A recent online Harvard-Harris survey, which polled 2,263 registered voters from August 17th to 22nd, revealed that while 56% of respondents support programs “meant to give women preference in the hiring process”, only 48% support granting minorities the same preference.  When diving deeper into support for minority hires, 63% of whites oppose diversity hires based on race, while 84% of blacks and 70% of Hispanics support it.

“Broken down by political preference, 75 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of independents oppose programs that give minorities preference, while 70 percent of Democrats support them.”

In taking a closer look at the firing of Google employee James Damore (author of the controversial Google Manifesto), 55% believe “Google was wrong to fire…Damore, including 61 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of independents and 50 percent of Democrats.”  The belief among 56% of voters was that the firing sets a bad precedent for people wanting to express their views about workplace gender dynamics honestly. “Seventy-one percent said that even if a worker expresses views that reinforce gender stereotypes, it should still be illegal to fire that person.”

Extending this to unpopular speech, 79% of respondents “said it should be illegal to fire someone who expressed opposition to gay marriage and 60 percent said it should be illegal to fire someone for expressing racist views online or at a rally.”

It would appear most Americans believe all free speech should be protected in every way.  This does bring up a point as to the limit of free speech in the workplace.  If an employee should not be fired due to views expressing gender or racial stereotypes, what are the limits exactly?  Something to think about for everyone moving forward.


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