back to article I no longer have a burning hatred for Jewish people, says Googler now suddenly no longer at Google

Google Cloud's veep of developer relations abruptly left the web giant late last week after sharing a lengthy essay on how he no longer hated "all the Jewish people." One month ago, Egyptian-American Amr Awadallah, who joined Google in 2019, had posted on LinkedIn a 10,000-word missive, with an accompanying two-hour YouTube …

  1. Steve Aubrey


    Methinks he doth protest too much . . .

    No insight into the person nor the situation. But a 10k word "missive"?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Dr. Ellen

        Re: Shakespeare

        Considering the current climate among the intelligentsia, some of the people who helped toss him out were probably angry because he disclaimed Jew-hate.

      2. MCPicoli

        Re: Shakespeare

        "Damascene moment"... Sincerely, I had to google it up. Thank you, for enriching my vocabulary with obscure expressions.

        1. ROC

          Re: Shakespeare

          Not so obscure to those knowledgeable of Christianity.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shakespeare

        > " ... no accounting for how he intended to make up for his prior behaviour"

        What? Did he actually commit a human rights crime? Can we not accept that ethnic prejudice is a common condition that people are raised up to believe? When someone has escaped from that through their own sense of logic and practical experience(*), what value is there in them seeking punishment? Move forwards, not backwards, or you will never get anywhere. Of course, requesting praise is always a bore, but it's not a crime.

        * Surely the Jewish people who played a role in Amr's positive life experiences deserve credit too, but he seems to have given explicit anecdotal credit there. Although you criticise him for that.

        " But when you're a multi-multi-millionaire who is a VP of one of the richest companies in the world ..."

        But he is still a human being. I certainly believe that just because someone is in an exalted position (top 0.01%) does not mean they are a "better" person than the other 99.01% (~ even though they typically believe so). By the standard that the top 0.01% should actually be the top 0.01% moral, caring, respectful, communicative and socially aware people, we would never have any leaders at all.

        Your claim that he is a boorish egotist may be be valid (certainly sounds plausible) but I think you have failed to show any intent to harm. If you didn't like or respect him (I won't judge you on that) this is NOT the clear cut case where he showed clear intent to harm those working beneath him (I will judge you on that). Claiming so looks bad.

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: Shakespeare

          "When someone has escaped from that through their own sense of logic and practical experience(*), what value is there in them seeking punishment?"

          You're mischaracterising the incident. Chap thought he was saying 'I was a virulent antisemite, but I'm not antisemitic anymore', but in fact what he actually said was 'I was a virulent antisemite, and I'm not _as_ antisemitic anymore'.

          Good for him for starting to learn, but he has a very, very long way still to go before he can claim to be no longer antisemitic - as the size of his blindspot about the antisemitic comments he made _in the posts in question_ shows quite clearly.

          He wasn't sacked for saying what he used to be, but for the stuff he said that shows what he still is.

          1. martyn.hare

            This is an indictment on Google, again.

            It looks like once again, Google can’t grok common sense. Diversity means different demographics and different people are naturally going to be differently prejudiced. The more diverse your hiring pool, the more diverse the pool of prejudiced beliefs will be. At some point, they need to learn how to more appropriately deal with stereotypical prejudices which are endemic to specific demographics.

            All Google has really demonstrated so far is that it’s clearly OK to be an extremely racist scumbag at their company as long as nobody can prove it. They need to actually put the effort in and make a genuine commitment to actually combating racism. That begins by challenging stereotypes and encouraging people to not only be aware of their own biases but also to provide channels where such biases (no matter how extreme) can be disclosed in a safe and professional manner.

            1. Reality_Cheque

              Re: This is an indictment on Google, again.

              I agree with your first para, but you went off the rails in the second. Racial familiarity (perhaps 'cultural comfort') is part of what diversity actually is, but if I were to suggest that diversity brings negative impacts as well as positive ones I would get kebabbed here quicker than the subject of the article.

              At face value, the path taken out of racism is something to be lauded, not punished. All Google has done here is to discourage people from talking about their reform and enlightening others. What next? Google attending self-help groups to identify and punish reformed addicts, reformed criminals, etc.

        2. Claverhouse Silver badge

          Re: Shakespeare

          There is no place for 'boorish egotists' amongst the High Leaders of Tech...

    2. Cynic_999

      Re: Shakespeare

      People who have had a major change of insight or belief system very often have a lot to say on how and why it happened. I don't see anything particularly strange or suspicious about the fact that he wrote a long missive. Religious converts often write complete books about how they "saw the light".

      1. Yes Me Silver badge

        Re: Shakespeare

        " Religious converts often write complete books..."

        Yes, but you don't have to read them, whereas an all-hands meeting is hard to avoid.

  2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    This is confusing

    Or at least I am confused

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: This is confusing

      Basically, if you ever thought something about something, you will always think that and can not ever be thought of as thinking anything else. There is no rehabilitation for anyone, about anything, at any time. Ever.

      Remember those scatological jokes you thought were so funny in the third grade? How about the locker room humo(u)r when you were 14? Ever compare a classmate to something nasty, or laugh at a "funny" accent, or the way someone in another country does things?

      Ever been seen laughing at George Carlin? Jackie Mason? Bill Cosby? Dave Allen? Benny Hill? Are You Being Served? The Goodies?

      Be afraid, be very, very afraid. The Ultra-PC are taking over. You might very well be next to be ostracized over something you USED to think (or think funny), but no longer do.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is confusing

        This was apparently an attempt at explaining that he had changed his ways and did not think that way anymore. It was probably unwise, and it seems that people concentrated not on the fact that he was a good man now, but rather that he used to be even worse than they had thought. One way or another, it backfired spectacularly, and it might well be that making such an unforced mistake is ground in itself for losing his job.

        1. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: This is confusing

          I think it just says "If you thought like that but now don't, just keep quiet about it and say nothing." Although that's not very helpful as people might learn from what he's said and change their ways earlier than they may have. It appears the only time its OK to mention what you used to feel but now doubt is either in counselling, when you've got enough money you never need to work again or if doing a TED Talk.

          1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: This is confusing

            I'd add to your excellent advice: show the change in your heart by actions, not words.

            1. Plest Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: This is confusing

              "show the change in your heart by actions, not words"

              The ex-Neo Nazi guy in the NY who now works with disadvanatged kids from ethic backgrounds, his guilt over his hate filled youthful past driving him to improve his local community.

              The guy from Bradford who worked as a gangland hitman, found God, became a reverend and works every day to provide help for the poor and disadavantaged in his home town.

              Change is possible. Don't bleat about it, make a change and prove change is possible because many people do prove it every day.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. This post has been deleted by its author

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: This is confusing

                If you are not a super-sinner-to-saint - don't dare speak about overcoming prejudice and seeing the value in peaceful coexistence?

                That sounds like an extremely cynical yet very transparent ploy to perpetuate prejudice and non-coexistence.

              4. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: This is confusing

                >Change is possible.

                But as the case of Kentaro Kobayashi (Show director of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony) shows, the individual might change, but those without backbone don't.

                Basically, if you ever thought something about something, you will always think that and can not ever be thought of as thinking anything else. There is no rehabilitation for anyone, about anything, at any time. Ever.

                So we can conclude the reason Amr Awadallah was let go by Google, was because of his admission of holding non-PC beliefs in the past.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: This is confusing

              > I'd add to your excellent advice: show the change in your heart by actions, not words.

