I assume that's in response to this line in the blog post:
- No more societal and political discussions on our company Basecamp account.
This is such a tone-deaf "got my privilege blinders on" rule.
What counts as "political" discussion?
I've worked with people who I'm sure would claim it's "political" that I casually mention my husband in work chat, since they're "politically" (and likely religiously) against same-sex marriage.
Is openly mourning the death of yet another black person killed by a cop "political" because "black lives matter" is somehow a sentiment that needs to be "both sides"-'d politically?
What about saying that you're for equal pay for women, and compensation transparency?
I'm not saying work chat should have a
#politics channel or invite irrelevant quarrels, but when you're in chat with folks 8+ hours a day (especially when you're remote), "real life" stuff creeps into chat. It's impossible to separate politics and real life in general, but it's doubly impossible when your existence and lived experience is politicized.
I suspect what counts as "political" will just be whatever makes trouble for The Company, or makes the leaders uncomfortable. They don't want to take a side because that's hard, so they'd rather just pretend the problem doesn't exist. And who will bear the brunt of that rule? People who speak up about issues.
And that leads me to the thing that always makes me confused at this kind of thinking, something that feels like cognitive dissonance when I come across it at a company: You can't be for "diversity and inclusion" and against talking about "political issues". Your workplace is not inclusive if some of your coworkers need to censor themselves, and others get to be "the default". And your workplace will not be as diverse once those employees find other, better places to work.
But, maybe Basecamp isn't for diversity and inclusion? Seems like their "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" working group is getting axed:
- No more committees. For nearly all of our 21 year existence, we were proudly committee-free. [...] But recently, a few sprung up. No longer. We're turning things back over to the person (or people) who were distinctly hired to make those decisions. The responsibility for DEI work returns to Andrea, our head of People Ops.
I'd love to hear from members of that working group how they feel about these changes.
My ideal workplace would be one that actually sticks to and implements its stated values. If you value DEI, then it seems like the issue isn't "political" discussion, it's sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, etc., statements. And, hey, some of those are already illegal in the workplace so you're probably already enforcing bans on that kind of speech. If you've got people in your company who are angry because they don't get to be the "other side" of those "political" issues, I'd suggest you've found the "divisive" problem in your company culture.