Mr. Cernekee’s: “Can’t we just fire the poisonous assholes already?”
In June 2018, Mr. Cernekee was fired…
“Historically, there’s been a lot of bullying at Google,” Mr. Cernekee says. “There’s a big political angle, and they treat the two sides very differently.”
Cernekee filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board. Some of those have already been dismissed but one remains under consideration. The company claims he was fired for misuse of a remote-access software system. Cernekee denies that and says the real cause was his conservative outlook. The Journal points to an example of the kind of thing which got him in trouble with the company:
Among the posts cited was one in which he wrote that “many Googlers strongly disagree with Social Justice theory and even more Googlers are concerned about the ‘internet mob’ shaming and intimidation tactics employed in support of this agenda.” The human resources executive wrote: “Many Googlers were offended by your comments.”
Maybe there’s more to what Cernekee said but if the WSJ excerpt is a fair representation of it, then it’s really nothing. He’s saying in a fairly generic way that not everyone agrees with the SJW’s or their tactics. That’s not remotely controversial in the real world. Even people on the left are uncomfortable with some SJW mob behavior. But it sounds as if a bunch of Google employees complained to human resources that they were offended by this mild criticism. At that point, Cernekee became the problem. And eventually, they found a way to remove the problem, just as they had with James Damore.
Google keeps claiming it doesn’t treat conservatives differently but of the tiny handful of conservatives we know have worked there, they all seem to wind up battling the company and then being fired. I suspect there are still some conservatives working there but they’ve learned not to ever speak up if they want to remain employed.