              To paraphrase Gandhi: Be the change you want to see in the world (but there's no need to blog about it)

              1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

                Re: This is confusing

                Anyone who feels the need to shout to the world about what a wonderful person they are, and what wonderful things they do for others... is an arsehole, a selfish, shallow, misguided, narcissistic arsehole.

                If you do something for others... that's the reward... if you boast about it... your intentions were never good to begin with and your efforts are worthless.

                1. David 132 Silver badge

                  Re: This is confusing

                  Or to quote the great Ralph Waldo Emerson: "The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons."

                2. ROC

                  Re: This is confusing

                  Could it be that maybe he was hoping to inspire other anti-semites to see the light?

          2. Blazde Silver badge

            Re: This is confusing

            Literally my first thought: At least he's now got a great career ahead of him doing TED talks on self-improvement for racists.

            And it appears he already has the first draft of his book done..

          3. Cynic_999

            Re: This is confusing

            That is very true, and also a bad thing. Reading about why someone who once thought as you do decided to change their views will possibly stand the best chance of persuading you to re-evaluate your views, whether those views pertain to religion, racism, gambling, string theory or the use of wind turbines to fill our energy needs.

        2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: This is confusing

          "This was apparently an attempt at explaining that he had changed his ways and did not think that way anymore"

          An attempt, yes. Unfortunately he proved he still has a very long way to go not to be an antisemite, and that he's completely blind to it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is confusing

        Yup. A revisionist approach to history and the introduction of Thoughtcrime and Newspeak (ooh, you can't say that anymore). We are now all on that slippery slope. Welcome to 1984

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: This is confusing

          >Welcome to 1984

          I think we've actually gone beyond 1984 and some of the themes in A Clockwork Orange.

          It is noteworthy that in these books that those who have been reformed are paraded as success of some theraphy. Likewise we see in China (and some other countries) the chest thumping parading of converts to the cause/party.

          Here however, we (UK and USA and maybe others) seem to have warped this making 'gaslighting' a virtue. So here we have a classic example, the guy was made to feel good about his enlightenment/conversion, yet people are telling him that he should feel bad...

          The problem is that gaslighting seems well ingrained in some quarters. It amuses (ironic) me when for example descendants of slaves, get to study at institutions founded on the fortunes of slave traders with some even getting scholarships, then turning round and denouncing the (long dead) person who effectively facilitated their education...

          1. Cynic_999

            Re: This is confusing

            Ther is nothing ironic about benefitting from someone's bad deeds, and nor is it in any way wrong unless you are encouraging or perpetuating such deeds.

            Consider the case of a woman who conceived a child as a result of rape. That child can both condemn the act of the rapist while also being happy to have been conceived.

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          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This is confusing

            Anyone care to explain the downvotes?

            On which post?

          2. JWLong

            Re: This is confusing


          3. genghis_uk

            Re: This is confusing

            As someone who had to study 1984, it appears that most people have an idea of what it is about but lack the in-depth knowledge of the subject matter...

            Newspeak was a way of controlling the proles by simplifying the language. The intent was to remove large amounts of vocabulary so that people could no longer discuss (or even think about) certain concepts that went against the party line. It was not about political correctness, it was about removing a persons ability to rebel by reducing their ability to think 'bad' (ungood) thoughts.

            There is a certain parallel in the 'you can't say that anymore' but the intent there is to change the way people think about a subject i.e. modifying the vocabulary to change attitudes rather than narrowing the thinking down to a minimum to control the population. They are related but in an ice-cubes and glaciers kind of way.

      3. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

        Re: This is confusing

        Your showing the exact same kind of 'victim' mentality that he showed in his missive... He wasn't being blamed for his past views, but that it appeared that he had no remorse over it, or that he was still lumping people into religious, ethnic and cultural groups, instead of just seeing them as human beings.

        He appeared to be absolving himself of any responsibility of his past prejudices, instead laying that blame squarely on other people.

        So you try to make some really rather ridiculous comparisons to justify your equally ridiculous point of view that everyone should be very afraid of ever doing or liking anything ever.

        In short... fuck that shit. anyone who tries to tell anyone that they don't have the right to change their mind, their tastes over time is an arsehole and anyone who thinks that people cannot grow and change, and become better human beings as a result... is an even bigger arsehole.

        But also... people who make excuses for those people who refuse to take responsibility for those past behaviours... also arseholes.

        So I understand the misguided attempt to understand what this guy was trying to do... but he's still an arsehole and you're just defending an arsehole.

      4. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: This is confusing

        Confused by your choice of the Goodies .. laughing at giant cats & tomato sauce squeezer gunfights is a problem in what way?

        Also confused by choice of Dave Allen, a lot of his humour targeted peoples prejudices / stereotyped assumption:. Similar for Carlin.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This is confusing

          a lot of his humour targeted peoples prejudices / stereotyped assumption

          Yes, but you're assuming that the PC crowd can understand that. They can't, all they see is "ohh, you told a joke about an Irishman, you're evil".

      5. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: This is confusing

        Remember those scatological jokes you thought were so funny in the third grade? How about the locker room humo(u)r when you were 14? Ever compare a classmate to something nasty, or laugh at a "funny" accent, or the way someone in another country does things?


        Read the other day that some singer called Billie Ellish --- of whose works I would avoid like the plague, no offence to her --- is being taken down for having used the word 'chink' when she was 13...

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: This is confusing

      I suspect part of the problem is the "newly converted syndrome" [aside: a term I've just invented.] that we have seen with some who are in the first days/weeks of giving up smoking, going vegaterian, "seeing the light" and converting to xyz religion etc.

      My suggestion is that yes he should of written what he did and made the video - in the heat of the moment, however he should have let it lie for a few months and then review in the cooler light of day when what was new is now more normal. I suspect then that 10,000 words would have been honed into a 500~1000 word essay that people would have found insightful.

      1. MCMLXV

        Re: This is confusing

        he should of written

        Coherent thought demands coherent expression: "should have". Ditto for all the other semi-literate commentards who do the same.

      2. the Jim bloke

        Re: This is confusing

        "newly converted syndrome" [aside: a term I've just invented.]

        "Born-again Christians" have been around since, I dunno, maybe the roman times?

    3. macjules

      Re: This is confusing

      Me too. I fail to understand why so many people in America have to describe themselves as though they are still a national of whichever country they or their parents migrated from. If your ancestors left Ireland in the mid-nineteenth century then surely by now you are simply an "American" as opposed to an "Irish-American"? Likewise "Egyptian-American"?

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: This is confusing

        USAian here. In a few more generations, it's not going to matter, because you'd have to spend several minutes explaining the details.

        I'm encouraged by the number of "non-traditional" couples I have met in recent years. The kids are OK.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Why in the world would you believe that?

          The US has a long history of prejudice against "others". For a time the Irish were "others", as they became integrated into the whole the Italians became the new "others" - they weren't even seen as true "whites" by some in the south!

          So sure we may integrate some "others" in the melting pot but there are always new "others". For a time after 9/11 Muslims (and Sikhs, who look Muslim to clueless haters) were the new "other", but without new terrorist incidents it is hard for haters to keep hating them as fiercely, as they are too few to blame all your problems on. So these days Mexicans are the "other", and even those whose family lived in Texas since before it became a state will see prejudice in some quarters.

          There may be more "non-traditional" couples, but that's not going to dent the number of "others" for haters to blame for all their woes.

