GitHub Employees are protesting against the dismissal of a Jewish employee who was fired two days after he had warned colleagues from Washington, DC, to stay secure from Nazis.
According to reports first published in Business Insider, the employee was punished for using divisive language. Then, GitHub workers are saying “Nazi” often in Slack regarding those who are rioting in the US Capitol rioters, to protest what is perceived to be unfairly treated.
GitHub still won’t explain if it fired someone for saying ‘Nazi,’ and employees are pissed
“Others have already said so, but I just want to say it explicitly myself – I think that nazis were present at some protests on Jan 6, and that it’s very scary to see those ideas on display,” wrote one senior engineer in a 390-person Slack channel called #inclusion-belonging. “100 percent Nazis were present and 1000000000 percentage Nazis are as scary as fuck and are not welcome anywhere. Particularly, at GitHub!” replied another.
Another GitHub employee recorded roughly 50 times that the term “Nazi” was mentioned within Slack before the debacle of Jan 6. The employees often discuss the political climate, and engineers have even created Nazi humorous jokes before. In a Slack post from the year 2014, one employee wrote that “nazis offered Jews free health care.” He continues to work at GitHub at present.
The current crisis began on the day before the riots took place in Washington, DC, when a Jewish employee in the workplace told colleagues: “stay safe, homies, nazis are around.” Some coworkers were not happy with the way of speaking. However, neo-Nazi organisations were, in fact, present during the protests. One engineer replied: “This is untasteful conduct to conduct work [my view].” People are free to protest at any time.”
The argument grew more heated, and colleagues stepped into the fight to support both sides until the engineering VP ended the conversation. “Ok now, this is enough…This isn’t a proper discussion, and we shouldn’t have to treat each other like this,” the VP said. “Y’all are able to agree on the point of disagreement, but we shouldn’t cause further division.” He requested the Jewish worker to “chat.”
The next day the manager was dismissed. The company is said to have mentioned vague “patterns of conduct” for the reasons behind the termination.
Following the news of the firing in the public domain, GitHub attempted to handle the issue internally. In the past week, the organization had the “empathy circle” to “build an understanding among members of the team about issues that impact us.” The event did not be well-liked by employees. “um. This empathy group is reminiscent of the state propoganda that I used to be a part of,” one employee said, using an emoji of the Chinese flag. “Im not there.” Another worker replied, “I’m having a hard focus upon this dialect haha.” The first employee added, “The the poc channel sounds liit…apparently the circle is similar to nazi apologists as well as “all lives matter” kind of propaganda.. Glad I quit early.”
About 200 of the 1,700 employees at GitHub (which GitHub calls “hubbers”) have written an open letter in support of the Jewish employee’s firing. “The evident conclusion is that a Jewish Hubber was fired for calling a certain group of people (that comprised Neo-Nazi White supremacists) “Nazis,” They wrote. “Because of that, Hubbers are no longer able to feel that they are able to voice their opinions about hate or racism against protected traits such as those of their faith.”