The job of diversity chief is to ensure that employees feel that they do not have to hide their religious or cultural identities to feel safe at work.
Yet somehow, the HR people at Google ignored this most basic job description when they hired Kamau Bobb. When it was discovered that back in 2007, he made the claim that Jewish people “have an insatiable appetite for war and killing”. Instead of firing him (as they should have), he was kept on the payroll, but was moved to another position.
Now granted, this blog post is 14 years old. One would hope that he would have learned a few things in that time. The irony in this story is that the company’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are both Jewish. Aside from the extremely scary rise in antisemitism in the US and around the world, the fact that this man accused his employers of having bloodlust should have been a reason for immediate termination. Instead he was given a slap on the wrist and retained his employment.
The message, as I see it, is clear. Antisemitism is not something to be ashamed about and shunned for. It is acceptable and even applauded. The only way to get rid of hate and prejudice is to confront it. By not doing so, the powers that be are adding even more fuel to the fire and allowing this disgusting perspective to thrive. Adding fuel to the fire of this problem is that this company is so ingrained in our daily lives that we could not avoid it if we wanted to.
Good job, Google.
5 thoughts on “Google Hired an Anti-Semite as Diversity Chief”
What concerns me is that it seems we are losing any sense of control. Some minor things are over reacted to, and some important things -such as this- are swept under the rug, pushed aside in the hopes it will be unnoticed, forgotten and just go away. After all this time, maybe he has learned, maybe he has adjusted his beliefs, but that too needs to be known just as much if not more so than his past. How do you trust him otherwise? In any position of the company? Because like it or not, our past does define at least a part of us, even if that part is who we used to be. Should it forever haunt us? Should we be forced to forever pay penalties for that past? I would think maybe not, but it depends on whether or not we have corrected our life, mindset and actions from the obvious wrongs done and the age in which the offenses were committed. Children parrot what they are taught and how their peers act. Many teens want to appear street tough, want to fit in with the ‘in’ group. These actions are not excusable, but if they learn and change, forgiveness should be given. Adults should know better. But hate is a horrible cancer that eats not only at the body but the mind and soul leaving one cruel. These are not excusable as adults should know better. Yet, here too, if the adult finds the understanding that these actions are wrong, and they seek to undo past wrongs, they seek to show they have changed and no longer believe, then moving forward is possible. Sorry, I didn’t mean for this, my two cents worth, to get so long.