Commentary on Political Economy

Monday 18 March 2024


Google’s diversity idiocy threatens us all

The Times

Last month, Google’s AI tool Gemini went belly-up, wiping more than $70 billion off its parent company Alphabet’s market value. Like ChatGPT, Gemini was programmed to give human-like answers to questions. Reflecting Google’s mindset, this meant programming it with the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) agenda, which replaces achievement by preferential treatment for those claiming ethnic or gender disadvantage.

Since DEI ideology holds that only white people can be racist, this meant programming into Gemini anti-white prejudice. The result erased white identity. A variety of historical figures, including popes, the American founding fathers and German Nazis were pictured as people of colour. When asked specifically to generate images of white people, Gemini replied that it was unable to generate images that “might be discriminatory or promote harmful stereotypes”.

Was it really possible that Google, generating a net income of $80 billion per year and employing more than 150,000 people including 30,000 engineers, could have come to grief over something so imbecilic?

Yes it was. An article on the website Pirate Wires says the crisis brought to light systemic failures in Google’s management, including an absence of vision and leadership. The only thing connecting Google’s employees, it said, was a powerful human resources bureaucracy totally obsessed with left-wing political dogma. There was a dearth of innovation. White male job applicants were rejected for less qualified candidates who ticked the right boxes for ethnicity or gender.

If the DEI lunacy at Google was a symptom of deeper problems at the company, the diversity and inclusion agenda is similarly distorting the management in Britain of both public and private sectors. Almost £52 million of taxpayers’ cash has been spent on promoting this agenda in local authorities. Even though councils don’t have enough money to provide adequate public services, the amount they spent on the diversity agenda rose from just over £12 million in 2020/21 to almost £23 million two years later.


In the NHS, which is on its knees through shortages of frontline staff, more than £13 million is being spent on hundreds of diversity and inclusion jobs. An NHS glossary of words and phrases related to this agenda came to light in 2021. It featured warnings against “microaggression”, “white privilege” and “transphobia”. Last October, Steve Barclay, then health secretary, told the NHS to stop recruiting for such jobs, many of which pay salaries far higher than those earned by doctors and nurses. He suggested that all staff should promote diversity and inclusion, and that the money for such roles should be spent on frontline jobs instead. This was received with outrage by NHS leaders, who insisted that building a “more equal, diverse and inclusive health service” was essential.

Of course, everyone should be treated with respect and without discrimination. However, the diversity agenda has virtually nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with abuses of power. It institutionalises inadequacy and unfairness. Instead of appointing people on merit, it involves privileging approved groups over others — the very definition of prejudiced discrimination.

In universities, it discriminates against well-qualified students in favour of those who don’t measure up intellectually but gain a place on account of their ethnicity or other perceived forms of disadvantage. The result of shoehorning on to university courses so many unable to cope with their studies has been a steady decline in education standards from the top downwards.

The diversity agenda bestows impunity upon favoured groups by claiming that any criticism of them constitutes discrimination. As an ideology that brooks no dissent, it destroys rationality itself by refusing to acknowledge evidence that contradicts its claims. Above all, it won’t accept that its supposed “anti-racism” is in fact a profound prejudice against white people.

This odious perversity has now penetrated the Church of England, which has advertised for a “deconstructing whiteness” officer as part of its new 11-person West Midlands Racial Justice team. The director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture, Anthony Reddie, who in 2020 was honoured by the Archbishop of Canterbury with a special award for his contribution to black theology, has written: “White English Christianity must commit to a radical and ruthless critique of its Whiteness.”

When asked how white people might improve themselves, Google’s Gemini replied they should be “reflecting on their own biases and prejudices”. When asked the same question about black people, Gemini said the question itself was “problematic” and the issue was instead how to “dismantle systems of oppression and racism that limit black communities”. Google has “paused” Gemini for reprogramming, embarrassed by a debacle that has made the company look ridiculous.

The diversity agenda is an offshoot of the Marxist doctrine that all relationships involve abuses of power. That’s why “powerful” white people can never be the victims of racial prejudice while “powerless” black people can never be victimisers. When Gemini managed to erase white people altogether, Karl Marx met Groucho. We may laugh at Google being hoist with its own preposterous petard. But the way in which society’s collective mind is being fried by the incendiary DEI weapon is no joke at all.

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