Ryder, I’ll agree with you on this much: The other people at Google, ultimately, had more power than James.

Where I disagree is this: He believed he was starting a conversation where all parties could reason through it together safely. He didn’t realize that large groups of white men can do effectively whatever they want in this country to whomever they want. They can arm themselves and invade federal land (as in the Oregon militia standoff — all defendents acquitted), they can brag about sexual assault against women on TV and get elected President (I know this is a cheap shot but it informs the expectations of James’ readers), and they can light tiki torches and encircle a black church shouting “you will not replace us” with quotes from Adolph Hitler on the back of their shirts without a single charge filed.

So when James writes a piece saying he feels like a persecuted minority it’s true that he’s in a minority and it’s true that most of his peers are not sympathetic to his perspectives. And that sucks for him, really. But it’s also true that the people he’s writing about have every reason to be afraid for their lives of a bunch of people just like James deciding whether women or Black people are fit for software engineering.

The power differential is massive. One day in America it won’t be and then he wouldn’t have to be fired for what he wrote. But if we were at that level of equality he probably wouldn’t have written it anyway.

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