          I'm guessing you are relatively young, and not jaded by pessimism like me. When I was a kid and learned about civil rights marches and all that from the 60s I thought "wow, in a couple generations racism will be gone, because all the old racists will be dead". Here we are two generations later, and racism is alive and well - we're even seeing voting laws passed specifically targeted to reduce the number of black people voting. All that struggle, all the multiracial families in the meantime, hasn't changed the fact that black people are the original "other" in the US. Other "others" may come and go, but they will always retain their #1 status.

          There's something unfortunately very American about pointing the finger at someone who isn't like you and blaming them for the fact you didn't get the promotion you think you deserve and aren't making as much money as you'd like, your kids aren't getting accepted to the best college, your "other" neighbor has a nicer house and newer car than you, etc.

      2. John Savard

        Re: This is confusing

        Are you an American, Lionel?

        Of course I am!

        Does that mean you've decided to stop being black?

        Does it look like that?

        See, meathead, you can be Polish and an American at the same time!

        Unfortunately, Archie Bunker was never known for his coherent reasoning, but I also fail to see why people with American nationality can't also acknowledge their ethnicity at the same time.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This is confusing

          "Unfortunately, Archie Bunker was never known for his coherent reasoning, but I also fail to see why people with American nationality can't also acknowledge their ethnicity at the same time."

          That was on purpose, because Archie Bunker was a satirical comedic commentary on bigotry. Carroll O'Connor, the actor who portrayed the character, was noted for being in his own life quite the opposite.

          The USA being a melting pot, it's sometimes a pleasant conversation point to reference your ancestry, as in, "I'm trying to make pierogi like my Polish grandmother did, it's quite a challenge" or, "we're making sure our kids learn Portuguese, so they can have a good relationship with family in Brazil".

          I'd rather work with a person I know is trying to change their prejudiced view than one I may think, erroneously or not, still holds that view.

        2. Ian Mason

          Re: This is confusing

          "... but I also fail to see why people with American nationality can't also acknowledge their ethnicity at the same time."

          But the impression is that they do it all the the time, regardless of how removed from that original ethnicity they are. Brits don't do it, Canadians don't do it, Aussies and Kiwis don't do it. Of all the major English speaking peoples only the Americans seem to have this need to identify as something more than plain American.

          It took me years to discover that a British mate had Ukrainian grandparents on both sides. As far as he and I were concerned he was English, well "Saaaf Lundun" actually. If he was an American he would have told me he was "Ukrainian American" on or before the second time we met. At least he would have based on the Americans I know personally, all of whom I can recite (often long removed) ethnic origins for. As it was, his Ukrainian ancestry took 10 years to come out when provoked by its immediate relevance to something we were discussing.

      3. Dog11

        Re: This is confusing

        "I fail to understand why so many people in America have to describe themselves as though they are still a national of whichever country they or their parents migrated from"

        As an American, I have no idea. Perhaps it's because most of us descend from immigrants (the real history of America was with the original inhabitants, but they are marginalized and don't count). As a country, we don't have much history. Perhaps it's because few other tribal groups are options, clans etc. didn't transplant en masse. So we have ersatz clans, much like football fans do. Perhaps it's an attempt to have pedigrees. We mostly don't know much about our ancestors who are more than a few generations removed, those ties were broken when they immigrated.

        Don't you (wherever "you" are) create real or imagined ties to the past? Do they go back before, say, 1800?

    4. notsurexmail

      Re: This is confusing

      Let's be completely, uncomfortably honest.

      If he had said that he hated the white people, all of the white people, but now knows a few good white people and is cured of the hated, this would have been lauded as an example of personal growth. You can't say that about Black people, couldn't say that about most people, but especially about Jewish people for historic and (again, let's be honest) political reasons.

      But the real problem is that he posted this on LinkedIn(!) and YouTube(!) as if his voice needed to be heard. It was mostly completely an ego-stroke that blew up and now he's on LinkedIn looking for job.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is confusing

      His blog style was too wet. He could have written less about himself and in more general abstract terms about the value of shared work in promoting coexistence, with personal positive anecdotes, while abstracting the negative obstacles.

      While I personally see the value in dry vs. wet, that is certainly a subjective judgement. Some would say wetter is more honest, too dry is a lie. The old Protestant vs Catholic divide.

      In the interests of actual coexistence the meeting might have resulted in a company decision that Amr rewrite the missive to be shorter and dryer. An ad hoc company decision aimed to still the waters and get back to work. That's Sundar Pichai's role in a situation like this - "Just do it! This is a Protestant Church. We keep our sins to ourselves!".

      The actual end result appears to be a decision that either (1) Amr Awadallah actually meant the complete opposite of what he said, or (2) he was the nail that sticks out for not being quietly hateful.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Maybe just don’t put everything about yourself online.

    Just a thought.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Ummmm

      Easier said than done. We're probably the last generation that can do that.

      Social networks get their hooks into those that were born in the 90s or later one way or another - idiot parents putting everything online, schools normalising social media (putting school trips on Instagram), schools again giving everyone a Google account for their obligatory Chromebooks, nobody sitting them down and explaining how Zuckerborg is the devil incarnate, and so on.

      1. Snake Silver badge

        Re: last generation

        Oh, the ability to not share your ideas or thoughts with others is still available to everyone. The problem is that the selfish narcissism of doing so, the belief that posting will bring you some type of attention and make you [an ephemeral] center of almost everything, is the "reward" forwarded by social media providers and proves too strong for all too many currently weak-willed individuals.

        Their decision-making brain functions have been corrupted, like Pavlov's dog, by a steady stream of mostly positive responses by friends, relatives and onlookers, with "Great job!" kudos to their steady, stream-of-consciousness posts. When the time comes to...shut up... they have lost the ability of the strength of will to know when to do so.

        They still *have* that ability, but it has been weakened massively from the candy high of seeking, and finding, attention online. Their narcissism has been continuously fed for so long that they can no longer turn it off at will.

        And then, boom. Their narcissism puts them into a situation that they can no longer back out of.

        And that's our society's current poison pill, powering everything from Trump to Brexit. It's all about Me.

        1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

          Re: last generation

          If we *assume* that the intention was to enlighten others by saying 'my upbringing was surrounded by state racism, it was wrong and at some point I recognised it was wrong' it would be seen to all but the most ardent conspiracy theorist as a good thing.

          But what message does it now present to others who were raised in similar circumstances?

          I do think he shot himself in the foot but he passed the weapon to Google and they willingly copied... Nobody will come up smelling of roses here.

      2. quxinot

        Re: Ummmm

        "Social networks get their hooks into those that were born in the 90s or later one way or another"...

        There are those born in or after the 90s that aren't dimwits. You don't hear about them as much because they aren't posting their lives online.

        (No, I'm older than that. But have known young people that don't fit the stereotype that they're stupid, lazy, and glued to their phones. They're bitter about the older folks who constantly assume wrongly about them.)

      3. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Ummmm

        One could be on social media without having to post your innermost thoughts. If you post cute pictures of your pets or children, humblebrag about your vacation, or post memes you find funny that's not going to be controversial for your work life.

        Well, unless your pet is an endangered species, your vacation was in Iran, or you only post extremist political memes.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Ummmm

      Interestingly enough, even after being sacked, he says he still believes in Google's "mission".

      Whether that the mission to make everything searchable and easily available or the mission to make vast amounts of cash by making the internet a vastly more unpleasant place is not yet clear…

      1. the Jim bloke

        Re: Ummmm

        Googles mission.

        helping people and making the world a better place?

        ..ah no, Dont.


        Be Evil.

