Quotes of the day

posted at 8:31 pm on April 5, 2014 by Allahpundit

Six years ago, when Eich donated to an anti-marriage equality initiative, less than 40% of Americans favored marriage for same-sex couples. Today 54% do, including nearly 70% of people ages 18-29. That latter number is particularly important to Mozilla because 1) no group goes online more than millennials, 2) no group supports marriage equality more than millennials, and 3) millennials are a significant portion of current and future employees. The Eich fallout is less about the First Amendment and more about a business not understanding its business…

Mozilla is an activist organization more than a money-making corporation. The Apples and Googles of the world can lure top young talent with money and perks. Mozilla’s recruiting success depends on its ability to sell its mission. Thus the effectiveness of the CEO rests heavily on his or her ability to foster a community, not just make a buck.

And generally speaking, discrimination is a community buzzkill.

***

At this point, a tech company having a C.E.O. who opposes gay marriage is not all that different from a company in 1973 having a C.E.O. who donated money to fight interracial marriage: even if there were plenty of Americans who felt the same way at the time, the C.E.O. would still have been on the wrong side of history. And since the role of a C.E.O. as a public face of an organization is more important than ever these days, Eich’s personal views were inevitably going to shape his ability to run the company.

That’s especially true because of the unusual nature of Mozilla. Mozilla is not like most companies. It’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, and is just one part of the broader Mozilla community, which includes thousands of open-source software developers and other volunteers around the world. These people still do much of the work behind Mozilla’s products—contributing code, technical support, design improvements, and so on. This means that Mozilla depends on the goodwill of its supporters more than most corporations do; it relies on their willingness to donate their services in pursuit of the broader Mozilla project, which is all about keeping the Web transparent and accessible. If it alienates them, Mozilla’s entire mission will be at risk…

The real mystery here, then, is not why Eich stepped down but why he ever got hired in the first place.

***

At Mozilla, the leadership’s main job isn’t to set a strategy that makes the firm a lot of money. The chief executive’s primary purpose is to hold a community together, and then to motivate it to do great things in the absence of a lot of money — all while competing for talent with firms like Apple, Google, and Microsoft, which shower workers with dollars and perks. Mozilla offers no stock options, no lavish perks, no hope of a billion-dollar acquisition. Instead, it offers its prospective employees a single overarching advantage: the chance to work on a mission.

In such an environment, it isn’t out of bounds to consider how a certain leader’s political views might affect employees’ passion for their mission. If the community’s cohesiveness is Mozilla’s primary advantage over its rivals, the fact that Mr. Eich’s views on gay marriage might have posed some danger to that community was almost by definition disqualifying. If his job was to motivate people, and he was instead causing people to question the community’s ethic—well, at the least, you can say he wasn’t doing a good job.

***

The main accusation against Eich rests on his donation to Prop 8, a California law that prohibited gay marriage, five years ago. The argument goes that this is a reflection of his personal beliefs and this belief system runs contrary to the Foundation’s values of openness and tolerance.

Incidentally, as the Recode story mentions, Brendan Eich is a co-founder of the Mozilla Foundation. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that Eich had a hand in establishing the value framework there. Given the absence of demarcation between personal and professional lives, one can argue the openness and collaboration are also reflective of his personal beliefs.

The second problem with this approach are the ramifications of this ethic to workplace diversity. Research after research has shown the benefits of workplace diversity; an organization made up of employees with identical personal and professional beliefs is an organization in stasis. Great ideas are born out of diversity and exchange of opinions, howsoever uncomfortable and complicated they may be.

***

I would never defend a homophobe—but does “pure hate” homophobia include dedicating oneself to outreach to “marginalized” LGBT developers, as Eich did almost immediately? Does Mozilla further its cause — privacy uber alles and the free flow of information — by making its pioneers into pariahs in social media, while issuing blatantly hypocritical statements which claim to treasure “religious diversity” at Mozilla? (And did anyone flinch when Mark Zuckerberg held GOP fundraisers?) Is what we want ”politically correct web browsing” where the Twittersphere and “socially conscious corporations” determine whose ideas are disseminated? Is this the open internet, or shall the open-source web be verboten to those “on the wrong side of history”?

