Friday, April 4th, 2014
27

Gays Assassinate CEO

Mozilla, if you don't know it, is a much-respected nonprofit with a business nestled inside it that, among other things, makes Firefox. They elevated Brendan Eich, one of their cofounders, to CEO. Eich was a Prop 8 donor; people objected. Three board members resigned when he was given the job, including two who were former CEOs. (The organization says those board members were planning on leaving, but their departure leaves the Mozilla Corporation board with three whole members.) Employees asked Eich to step down. Eich made a commitment to help Mozilla ensure its place as an ally to the gays. And then Eich resigned, and resigned from the board of the foundation itself, which now has just five members.

And now the gays are being blamed for their pesky "interference" in this important company. And we're getting straightsplained about how we "politicized" Mozilla. Why did we do this terrible thing! Why did we "shoot" one of "the good ones," in the classic language of Dave Winer? Yes, and why did we make those board members go away? How can we want to live in a society where people with despicable views won't defend them long enough to make the situation better, and instead, huff off, quit their jobs and apparently delete their Twitter accounts? One minute Eich was blogging about how he'd show everyone that he could deal with a complicated situation, celebrate diversity and the company, and ensure that everyone could trust in his leadership. Eight days later, his willingness to see that process through had apparently evaporated. Mozilla politicized Mozilla. And the gays didn't make Eich quit. He didn't want to do the actual work. He flounced.

27 Comments / Post A Comment

KarenUhOh (#19)

I'll just go back to sleep to dream of a world where being a proponent of human rights has no connection to "politicizing" anything.

pissy elliott (#397)

Remember when gay teachers were drummed out of their jobs? Isn't it weird that straight people are such WHINERS when it happens to them?

pissy elliott (#397)

@pissy elliott Lol, I put that in the past tense as a joke!

gregorg (#30)

@pissy elliott straights can do whatever they want in their private lives; we just don't want them near our browsers.

xee (#8,831)

so short-termist, the gays! just straight-up murdering a man when we've SAID that we'll totally get around to discussing whether they deserve equal treatment to straights, just as soon as we've finished fixing open software and monopoly practices in tech, which has nothing to do with politics and i don't see why you would think that.

macartney (#1,889)

This is the best thing I've read on this messy and complicated situation. Thanks, Choire.

ejcsanfran (#489)

Frankly, the best thing to come out of this was the reminder that Andrew Sullivan is fucking terrible.

Ralph Haygood (#13,154)

@ejcsanfran: I really don't understand why otherwise seemingly sensible people still pay attention to him. Two years ago, in the course of naming Sullivan the second runner-up for the fiercely contested title "Wanker of the Decade," Duncan Black (Atrios) remarked, "One could waste a lifetime writing about the wanking of Andrew Sullivan. I'm starting to worry I have." (http://bit.ly/HL3uOW) To which I replied, "I never paid him much attention, but I stopped paying him the slightest attention several years ago, and I find I don't miss him even a tiny bit. Try it, you'll like it!"

Kendall (#264,901)

There have been a LOT of LGBT posters on various forums expressing the thought that this action was terrible. Are they also "straightsplaining"? Are you revoking their gay card?

"Pissy Elliott", if you were unhappy with a world where gay teachers were getting drummed out of jobs why are so you happy when that kind of action is validated? If this man can be removed for supporting a cause that goes against gay marriage, what has anyone to say about the next person who gets removed from power because he fought against prop8? Either action is equally valid. You are opening the floodgates for socially accepted retaliation against any position.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

@Kendall Actually, the thing that opened the floodgates for socially accepted retaliation against any position was the first amendment. GOD DAMN IT THE GAYS NOW YOU'RE IN THE CONSTITUTION IS NOTHING SACRED???

Kendall (#264,901)

@DoctorDisaster What a sad worldview. In my world I tolerate others when they express thoughts I might disagree with, not pillory them. It's called being better, not being the new jailkeepers come to replace the old.

Being tolerant means begin tolerant, not choosing which small set of things you must be tolerant of.

pissy elliott (#397)

@Kendall there is a fundamental difference between someone in a public position (a CEO is the public face of in this case, a charitably supported organization) being ousted for beliefs incongruous with the org's mission and sexual minorities being hounded for their private lives. if you can't see the difference, you are likely suffering from a common cognitive deficiency known as "heterosexuality"

Kevin Knox (#4,475)

@pissy elliott I just read Kendall's other comments on The Awl. It seems that he or she is suffering from a common cognitive deficiency known as "missing the point entirely".