    3. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Ummmm

      > Maybe just don’t put everything about yourself online.

      Don't you repress me

  4. nintendoeats

    I don't know if this essay was in earnest (or wasn't a bit nuts), but surely it is a good thing to be hearing people say such things? Role models for the capacity of the individual to discard bigotry? To acknowledge that the values they were raised with might be wrong?

    To me, this man is just an abstract concept who might as well not actually exist. Those words are very real though. I will therefore judge the message rather than the man, and the message sounds pretty good.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That all may be true, but every person he hated while in their management chain can now sue Google, etc. for any perceived or actual negative events. Perhaps Google is cutting the anchor rope while the rope cutting is good.

      1. nintendoeats

        That sounds entirely plausible. And maybe the guy is a prick, I don't know. All I'm left with is a perception that somebody is being punished for expressing a positive message.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I'm just looking forward to Google and the other tech behemoths collapsing in on all their woke bullshit.

          1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

            Isn't this anti-woke?

            1. TimMaher Silver badge


              Or sub-woke.

              Or even asleep?

              1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

                Re: Anti-woke

                Or sub-woke.

                Or even asleep?

                Maybe just napping

                1. Spanners Silver badge

                  Re: Anti-woke

                  My general observation about the word is that anyone who uses "woke" as a negative is a twonk.

                  I suppose it's the same as anyone who uses "liberal" to indicate something far to their left.

                  If you consider the politics of the centre (liberal) to be far to your left, you have just outed yourself.

                  If you consider the woke concept of giving respect to others (woke-ness) to be horrendously far from your attitudes what does that identify you as?

                  1. bombastic bob Silver badge
                    Thumb Down

                    Re: Anti-woke

                    The opposite of 'woke' is FREEDOM

                    1. batfink

                      Re: Anti-woke

                      So, people shouldn't have the freedom to be woke then?

                    2. deadlockvictim

                      Re: Anti-woke

                      Is that Free as in the right to march on the Capitol whenever elections are, ahem, being stolen from you?

                      Did you ever find that stolen election, btw?

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Anti-woke

                    The people who use it to mean other than the past tense of wake are probably are probably not capable of writing a grammatically correct sentence (an any language).

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      I will therefore judge the message rather than the man, and the message sounds pretty good.

      You, sir, are OBVIOUSLY NOT a part of "cancel culture".

      (and I agree with you)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm curious and I'm not looking for downvotes in the slightest but does hatred of a race even when denouncing that hatred still encourage that hatred in others? is it not like saying I hate these people because of this but now I no longer do?

      1. nintendoeats

        Would you rather people hide away their racism, or talk about it? You can't effectively argue against somebody who doesn't have a voice. I believe that racism as a guiding principle is truly wrong; I therefore do not fear people expressing racist opinions, because I believe that I will be able to effectively argue against them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Fair point. I was just asking as this is after the fact. In other words they are no longer racist. I'm a cynic to be fair and always look for ulterior motives in these things. Agree with you on the arguing with these people. It really isn't difficult to change the opinion when you present the fact that we are all the same. I find pointing out that Jesus was from the middle east to be a great tool.

    4. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      The message is OK at headline level, but unfortunately on closer inspection is an exercise in self-delusion by someone who is still deeply antisemitic.

      Just saying you're anti-racist isn't the same as actually being so, as we saw quite recently with the Corbyn-jugend.

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        ??? Corbyn is one of the least racist MPs in the current parliament. Try looking at his voting record, political action, his history of protests.

        Try a bit of research & less taking media / comments of those with an axe to grind at face value.

        I'm not a Corbyn fan (for many, many reasons) but he is rare in being an honest MP, & someone who, although he compromised a lot as leader / repeatedly reached out to the "right" of Labour, he could not be "bought" be it financially or by promotions, gongs etc. (hence a lot of people demonizing him as a lot of people like their politicians to be of the bought & paid for variety)

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          "Corbyn is one of the least racist MPs in the current parliament. "

          No, he's the one who most frequently lies about being 'anti-racist'. His actions and record speak for themselves. We now know for a fact that he has deliberately said antisemitic things, and that he knew that was exactly what he was doing when he did it.

          "he is rare in being an honest MP"

          ROFL. He's been caught lying and taking money from dodgy people so often that it's obvious you're just flat-out lying yourself when you claim not to be one of his cult-followers.

          "(hence a lot of people demonizing him as a lot of people like their politicians to be of the bought & paid for variety"

          And now you're starting with the far-right conspiracy theories yourself.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Name a racist policy.

            Name something racist he actually said or did.

            Name a religion he didn't support and respect by his actions.

            As a local councillor in London in 1977 Corbyn had already organized a defence of the Jewish population of Wood Green from a neo-Nazi march.

            Keep plugging away with your false racism it fools no one.

  5. Mike Friedman

    I continually am amazed that people feel the need to put these screeds out in the world.

    And then they're shocked when people flip out. It's bizarre.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So the message Google are sending is basically saying they fired him because he is no longer prejudice and doesn't hate Jews?

    So what, hating Jews and being anti-Semitic is a requirement to work at Google?

    1. pradeepvasudev

      The message is that if you have ever thought a bad thought, you better keep it to yourself, else you will fall foul of those perfect people - the ones who have never sinned and therefore feel qualified to throw stones at others.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Some thoughts are worse than others. Antisemitism is indeed considered on par with rape and murder.

        1. 2Fat2Bald

          What's particular about Semites that disliking them is any worse then disliking anyone else for irrational reasons?

          Just call it all "racism". You don't need to start inventing special silos to put everyone in - it's kinda how the whole thing gets started. Please just stop

          Things are getting almost Orwellian. The problem with people saying racist things isn't the naughty words, it's the thoughts behind those words.

          1. Robert Grant

            Things get called out at different levels of detail, that's all. You could level the same criticism of "racism" and call "hatred" the real problem, but we don't (and I'm not saying we should; I'm just describing what we do).

          2. Lotaresco

            "What's particular about Semites that disliking them is any worse then disliking anyone else for irrational reasons?"

            History, mostly.

          3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Things are getting almost beyond Orwellian.


          4. John Savard

            I can explain that.

            In the United States in 1920 or 1930 or thereabouts, racism against black people was basically taken for granted almost like the air you breathe. Even those who disapproved of it usually did not see much hope of a day ever arising when black people could enjoy equality.

            In 1964, we had the Voting Rights Act, we had the big Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.

            What happened between those times?

            World War II. And, after its end, the liberation of Belsen.

            The horrors of the Nazi concentration camps changed public attitudes towards racism. Finally, therre was a widespread sentiment that racism was a bad thing.

            So this led to progress towards equality for black people.

            But now it should also be possible to understand why the failure of Jesse Jackson to immediately and unreservedly condemn Louis Farrakhan's anti-Jewish remarks caused his Presidential bid to sink without a trace.

            In an oversimplified picture:

            There are two kinds of white American.

            The ones who are still happily racist.

            Those who have given up racism.

            The white Americans in the first category would never have voted for Jesse Jackson.

            The white Americans in the second category might consider it - but since the reason they're no longer racist is because they reacted to the Holocaust, their sensitivity towards anti-Jewish racism is many times more intense their sensitivity to anti-black racism. So once Jesse Jackson appeared "soft" on anti-Semitism... goodbye.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Just the two

              "There are two kinds of white American."

              I'm working pretty hard not to be offended here; this leaves out those of us who were never racist in the first place. It sounds like somebody is projecting...maybe it's not possible for you but *my* parents are cool. Well, were. Not as much now that they've been filling their heads with Fox for a couple decades. But they used to be. So we can add a fourth group of white Americans who have been trained to be racist later in life.