It is undeniable that public opinion is rapidly shifting toward LGBT equality, marriage included. But it should be equally undeniable that the organization dedicated to the internet as “global public resource” should understand that the “global public” also contains people who—on their own time—espouse, advocate, and sometimes monetarily support foreign, even ugly, views. Brendan Eich, who “kept his views” (which he called irrelevant to his mission) on LGBT marriage “out of Mozilla for 15 years,” should not have his life’s work invalidated by bygone donations.

***

It’s no surprise that this publicity stunt by OKCupid comes on the heels of Eich being promoted to CEO – apparently they were fine with his actions while he was just the CTO of Mozilla. While it’s a helpful thing to do to highlight homophobia and let the public know the kind of people they’re supporting, let’s not pretend that this was in the public’s best interests; Eich donated in 2008 and it’s been widely known for a long time. They could have dropped this ‘bombshell’ at any time but instead waited for maximum impact…

Building awareness of LGBTQ issues is always great but, so far, all that’s happened from this is that one man lost his job and OKCupid got worldwide attention again. But their publicity came at the price of one man’s personal and political choices. It isn’t right that Brendan Eich lost his job because of his personal beliefs, anymore than I should lose my job because I’m a lesbian.

***

In addition to being evidence, redundant evidence, that progressives are for diversity in everything but thought, it’s an illustration of a new phenomenon. No one likes sore losers, but now we have sore winners. The gay rights movement is winning, particularly with regard to same-sex marriage, with a speed and breadth that simply takes your breath away. In Oklahoma and Utah and elsewhere. Yet unsatisfied with victory, they want to stamp out and punish people for their previous views.

This is relevant to an issue that is live in this town, that is campaign finance reform. And People who want to reform our finances and increase government control over political speech and spending say, ‘Well, everyone can surely be in favor of full disclosure of campaign contributions.’ This case is an example of why some of us who used to be for full disclosure no longer are. The people advocating full disclosure in campaign contributions say we just want voters to be able to make an informed choice. That’s not what they’re doing at all. They really want to enable themselves to mount punitive campaigns and to tear people and chill political speech.

***

Both writers seem concerned that Eich’s resignation is a defeat for freedom of expression. If anything, it is a victory – the ouster of a founder and CEO by his own people, at a foundation based on open and equal expression, should be the new textbook example of the system working exactly as it should…

The end of Eich need not be a defeat for free expression, or an open culture. He was absolutely free to make his donation, to have his own beliefs, even to decline to discuss them. Mozilla’s supporters, advocates and, unusually, even its own employees were equally free to express their concerns, support or dismay at the choice. Mozilla was absolutely free to appoint anyone – whether nudist, buddhist, activist, or biblist – as CEO. It still is.

Yes, it’s messy. But that’s freedom for you.

***

While 59 percent of Americans now support marriage equality, the same percentage opposed it just 10 years ago. In other words, today’s society is no longer a comfortable place for homophobes. And that’s a good thing.

But it won’t—and shouldn’t—necessarily end careers. Take the late Sen. Robert Byrd, who joined the Ku Klux Klan at a time when it had significant political clout across the American South. After years of publicly promoting virulently racist ideologies, Byrd came to see the harm he had caused, eventually noting in his memoir, “It has emerged throughout my life to haunt and embarrass me and has taught me in a very graphic way what one major mistake can do to one’s life, career, and reputation.” But he didn’t stop there. In fact, he never stopped apologizing, once saying in 2005: “I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times … and I don’t mind apologizing over and over again. I can’t erase what happened.” By acknowledging his past racism so candidly and emphatically, Byrd salvaged not just his career but also his dignity.

