I've tried searching around on the site for this, but because "politics" can mean inner-workplace politics and not strictly national politics, the search has been difficult.
I have a new boss who recently started gathering all the engineers together for a kind of informal hangout time on Wednesdays. We each discuss work goals, but then it opens up into chill/fun time. In the first meeting, the new boss has voiced some extremely divisive political ideas about race, gender, crime, etc. It is obvious that his self flagellation is meant to make him appear more virtuous and humble...but it is offensive on a number of levels to myself and another team member.
Due to the geographical location of my job, there is a very strong political orthodoxy and at least half the team agreed with him and continued the discussion in the direction it was started. I know that I cannot legally be fired for my differing political opinions, but I do suspect that voicing these opinions could result in some negative consequences in terms of review, salary, promotion, etc. I would prefer to just not bring these kinds of issues into our discussions at work.
Because I have been with the company for a few years now, I suspect that I could talk to either HR or with the new boss directly to ask that we avoid talking about political issues involving race, gender, etc. However, after seeing what happened to James Damore, I am very worried about being fired (I have a child to support) for my lack of adherence to the local political culture. Unfortunately, this scenario doesn't allow me to "tune out" or "skip" the meeting because it is mandatory and does start on a work-related note.
Is there any safe way to ask that we no longer discuss politics in scheduled meetings?
*Note: The reason I did not quote any statements from my new boss is because I do not want to invoke anyone's own bias, I just want to preserve civility and de-politicize the meetings if possible.