              There are two kinds of people in the world, those who say "there are two kinds of people in the world..." and those who don't.

              Anonymous because I love my mom!

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge

          lucky you've never experienced one of my dreams, then...

      2. nijam Silver badge

        > ...the ones who have never sinned and therefore feel qualified to throw stones at others

        The ones who have lied about their sins and therefore feel qualified to throw stones at others?

        1. Diogenes8080

          He's only making things worse for himself!

          I'll have two large flat ones and a bag of gravel, please!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: He's only making things worse for himself!

            Look, I had a lovely supper, and I all I said to my wife was that that piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah

            1. Huw L-D

              Re: He's only making things worse for himself!

              Damn, you beat me...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ... agree. Keep your mouth shut and your eyes open. Hypocrisy is everywhere, and the less you say the less they can pin on you. It's a bit sad, really, that being forthright and principled is bad. Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil etc.

      4. Huw L-D

        "All I said was that that piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah..."

    2. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      > So what, hating Jews and being anti-Semitic is a requirement to work at Google?

      Well, Google has a reputation for having left wing staff...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'm sorry but I'm not letting this one slide. What is left wing? A society based on sharing, socialism. The clue is in the name "social". Stick your communist lies up your bum (sorry had to say that). Saying google is left wing and saying Jews are not left wing (I know enough left wing Jews to know you are completely wrong) is saying that all Jews are right wing. Granted left wing and right wing are media generated concepts however I'm not having that at all.

        1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

          I was with you right up until you started typing.

    3. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      "they fired him because he is no longer prejudice and doesn't hate Jews?"

      No, because despite his belief that he is no longer antisemitic, his rant made it clear he still is.

  7. Noodle

    With the limited facts available this sounds like a harsh but ultimately fairly predictable outcome from publicly sharing an opinion about anything remotely controversial in these hyper sensitive times.

    Although why people persist in sharing these kinds of opinion and social commentary pieces on LinkedIn, which is supposed to be a network for professionals, is beyond me.

    1. Adrian 4

      It's not a network form professionals. It's a network for people who want to be considered professional and generally show their neediness by talking themselves up.

      Whether that makes it a good place to bare your soul is debatable, but unlikely since it's most likely to be read by other linked-inners and judged without love or tolerance.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've had a few friends over the years who'd been brought up that way who'd learned better coming to the West and actually meeting and working with Jews. Kudos on the guy for sharing, sucks he gets to pay such a high price.

    I somehow think if this was some white supremacist who'd "come clean", he'd have been praised.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Yeah but white supremacists don't "come clean", they already deem themselves cleaner than anything else.

      They're white, after all.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > I somehow think if this was some white supremacist who'd "come clean", he'd have been praised.

      He needed to become a tele-evangelist first, then cry on screen while simultaneously confessing, asking for forgiveness and demanding donations. If there is a strategically placed wife who has forgiven him and can then come forward at the end to be tearfully embraced then even better.

  9. claimed Bronze badge


    Maybe if he'd publish this 30 years ago it would be impressive.... it comes across that this is a recent change (social media is a place for "here's my mind fart right now").

    Might have been better off in a memoir, it would probably have come across more as a distant recollection.

    I dont think we have all the facts here, but in general it is a positive thing to be able to change your mind.

    I dont want to be in a society formed by children's parents doctrines. But to be declaring this at 50 implies it took a long time to learn the pretty basic lesson that a smart cookie should pick up quickly in his mid-twenties, as soon as he was exposed to 'others'

    1. nintendoeats

      Re: Speechless?

      In that region of the world, some of these prejudices run very deep. Their origins lie long before the modern North American nations existed. I think it's difficult to appreciate how that feels...I certainly don't claim to understand it.

      1. Androgynous Cow Herd

        Re: Speechless?

        So, being that it is indeed an ancient cultural bias documented in some of the oldest religious texts in the world, is it wrong to be intolerant of his former intolerance?

        Not defending anything on any side here personally,..

        1. stiine Silver badge

          Re: Speechless?

          Yes, because white it may not be written in those texts, its written in the margins and other contemporary commentary on those texts.

      2. claimed Bronze badge

        Re: Speechless?

        Lots of things existed before North American Nations, what does that have to do with anything? My objection is the medium of communication and his apparent shock that he got fired. As an aside, to your point, I could not give a shit about the historical/sacred prejudices; either prejudice can be recognised and analysed by each and every generation (and hopefully regress to the mean), or it can't. I don't care if its your uncle, your brother or your nan... either your prejudice is acceptable or its not. ( e.g. due to a childhood trauma I think all black and yellow insects are wankers and they all get 10 seconds to get out of the open window or they get killed - I am unlikely to be convinced otherwise )

        He articulated himself badly and doesn't get to be surprised that he was misunderstood. For example, his missive starts by asking you not to stop reading... then later asks you to stop reading to go and read the book 'sapiens'.

        As evidenced by this exchange, a few words do not really capture one's thoughts adequately for proper and robust debate.

    2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: Speechless?

      "Might have been better off in a memoir"

      Agree. 10,000 words is too long for social media, nobody is going to read the whole thing *carefully*. Many minds are already made up in the first 140 characters. It sounds like he had a lot of ideas to express and *still* managed to not get it all across in 10,000 words. Thus the all-hands meeting which no doubt he intended to *clarify* things, but that didn't work either. He needed an editor and 100,000 words book form to get the ideas across in a way that people could accept. Even book authors can get raked over the coals from time to time, but not as bad. The publisher and editor are a big help there, e.g. "might want to find a different way to say this".

  10. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    He's leaving under a Cloud

    He'll have time on his hands now to write something else

  11. elregidente

    HR departments are the problem

    So, to the extent we can know what happened, it seems that this guy has written a long article and posted a long video about how he used to hate Jews, but (and genuinely) no longer does.

    Google fired him for this.

    I think this is categorically wrong, but also I am not even faintly surprised.

    I could be wrong, but it has to do with the nature of the HR department in large organizations.

    In my experience over a couple of decades, with things I've seen happen, HR departments in large organizations experience a certain set of incentives placed upon them by their situation, and so all end up being pretty much the same : they are a law unto themselves, no one checks or validates their work (who guards the guardians), they have no idea about right or wrong *at all* - not even a shadow of a shadow - and as part of that no idea about jurisprudence. Decisions are based on political sensitivities ("will this look bad") and are based on hunches and prejudice, not evidence.

    So if you come out with a long piece on a sensitive subject, that's it - you have literally stuck your head in the lions jaws, and that has *nothing* to do with what you've *actually* said - unless you happen to be clearly going along with the line HR would want made public as it looks good.

    HR departments are one of the reasons I'm a contractor rather than an employee.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HR departments are the problem

      You might well be right on general terms, but this was a VP. It's a certainty that the CEO in person signed off his dismissal, not an unchecked bureaucracy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: HR departments are the problem

        Advised by the HR department. It's very difficult for anyone to go against HR or Legal.

        This was entirely predictable, as it could open Google to historical liabilities - when did this guy stop discriminatory behaviour? How many of his past decisions at Google are suspect?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: HR departments are the problem

          How many of his decsions aren't suspect?

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: (and genuinely)

      Really ?

      How do you determine that his stance is now genuine ?

      Just asking.

    3. Martin

      Re: HR departments are the problem

      This was a two hour video and a ten thousand page essay.