None of this means that the LGBTQ community shouldn’t hold people accountable for their actions. There is no congratulations owed for sharing past homophobia. We’ve come to expect the scripted apology after a famous athlete or celebrity lets slip a gay slur. So how do we measure actual sincerity in the aftermath of such an occurrence? By making room for reconciliation. The same patience and understanding that LGBTQ individuals have shown to homophobic family members, friends, congregations, and co-workers should extend to the public at large, even to CEOs who actively helped to overturn marriage equality—provided they want to make things right again.

***

Even people who favor same-sex marriage and accept the civil-rights analogy, however, should think twice about the precedent being set by the Eich case. The civil-rights movement did not, in fact, conduct itself in this fashion. It did not seek to marginalize those who opposed it, or had reservations about it, when those holdouts made up more than a third of the population. It did not insist on public recantations by all of them.

The anti-racist consensus is today enforced through intense social pressure, but it wasn’t achieved that way. And it’s hard to see how the civil-rights movement would have succeeded had it adopted the purge as a tactic in, say, 1966.

Maybe today’s effort will be more successful. But it sure seems like an odd way to advance a healthy sense of “community.”

***

Via RCP.

***

Via the Corner.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 5 6 7

*ps: great spins t’night, dire & nnp

Axe on April 6, 2014 at 3:56 AM

oscarwilde on April 6, 2014 at 2:21 AM

You know I was kidding, right?

I was kidding. I couldn’t think of anything with a keyboard in it. :)

Axe on April 6, 2014 at 3:05 AM

ROTFLMAO… Sorry I was off in another window watching a silly movie… Yes, I know, it’s all good…

oscarwilde on April 6, 2014 at 4:05 AM

It looks like we are rolling friend..:)

Dire Straits on April 6, 2014 at 3:17 AM

Silverhead – Rolling with My Baby

non-nonpartisan on April 6, 2014 at 4:05 AM

Grateful Dead “Terrapin” 5/17/77

Inspiration, move me brightly.
light the song with sense and color;
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.

kcewa on April 6, 2014 at 4:22 AM

Vote UKIP !

celtic warrior on April 6, 2014 at 5:14 AM

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I would vote UKIP if I lived in England.

crankyoldlady on April 6, 2014 at 5:44 AM

None of this means that the LGBTQ community shouldn’t hold people accountable for their actions. There is no congratulations owed for sharing past homophobia.

In other words if you’re against gay marriage you’re a homophobe.

I reject that premise.

jmtham156 on April 6, 2014 at 6:52 AM

Vote UKIP !

celtic warrior on April 6, 2014 at 5:14 AM

I’m not British. Is it OK if I just drink some English ale instead?

kcewa on April 6, 2014 at 7:02 AM

Where is all the outrage from the gays? They’re constantly whining about tolerance and this is about as intolerant a situation as there is. But outside of Andrew Sullivan and Tammy Bruce, I have not heard one peep from a gay about this situation.

Put another way, you don’t have to be against same sex marriage to admit that this situation is wrong.

Happy Nomad on April 6, 2014 at 7:33 AM

Put another way, you don’t have to be against same sex marriage to admit that this situation is wrong.

Happy Nomad on April 6, 2014 at 7:33 AM

People need to stand up to bullying whether it’s from entitled victim groups or the Obama government. They are forcing people out of work and it needs to stop. Just say no. Stand up to them.

crankyoldlady on April 6, 2014 at 7:43 AM

Grateful Dead “Terrapin” 5/17/77

kcewa on April 6, 2014 at 4:22 AM

Oh, wow. This recording is from the same tour when I first saw the Dead (Illinois State, a few weeks earlier). Played a 20+ minute rendition of Crazy Fingers. Fell in love.

Jaibones on April 6, 2014 at 7:48 AM

Boys are slow on the draw this morning. It’s a traveling day – hope I don’t lose the window the Sunday Morning Propaganda review.