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

@Kendall I socially accept your retaliation against my post.

[crying bald eagle dot gif]

In seriousness? There's a huge difference between tolerating someone's whackadoo beliefs and wanting said whackadoo to be the public face and highest representative of your organization. Mozilla realized that needlessly alienating so many people whose charity they depended on to survive was a dumb idea.

And just FYI, pillories and jails are not just metaphors! They are actual physical punishments meted out to people! "People" in this context does NOT include "homophobic billionaires!"

@Kendall Bigotry is not something to be tolerated. Ever.

Kevin Knox (#4,475)

@Kendall “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society… then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them… We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.” – Karl Popper

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@Kendall "Being tolerant means begin tolerant, not choosing which small set of things you must be tolerant of."

By that logic, we can either tolerate the Nazis or be the Nazis, and there are absolutely no other options. I can't tell if you are stupid for really believing that, or stupid for thinking you can sell it as an argument to anyone.

lemmycaution (#243,936)

Proposition 8 was wrong. I voted against it.

It is crazy that that guy lost his job over this though. The majority of the state of California was pro-proposition 8. While not in favor of proposition 8, Obama and the entire democratic establishment was against gay marriage.

Norms against firing people for their political beliefs are a good thing.

BadUncle (#153)

@lemmycaution Donation to a cause is more than simple "political belief" – it's powerful advocacy. And he was the CEO, which is more than just a "job" to take or lose. It's the public face of a corporation, and the chief salesman of its mission, values and product. That job defines the brand. And thus his public advocacy of a cause incongruous with that brand would have jeopardized Mozilla's business. They should never have elevated him to the position of Mr. Outside, in the first place. Also, he *quit* his job. He didn't lose it.

@lemmycaution He quit, it's on him

17crash (#267,578)

>>>> And we're getting straightsplained about how we "politicized" Mozilla.

This is my problem, everybody loves freedom of speech until its something they don't agree with. Then a bunch of people get together and harass, threaten and intimidate them until they shut up. Quite possibly the worst thing you can imagine in a free society if you ask me. The guy had an opinion, and he expressed it. Then the gay community jumped all over him and anybody else who voted for prop 8. The threats and harassment were eye opening to say the least:

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/10/the-price-of-prop-8

"Many reports of hostility toward Prop 8 supporters involve acts of vandalism. An elderly couple who put a Yes on 8 sign in their yard had a block thrown through their window.[8] A senior citizen who placed a pro-Prop-8 bumper sticker on her car had her car's rear window smashed in.[9] Some individuals with pro-Prop-8 bumper stickers had their cars keyed.[10] One woman with a "One Man, One Woman" bumper sticker had her car keyed and tires deflated while she was in a grocery store.[11] One man who placed signs in his yard and stickers on his cars and motorbike reported that someone egged and floured his home three times and egged, floured, and honeyed his car twice.[12] Someone also pushed over the man's motorbike and scraped the bumper stickers off the back glass windows of his cars.[13] Several other individuals reported that Yes on Prop 8 bumper stickers were scraped or ripped off their vehicles or defaced.[14]"

It's so confounding to me when the gay community works so hard to be taken seriously and wants to be accepted, then you have stuff like this happen. It's hard to take you serious when it seems like you only believe in equal rights and freedom of speech as long as you approve of it.

Kevin Knox (#4,475)

@17crash Does the Heritage Foundation also keep a record of anti-gay vandalism and violence? Or anti-Obama vandalism and violence? Or anything else that doesn't fit neatly within their narrow worldview?

freetzy (#7,018)

@17crash THEIR FUCKING BUMPER STICKERS WERE DEFACED!!!!! That's it, call it off. Call it all off.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@17crash How do you expect people to take you seriously when you post such incoherent hateful drivel?

@17crash Wow, they had bumper stickers peeled off their cars, and honey dripped on their homes? That sounds pretty horrible all right.

I'm sure that intolerant straight people have never subjected any gay people to any abuse as horrible as THAT.

BadUncle (#153)

@17crash You do realize that First Amendment protections have nothing to do with workplace conduct, right? Unless Mozilla suddenly became Congress, and pressures on its CEO became "laws," you're spouting nonsense. Also, peeling bumper stickers doesn't even remotely equate with fag-bashing.

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