On Nov. 6, 2019, I despatched the ultimate e-mail I might ever ship using my Google firm account. My coworkers and I had been expressing points in regards to the hiring of a former Division of Homeland Security chief of staff, Miles Taylor. In response to inside DHS emails obtained by BuzzFeed News, Taylor carried out direct roles throughout the safety of a mannequin of the Muslim journey ban and child separation insurance coverage insurance policies. His hiring raised vital points for us about workplace safety, notably for Muslim, Latinx, and immigrant workers who, along with many others, chosen to particular their worries and question administration via the corporate group. In response, the company censored us by deleting emails, memes, and questions from the corporate group, satirically claiming partly that they induced a hostile workplace for Taylor. In my e-mail, I outlined that expressing these points in regards to the workplace gave the impression to be protected by labor laws; by deleting them, Google gave the impression to be violating these authorized tips. Inside half-hour, I was locked out of my account and positioned on administrative go away. Numerous weeks later, Google fired me and three other workplace organizers. Because of we’ve been fired with out uncover on the week of Thanksgiving, the press generally known as us “the Thanksgiving Four.”
So take into consideration my shock to be taught Taylor’s Washington Post op-ed excoriating Donald Trump for, amongst totally different points, precisely the insurance coverage insurance policies he labored to defend whereas on the DHS that induced so many at Google (and in Congress) to object to his hiring. Taylor is now supporting Joe Biden for president and has even taken a leave of absence from his protection operate at Google to assist the Biden advertising and marketing marketing campaign. Given that Taylor and I now strongly agree on one of many important essential selections Folks will face throughout the coming months, I was initially hesitant to comment publicly. No matter our many variations of opinion, I can respect In no way Trump Republicans paying homage to George Conway on account of they’ve consistently condemned the Trump administration for an nearly endless report of failings.
Nonetheless I can not help viewing with good cynicism the timing of Taylor’s leaping from a now-sinking ship on whose crew he enthusiastically served for better than two years.
I see Taylor’s very public change of coronary coronary heart, and Google’s willingness to indulge it, a lot much less as an act of moral braveness than as a straightforward attempt to distance himself from a process that abruptly seems extra more likely to be further of a obligation than an asset to his future prospects. Not solely did Taylor decline to repudiate his former operate when his new coworkers objected a 12 months up to now, he nonetheless would not accomplish that now. Instead, he prefers to simply ignore his integral half throughout the very actions he now professes to hunt out objectionable, as if he have been a passive observer. In interviews, he has claimed to not have been at DHS when the family separation protection was developed. Nonetheless his private emails present that not solely was he there earlier to its enactment, he even helped put collectively its roll out — in an e-mail to former DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen throughout the days sooner than the protection was launched, he despatched her talking components with the Orwellian title, “Protecting Children Narrative.”
I truly agree that “4 further years of [Trump] are unthinkable.” However, as former Trump officers search to distance themselves from complicity throughout the administration’s many violations of morals, ethics, and decency, I phrase that Taylor and other people like him admit no guilt, present no contrition, and supply no apologies. Whereas he enjoys time off from a golden parachute place in a protection operate at a tech behemoth to pen op-eds and film TV commercials, perhaps as quite a bit to rehabilitate his public image as one thing, the place is the sense of accountability or regret? The impression left with the astute reader is that Taylor would not think about he did one thing fallacious. Taylor, as quickly as as soon as extra, is looking out for a clean landing.
I am not ready to simply settle for with open arms the quite a few former administration officers who, over the next two months, will little query try and chart an identical path to a post-Trump career. If Taylor truly believes that insurance coverage insurance policies like Muslim bans and the caging of kids are fallacious, why doesn’t he apologize for working to perpetrate them, and why did he do that work throughout the first place?
I don’t know if any of the quite a few thousands whose lives have been destroyed by these insurance coverage insurance policies would possibly ever forgive Taylor for his half of their struggling; I can not converse for them, and I can solely hope that people who survived will ultimately have the power to come back forward and inform us exactly what they went through and how it affected them. Compared with what Taylor did on the behest of Trump, the harm my coworkers and I’ve suffered by Taylor’s actions is comparatively small, nevertheless nonetheless he harmed us, too.
Like he did in his operate at DHS, Taylor is as soon as extra crafting a narrative, one by which he is one different of Trump’s victims, nevertheless he and others who carried out a element throughout the atrocities of the Trump administration cannot be absolved of their earlier simply by supporting Biden’s bid for the presidency. If they are surely asking for our forgiveness, they could first should admit that what they did was fallacious, and say these phrases that Trump himself actually on no account will: “I’m sorry.”
Laurence Berland, a former Googler, now primarily devotes his time to neighborhood volunteering and labor organizing. He is cochair of the Coworker Solidarity Fund Alphabet Committee, a member of the Congress of Essential Employees, and a candidate for the board of San Francisco Delight.
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