Jaibones on April 6, 2014 at 7:50 AM

Special program on Fox tonight at 9 EDT. “Enemies of the State”. Watch it. It’s about government targeting and basically attacking people they don’t approve of and who have stood up to them.

crankyoldlady on April 6, 2014 at 7:52 AM

Climatehysteria gestapo tactics reported in UK paper…

“At the heart of the current, poisoned debate about global warming lies a paradox. Thanks to the ‘pause’, the unexpected plateau in world surface temperatures which has now lasted for 17 years, the science is less ‘settled’ than it has been for years.

Yet, despite this uncertainty, those who use it to justify a range of potentially ruinous energy policies have become ever more extreme in their pronouncements. Their latest campaign is an attempt to silence anyone who disagrees.

This reached a new and baleful milestone last week, with a report from the Commons Science and Technology Committee saying BBC editors must obtain special ‘clearance’ before interviewing climate ‘sceptics’.

The committee’s chairman, Labour MP Andrew Miller, likened sceptics to the Monster Raving Loony Party, suggesting they should be allowed to express their views with similar frequency.

One Sunday columnist recently insisted the parallel was exact, because the evidence of global warming is as strong as that for Auschwitz.

Academics who deviate from the perceived ‘correct’ line risk vilification. The most recent example is
Professor Richard Tol of Sussex University, who had the temerity to remove his name from a UN climate report because he said it was ‘alarmist’.

Another is Prof Roger Pielke Jnr of Colorado. His ‘crime’ is to have published evidence that, so far, hurricanes have not become more frequent, while financial losses from extreme weather have not increased as a result of climate change. His reward has been an organised campaign demanding he be sacked.

The Breakthrough Institute – an influential, and very green – US think tank has described those who try to close down debate in this way as ‘climate McCarthyites’, after the infamous 1950s Senator who sought to root out Communists from American public life.

It is an increasingly apt analogy. Miller, Davey and their allies often cite a study showing that 97 per cent of academic papers dealing with climate say that human-induced global warming is real.

But here is the thing: so do almost all of those attacked as ‘deniers’, including Lord Lawson, whose appearance on the Radio 4 Today show in February sparked the current furore over sceptics getting airtime.

Where they differ from the supposed mainstream is not over the existence of warming, but its speed, and how to deal with it.

Then, so do many scientists. The ‘pause’ means that the climate computer models, on which most forecasts are based, say the world should already be rather warmer than it is: in one expert’s words, they are ‘running too hot’.

Why is this? Many scientists are engaged in honest attempts to answer this question. Some suggest that the ‘climate sensitivity’ – a measure of how much the world will warm in response to a given increase in carbon dioxide – may be significantly lower than was widely believed only a few years ago.

Moreover, the response to rising CO2 adopted thus far palpably has not worked. The emissions cuts agreed by the EU and other countries at the 1997 Kyoto Treaty and imposed by our own Climate Change Act have made energy more expensive, and exported jobs and prosperity to countries such as China – which adds billions of watts of coal fired power to its grid each year. CO2 emissions have continued to rise.

The architects of such policies know they have failed, but they have no alternative except more of the same. Maybe it’s because their argument is weak that they resort to climate McCarthyism. The cost, apart from higher energy bills, is to democracy, and free speech…”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2597907/Green-smear-campaign-against-professor-dared-disown-sexed-UN-climate-dossier.html#ixzz2y6oLxcoj

workingclass artist on April 6, 2014 at 8:35 AM

workingclass artist on April 6, 2014 at 8:35 AM

You’d think they’d be happy that the earth isn’t burning up (unless, it gets hit by a very large asteroid sometime in the future). But, they desperately want to believe what they want to believe. They want to feel superior by putting their groceries in reusable bags made in China and by driving little battery operated cars.

Like sacrificing virgins of old, they feel that they are doing SOMETHING to keep away the normal weather that, for some reason, frightens them. And, they feel very good about themselves, until they become the sacrificial virgins. Meh. Most greenies hate humans like themselves, so maybe they won’t mind being marched to the edge of the volcano to “save” the rest of us.

There are reasons to recycle, reuse and reduce waste but it’s thrift, not saving the earth. The earth will go on long after we’re gone.