      The main theme may well be "Hey, I was indoctrinated to hate Jews but now I'm don't." - but you have to suspect that there is loads more in the 10K essage and two hour video which doesn't bear analysis.

      And you have to ask the question - isn't it a bit self-congratulatory to post a two hour video and to write a 10K essay all about how bad he used to be but how wonderful he is now?

      Like someone said - judge me by my actions, not by what I say.

      As you say - we don't know all of it. I for one have better things to do than to read the whole thing. But I can't help thinking that this is going to be something that the anti-woke brigade are going to grab and run with.

      1. stiine Silver badge

        Re: HR departments are the problem

        Ever read anything by that temporarily blinded guy named Paul?

        1. Martin

          Re: HR departments are the problem

          Come on - that's hardly a reasonable comparison.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: HR departments are the problem

      HR departments are one of the reasons I'm a contractor rather than an employee.

      I agree with your assessment. also a contractor

      H.R. doesn't have to make a profit within their department. Their motivations are COMPLETELY "Bass Ackwards". Even I.T. has to JUSTIFY it's expenses and head counts... and show how it is at least SAVING MONEY for the company in order to exist at all. But _NOT_ H.R.. They are like BUREAUCRATS working for a government agency in that regard...

      (and I would expect more 'woke' and 'cancel culture' from within their ranks)

      bypassing H.R. in hiring and job seeking is a good idea whenever possible.

      As for whether it was Google's HR department that flagged this guy for termination, I wouldn't think his manager did it, nor his manager's manager. I bet they're too busy trying to keep their jobs, being faced with "bottom lines" and "deadlines" and "performance" and other more important "company profitability" things.

      (I guess if he is a VP then it's the CEO, President and Board of Directors. Similarly them)

    5. the Jim bloke
      Paris Hilton

      Re: HR departments are the problem

      HR departments are the last refuge of the unskilled clerical worker.

      The secretaries and typing pools of yesteryear have been replaced by personal assistants - who manage executives, admins, who basically do the day to day running of the business, various data entry and payroll types, who are required to have basic competence with whatever software package they use.. and HR who apparently need to be attractive, and look at peoples social media profiles...

  12. Intractable Potsherd

    If the current attitudes had been prevalent circa 2000 years ago, how different would the world be now? Saul's conversion on the road to Damascus would have resulted in him being punished by everyone, and one of the major characters in the formation of Christianity would never have been heard of*.

    I really detest this current attitude that people can't change. For what it is worth, he has my support and best wishes for the future.

    * I make no comment on my opinions on that.

    1. Stephen Wilkinson

      On the other hand, the original Christianity as practised by Mary the Magdalene, Jesus' wife and leader of the sect after his death (if Simcha Jocobovici's The Lost Gospel is to be believed) would still be the current version.

      The Christian church would have been potentially far less misogynist without Paul anyway.

      1. nijam Silver badge

        > The Christian church would have been potentially far less misogynist without Paul anyway.

        You're an optimist. The bible has been "edited" many times in the last few centuries to conform to the prejudices of the time. Saul of Tarsus was the first such (high-profile) contributor, and the enthusiastic acceptance of his views by the christian church speaks for itself.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          That's if he existed, rather than being invented by Marcion of Sinope.

    2. Roj Blake Silver badge

      "Saul's conversion on the road to Damascus would have resulted in him being punished by everyone, and one of the major characters in the formation of Christianity would never have been heard of."

      He was literally martyred for his beliefs

  13. ForthIsNotDead

    When I was ten...

    ... a black girl came to our school in provincial Shropshire. The year was 1980. It was the first time I had ever seen a black person in the flesh. In fact, it probably was the first time any of us had seen a black person in the flesh.

    The racism that this poor girl had to endure at school (100% at the hands of the boys at the school, not the girls - she had plenty of female friends - just an anecdotal observation) was simply appalling. I can't describe to you the absolutely disgusting behaviour she had to endure on a daily basis.

    And I joined in.

    Monkey noises, "n****r", "do you want a banana?". I can't tell you how ashamed I am of my behaviour some 40 years later. I often think of her.

    She went to the same secondary school as me, but by the age of 12 or 13 I had managed to work out for myself that being an asshole to someone purely because they have a different skin colour is a really shitty thing to do. I grew out of it.

    But where did this behaviour come from? For the most part, I was not an instigator - I could name the main protagonists - but I won't! I was a follower. But what makes children racist? Looking back, I, like the gentlemen named in the main article, inherited my "latent" racism from my parents (who were clearly casual racists, as any evening spent watching Top of the Pops on a Thursday evening would reveal) and my grandparents.

    But I was lucky, I worked things out for myself. I rejected it. I made friends with the girl from school, because it was just stupid to not be friends with her. I still, to this day though, carry the guilt of what I, in league with others, put her through.

    Should I be fired from my job because of the actions of my 10 year old self?

    1. pradeepvasudev

      Re: When I was ten...

      You mean you haven't been fired from work just yet, you bloody racist! I am shocked, shocked, shocked that your organization allowed someone like to you to continue working there acting as a bad influence - how dare you suggest that people can change and, gasp, become better people! Just send me your company name so that I can tell them I am taking my business elsewhere and that they have a secret Hitler in their midst!

      1. ForthIsNotDead
        Thumb Up

        Re: When I was ten...

        I shall report myself to the Thought Police HR forthwith!

        1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

          Re: When I was ten...

          Just post a long rambling version on Linked In and someone will forward it to HR for you.

    2. Mr Dogshit

      Re: When I was ten...

      You are literally Hitler.

    3. Martin

      Re: When I was ten...

      Should I be fired from my job because of the actions of my 10 year old self?

      No of course not.

      But have you written a huge essay, admitting your actions, discussing them in detail, admitting you were so obviously wrong, but hey, it was the way I was brought up, and talking about how wonderful black people really are, take Stevie Wonder and Marcus Rashford, aren't they great, and...

      And suddenly, people are asking the question - why are you feel you need to say all this? What are you trying to prove?

      And I think that's what happened here. It's not that he used to hate Jews and doesn't now. It's that he's made such a huge self-congratulatory thing about it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: When I was ten...

        Let's be honest. If this post was directly attributable to you then there would probably be people having a good go at getting you fired right now.

        They would happily go through everything that you have ever written to find something that is unacceptable to somebody. If you had ever mentioned the term "whitelist" or "blacklist" then that would be produced as "evidence" that you hadn't changed and were still a inhuman racist etc, and they'd be demanding your head on a pike.

        Is that ridiculously absurd? Obviously. Not stopping them though.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What are you trying to prove?

        Maybe he's not trying to prove anything.

        Instead, he's trying to *explain*.

    4. Dave 15

      Re: When I was ten...

      Its not just skin colour.

      Try being a ginga at school. You are unusual in most places and get the piss taken out of you and abuse on a daily basis. (Hell even Weasley in Harry Potter is attacked because of his ginger hair).

      The sad truth is that humans are animals, nothing else. Animals protect the species by getting rid of anything not 'fitting the normal'. Adults can 'grow out' of this behaviour and learn to rationalise a bit BUT kids dont. The age group you give and that you also state that the girls did not partake of the behaviour is probably (and here I am guessing) that the girls had 'grown up' (as they are prone to do) just a bit quicker than the boys and had passed out of the animal ages a little earlier.

