By David Futrelle
The good folks at The Federalist — the clickbaity tradcon site known for its nuclear-level hot takes — have done it again: They have managed to come up with what may be the dumbest possible take on the Google Manifesto and its author, James Damore.
And somehow, it involves N.W.A.
Yes, N.W.A., the rap group that broke up more than a quarter century ago, but which is apparently the only rap group or rap artist that anyone at The Federalist can name off the top of their head.
In a post titled “What James Damore, Formerly Of Google, Can Learn From N.W.A,” the Federalist’s Rich Cromwell notes that the aforementioned rap group managed to survive criticism over the misogyny in the lyrics of its 1988 debut album “Straight Outta Compton.” Even though N.W.A. used words like “bitch.”
And if N.W.A., nearly 30 years ago, got away with calling women “bitches,” Cromwell suggests, then surely Damore should be able to get away with suggesting that women are biologically less suited for tech than men.
At least I think that’s what he’s arguing. Cromwell’s article is so clotted with inexpertly wielded sarcasm it’s sort of hard to tell exactly what he’s arguing.
Here’s what seems to be Cromwell’s thesis:
Damore, in the spirit of N.W.A., had the temerity to suggest, in the most foul-mouthed way possible, that there’s an inclusion problem at Google. Except actually he was very measured in the infamous memo that 99 percent of people upset about it didn’t read. …
Whereas N.W.A. created a whole lot of outrage with “Straight Outta Compton,” some of it was warranted. They were not nuanced in how they discussed the differences between men and women, but brutal and ruthless. But it was harder to take them down in August 1988 because people had to actually type letters and make phone calls and that’s a whole lot more work than a status update. People did the work, though, and N.W.A. persevered.
Damore should do the same, particularly as he wasn’t calling women b-tches or proclaiming their only use is as sex objects. He may be facing the Internet lynch mob, but he doesn’t have to do it sitting down. …
Stand up, Damore, and don’t let this … take you down and bite your tongue, but rather let it serve as a launch-pad, much as it did for N.W.A.
That is some Scott-Adams-level “persuasion” right there. My head hurts.
Oh, and did I mention that the picture of N.W.A. that The Federalist uses to illustrate the article is not actually a picture of N.W.A at all? Nope! It’s a picture of the actors who portrayed N.W.A. in the 2015 movie “Straight Outta Compton.”
But I guess all rappers and people portraying rappers look the same, huh?