Fallon on April 6, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Blessed Sabbath, Patriots! And, Trolls.

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,

– 2 Timothy 3:1-2


The War Against Christianity: The Gay Mafia, The Far Left, and The “Selfish” Generation

kingsjester on April 6, 2014 at 9:28 AM

There are reasons to recycle, reuse and reduce waste but it’s thrift, not saving the earth. The earth will go on long after we’re gone.

Fallon on April 6, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Good piece of writing.

crankyoldlady on April 6, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Things like this serve to remind some people why they didn’t support all this LGBT nonsense in the first place. The problem we have now is that there is a whole generation that doesn’t seem to really get the whole freedom thing. They think it would be fine to put people in jail because they’re “global warming deniers” and unemploy people for their opinions, no matter how discretely expressed. If a measure were put forward to fire all professors not signing on to boycott Israel, I think a majority of students would support it in the “elite” universities.

claudius on April 6, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Put another way, you don’t have to be against same sex marriage to admit that this situation is wrong.

Happy Nomad on April 6, 2014 at 7:33 AM

There’s actually quite a bit, just nothing that will get reported either by the MSM or evidently even some of our own conservative outlets. But as an example, just go to Mozilla’s own feedback site. Comments are running 10 to 1 against (or more), including a sizable number of SSM supporters who recognize the incredible hypocrisy of this position.

AJsDaddie on April 6, 2014 at 10:26 AM

There’s actually quite a bit [of backlash in the gay community],

For context…

AJsDaddie on April 6, 2014 at 10:35 AM

And here’s a great satirical piece although it’s not for the ironically impaired (hence most liberals).

AJsDaddie on April 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

A tiny minority a sexual deviants have captured the ability to leverage huge cultural influence. For a biologically non-viable niche group, they now appear to have the ability to dictate the terms of traditionalist cultural surrender.

They should be careful: they are readily identifiable and they are making enemies rapidly.

PD Quig on April 6, 2014 at 10:56 AM

America 2014: Punish the pioneers, protect the perverts…

Pest on April 6, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Interestingly, the Mozilla forums are down. No reason given.

AJsDaddie on April 6, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Firefox is gone from my system and I emailed them my ire at what they did.

dogsoldier on April 6, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Those of you who, for whatever reason, cannot get rid of Firefox, can remove the primary source of their income from your browser’s display. Mozilla makes most of their money from a convenience widget called the Search Bar. So, by removing it, you will not inadvertently enter a search term there and pay Mozilla for what they’ve done to Mr. Eich. Note that the Search Bar cannot be customized — it’s hardwired to use Google. So removing it is your only option.

HOW TO DO IT:

Open Firefox.

Then, see the little “Search” tab, with “Google” in the panel? That’s what you want to get rid of if you want to send the best message to Mozilla. So, if you aren’t using it, fine, but if you are, then it’s time to move it off the page to reduce the temptation to use it. In fact, if you aren’t using it, these instructions will reclaim a bit of browser real estate for you.

Go to View (if you don’t see it, keyboard ALT+v), then Toolbars, then Customize…

When that dialog which is titled “Customize Toolbar” and with title “You can add or remove items by dragging to or from the toolbars.” appears, right click the search bar and drag it into the dialog. The search bar will disappear from your browser.

Then, in the Customize Toolbar dialog, click the “Done” button on the lower right corner.

You will no longer be contributing with each Google search you do to Mozilla.

To really send the message to Google as well, make https://duckduckgo.com/ your search provider by building it a bookmark and using it. As good as Google is, they are the main source of Mozilla’s income, and so you want to cease using them using Firefox until the message has been sent.

To do that, I suggest that you install an alternate browser just for Google searches, so no revenue stream reaches Firefox that way. I’m using http://midori-browser.org/

unclesmrgol on April 6, 2014 at 6:54 PM

The above instructions on a webpage:

http://byemozilla.com/

unclesmrgol on April 7, 2014 at 12:56 AM

Comment pages: 1 5 6 7