      Cant have made it nicer for the girl, and I would expect today as coloured skin is more common across the country that it happens a little less. Of course bashing gingas or even foreigners is going to continue with school kids because they are baby animals having trouble learning to think anything through

      1. Androgynous Cow Herd

        Re: When I was ten...

        and also...they're gingas

  14. Nugry Horace

    I don't get the fashion for saying "Report into" rather than "Report to" - it's more verbose and the wording implies it's somehow a more... invasive process.

    1. Natalie Gritpants Jr

      For most people more words are better, longer words too. Not me, even though I can come across as rude/curt/grumpy/terse.

    2. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      Isn't it two different things? You "report to" your boss (Fred Bloggs) and "report into" the organisations above your boss (Networks Division).

      1. Nugry Horace

        In the quoted memo, an organisation is "reporting into" an individual called Ben Jackson, who in turn is "reporting into" someone by the name of Pali Bhat. Hopefully not by pushing physical printouts down their throats.

  15. VulcanV5

    Sacked for being boring: yay!

    It's a pity Google hadn't the guts to spell out to him the reasons why he was being let go.

    All narcissists are tedious, and super-narcissists, super-so. The guy was too immature to occupy any senior position in any kind of business.

    Being rid of his schoolyard attention-seeking hopefully sends out a message that just because you're self-obsessed, that doesn't mean the rest of the freakin' world has to have even the slightest interest in anything you might think or say.

    1. ForthIsNotDead
      Thumb Up

      Re: Sacked for being boring: yay!

      Yeah, I think I'm with you on this. On the one hand, it kind of sucks that he got fired for espousing a wholly positive message about racism. On the other, it reeks of narcissistic self-congratulatory virtue-signalling. The classic "Look! Everybody praise me! I mended my ways! Everybody line up to praise me NOW!".

      Perhaps it is that side that his colleagues had a problem with.

      In either case, I don't think he should have lost his job for this, as narcissistic as it appears. One could have simply rolled ones eyes and ignored it. My suspicion is that the guy was probably on a shaky peg already, and this action broke it.

      There's still this taste of cancel culture about this episode though, which doesn't sit well with me.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sacked for being boring: yay!

      You think he was fired due to narcissism? Quite the bizarre take.

  16. s. pam Silver badge

    What utter b'locks

    he's trying to do a Cummings and step back from piss poor behaviour yet he doesn't realise on the Internet no one knows you're an asshat forever!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I grew up in the north of England a veritable hot bed of racism. When I was younger I encountered racism to pretty much every race. There were "paki bashers" who used to delight in fighting with people from the middle east around the market area. There were people that hated jews even though they had never met one. There were people who hated (I say hated but I suspect afraid probably like most racists) black people. I've never had a racist friend because I've never associated with them. I've never had racist thoughts because strangely I grew up with people from all over the world. (I was at an inner city rough arse secondary comprehensive where they put all the non-whites in a class with a couple of white kids, I was lucky to get that experience and understanding that basically we are all the same)

    The point I'm getting at with all this is that while this guy can say he's been around racism and hate all his life it is ultimately his choice to feel the way he does about others. How you think of and treat others is down to yourself, no one else.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      True words.

      But it is also true that you can be influenced by people you have respect for, and those people do not necessarily have enlightened views.

      I am, obviously, referring primarily to your parents and elders, because that's where all this nonsense starts.

      The one thing to hope for is that it ends with you.

  18. disgruntled yank

    Very odd

    I infer that the gentleman was ousted for embarrassing his employer, and that the quantity of the embarrassment had more to do with it than the quality of the instrument.

  19. Pen-y-gors

    So, what if...

    A Russian billionaire oligarch ups and says

    "I was bought up in Soviet Russia. I was taught to hate the vile Yankee capitalist scum and everything they stood for. I would have happily worked as a KGB agent to infiltrate their degenerate society and help bring about its downfall. But now that I have had the opportunity to visit America and become very very rich I've changed my mind"

    Would that be treated in the same way?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: So, what if...

      Obviously not : he's rich, so everything is fine.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So, what if...

      >A Russian billionaire oligarch

      I thought they made their money using their contacts in Russia.

      >Would that be treated in the same way?

      Depends whether you are referring to a US audience or a Russian audience. Certainly, at the height of the cold war, the USSR would have made them less than welcome...

    3. First Light

      Re: So, what if...

      I don't believe the situations are equivalent.

      Most Soviet citizens knew what their government was saying was BS and communism was a relatively recent phenomenon.

      In this guy's case I suspect the anti-Semitism was religious and cultural in nature and therefore much more virulent.

  20. henryd

    Something is missing

    It's obvious that we don't know the whole story and essential information is being withheld.

    As a Jew I am happy that one less person hates me and shouldn't be punished for admitting it.

    On the other hand I am unhappy that, seemingly, Google want to punish him for NOT being anti-semitic.

    If anyone can provide a link to a better explanation of whats going on, please post here.

    1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: Something is missing

      Google is a corporation and as such has no moral compass. Google spokespeople of course claim the opposite because that's what their employees, customers (advertisers), and product (us) want to hear. Then confusion arises when we try to interpret amoral behavior in moral terms. Don't worry, more Google spokespeople will be along shortly to explain it all. ;-)

      1. tekHedd

        Moral Compass

        True, corporations are incomprehensible if you try to think of them as people, even though legally they sort of are. :( Another way to look at it is that, in the context of publicly-held corporations, *corporate law* is the only morality. Google isn't an evil corporation--it would be a truly evil human, but in fact it's a very good corporation. "Don't be evil" still applies, it's just that "good" has a different meaning here.

        We've created extremely powerful creatures whose only morality is "maximize stockholder value," and "don't get caught when you break the law." Then, we act surprised when they ruin lives, dodge taxes, destroy the environment, treat their own customers badly, and in fact do anything they think they can get away with to maximize stockholder value.

        Racism? Bigotry? Only has a moral import in the context of "public opinion," the tax advantages of "woman owned" or the regulatory requirement to do sensitivity training. Etc.

    2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: Something is missing

      It's really very simple, if you look at what he actually said, rather than what he claimed, and realise that despite claiming he's stopped being antisemitic, he said things that are antisemitic.

      He wasn't sacked for the bit about what he used to be, but the bits that revealed what he still is. Less virulently antisemitic, still really quite antisemitic.

      Just for example, if you're writing 'lists of Jews' to prove that you aren't an antisemite, you still have work to do.

  21. disgruntled yank


    It occurs to me that British civil servants could not publish under their own names: this is why John Wilson published as Anthony Burgess, and statisticians talk about Student's t, rather than giving it the name of the man who published as "Student". (Yet Anthony Trollope published under his own name. Maybe those who make such rules, e.g. Sir Gregory Hardlines, thought they'd had enough of this after one or another of his books.) I do see advantages: nobody in Question Time asking whether the overseas civil service was in fact made up of sort of losers Burgess pictured in The Long Day Wanes, nobody in the then Malay States complaining about a civil servant's picture of the local-born.

    If the man had published under the Egyptian equivalent of "John Smith", and anonymized his account such that one didn't know whether he went to Stanford or Carnegie Mellon, and could not quite identify which of the FAANG he worked for, would anyone be raising a fuss? Internet detectives who actually cared might amuse themselves by trying to identify him, but the fuss would die down in favor of a newer or better one.

    1. Dave 15

      Re: Also

      People have to also understand the cultural norms of the time. Things change, people change, sometimes for the better.

  22. Dave 15

    Its all so sad

    People cant say anything about positive changes in their outlook

    People are judged on not just current words but their verbal history and not it appears by their ability to do the right thing and produce the right results.

    I am often getting posts banned for saying quite simple factual things when I actually only care about results. I dont WANT to know what you take to bed with you - you could be "the baby eating bishops of Bath and Wells doing everything to anything, animal, vegatable or mineral" (Blackadder series 2 - money for those who dont know it). When you work with me or around me it is your work that interests me not your colour, creed or sexual interests. For my friends its about how you are as a friend - helping, interesting, fun, supportive when needed etc.

  23. Danny 2

    This is funny!

    I don't hate English people, I eventually learned how to pity them. I used to hate girls, two older sisters, but then I loved girls. And then I learned how truly evil girls are. Even the nicer ones.

    I just can't hate the Jews. The first guy I ever kissed was an atheist Jew. The first good sex I ever had was with a New Jersey mafia Jewish lass, long before The Sopranos. The Jews deserve credit for a lot of sex and music. Leonard Cohen - Happens to the Heart

    It's sad we still have to joke about these things.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its always the lawyers

    Google could find itself on the pointy end of any unfair dismissal complaints of any of his ex-staff of semitic extract. I bet the lawyers are already combing Linked In for any possible victims for a class action?

  25. BOFH in Training

    I am lucky

    I am lucky that I have not had FB or Friendster or whatever ancient social media network accounts since I was a kid.

    I am lucky that I was already a mature adult who had some familiarity with how the "internet never forgets" before any social media networks were formed.

    I pity the youngsters now who make innocent/stupid remarks online and are recorded forever, cos even if you change your views in 10 years time as an adult, the comments or statements you made can follow you forever, always brought up whenever another party wants to take you down.

    And interestingly enough, as society changes (as it always has), even comments which were made 15 years ago, and found to be acceptable, may not be acceptable in the future and haunt you forever.

    So only thing you can do is don't say anything in social media or blog or anything else, cos you never know what may be found unacceptable in the future and get you into trouble.

    1. PghMike

      Re: I am lucky

      There was a recently letter to Slate's "Care and Feeding" column where a letter writer wrote in that she recently noticed that someone who bullied her in a racist manner as a very young child was now, 30 years later, an elementary school teacher.

      She wants to contact the school to report the teacher's behavior as, I'm estimating, a third grader.

      That's insane, and I was shocked to see that the column's author thought reporting the teacher's behavior back when she was about 8 years old, was a good idea, but suggested going to the principal of the school instead of the school board.

      And about half the comments to the column are of the "yes, report her," category.

  26. John Savard


    I can understand firing someone in a heartbeat for encouraging and promoting hatred.

    Someone confessing what he had imbibed from his environment, and explaining how he had overcome it, however, is a positive contribution to fighting hatred.

    Now Google will be seen as a hostile workplace for people of Middle Eastern origin.

  27. BobC

    Change is Hard

    I had undiagnosed depression from puberty until my late 30's. It warped my view of the world, how I interpreted everything around me, leading to equally warped actions and reactions. I desperately wanted friends and relationships, but was unable to sustain them, so I'd destroy them before it became obvious. As a person, I was a piece of crap.

    I wasn't totally clueless. I knew I was broken, and I felt badly about myself, which often rose to the level of self-hate. Rather than deal with it, I instead wove extravagant lies to hide behind, to appear to be a better person, one people would like.

    When I finally got effective therapy, cleaned out and organized my mind and emotions, I literally became a different person. The few people close to me noticed it immediately, and cheered me on. As I improved, I started emerging into the world, started to "have a life". Tried to renew and revitalize old ties.

    Only to face the wreckage I had created. My therapy had dealt well with getting me right inside, but I went running back to learn how to deal with others, especially those who had been hurt by the "old me". The "fix" was deceptively simple: I had to become a master of the apology, and of forgiveness. I also had to become able to cope with anger aimed my way, to accept it without reacting in kind. Dealing with others was much harder than the internal work I had done.

    All too often there was nothing left to be repaired: Many wanted to have nothing more to do with me, for a variety of totally valid reasons. They had a view of me anchored in experience and pain, cast in stone. This was the hardest aspect of my recovery to accept, and I never really did.

    Others reaching this point in their own recovery paths will turn to religion, seeking redemption and salvation. For me, that would have been like trying to wash it away, rather than living with and dealing with it.

    Change is hard. History is implacable and indelible. No matter how rosy the future looks, the present is where the future and past meet and mix.

    I started to look at the bigger picture, and one thing I saw was that, had I been diagnosed and received therapy as a teen, much of the destruction would have been averted.

    So, yeah, I started over-sharing, broadcasting my own story in the hope it would help others, a warning of the damage undiagnosed and untreated depression can cause. In part, it was also a public apology to those from my past I couldn't reach.

    I'm lucky that I had a "medical" condition amenable to treatment. Many refuse to accept that racism can also be treated. Once a racist, always a racist. A racist past is a rubber-stamp for a racist future.

    Typically, a racist (well, all of us) will also have problems other than racism. Changing one won't change the rest, no matter how they are interconnected. So even if the racism does change, there is little respite until the rest changes as well.

    We need to always keep change in perspective. To help it along, seeing it as a process built from many steps, never a single leap. The perception of change can often come in leaps, a flash of realization when we add up all those little steps.

    When I see change like this, I have a standard reaction: "Good on ya' mate! What's next?"

    1. the Jim bloke
      Thumb Up

      Re: Change is Hard

      Thank you for sharing this with us.

      Thank you even more for not taking 10,000 words to do so.

  28. PghMike

    Too strong a response by Google

    It's disappointing that it took so many years for this guy to get over his anti-semitism, especially since he's spent so much time in the US apparently still under the sway of his upbringing in Egypt.

    But still, it is disappointing that Google would dismiss someone for testifying how they got over the hate they were raised with. Many of us grew up in way less tolerant times, and it is generally a good thing to hear about someone who overcame the biases they were raised with.

    And yes, I'm Jewish, so don't call me an anti-semite for dissing Google here.

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: Too strong a response by Google

      "it is disappointing that Google would dismiss someone for testifying how they got over the hate they were raised with"

      That didn't happen, though. El Reg has long had a problem with alt-right tending writers, and their characterisation of this incident is full-on alt-right.

      What actually happened is that the Google guy claimed to not be an antisemite any longer, but the claim was obviously untrue because his rant was in fact antisemitic in places. He was fired because he said deeply antisemitic things, not because he claimed not to be antisemitic anymore.

      Taking his intentions at face value, he still has a lot of learning to do on a journey he's only just started.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Yeah, I know, its your sandpit and all, your rules, but just got a post rejected because I pointed out that due to California workplace law it was Legal not HR that pulled the trigger. I would have terminated the guy too if I had been his boss. Only been hiring and firing people for dev teams in California since the late 1980's so what do I know.

    Also pointed out that it was the timing that was really stupid. Thats the sort of stuff you write after you have fully vested and moved on, not before. He is not the first to get the chop in this manner. Wont be the last.

  30. anothercynic Silver badge


    Another Googler gone all googly.

    What does Google feed their staff? Kool-Aid overdose, anyone?

  31. perlcat

    Resistance is futile

    Join the borg, it'll be fun they said...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The social media posts were years ago.

    Everytime a big all hands goes wrong whoever gets the blame gets sacked.

    I was on stage for a right dumpster fire of an all-hands. Other people got the blame and no one lasted long. 1 was sacked, 1 jumped before she was pushed, my promotion had been approved but tied up with HR for 18 months when I left.

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