Brendan Eich

Brendan Eich was recently named CEO of Mozilla Corp.  This was a big to-do because he is known to be anti-marriage equality.  OkCupid semi-blocked Mozilla users from accessing their site in protest.  I say semi-blocked because they could still go through to the site but before they did, there was a page to inform them why OkCupid thought they should use a different browser.

So, apparently, Eich just resigned from the position.  One gay blogger said he was disgusted that the gay community did this to him. One thing he said I agree with.  "If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us."  I think that it's important to avoid bullying.  I think it's important to allow people the freedom to hold their own opinions.  But to me that's not what this issue is about.

I read another article that I feel explains my personal feelings about the matter much better.  See, to me, the issue isn't about whether Eich is just speaking his own opinion.  It really isn't.  It's about the fact that his opinion is that certain people (queers) should have different rights than other people (straights).  That is to say, he is a bigot.  He believes that certain people should be privileged and other people should not be.  He believes in inequality.

Another thing that is significant is that he was named CEO.  He has a lot of power in that position.  He isn't just an individual expressing his opinions, which he has a Constitutional right to do.  If this story were about Brendan Eich the taxicab driver being fired because he supported Prop 8, that would be a different story.  But it is a man who is entrusted with the executive power of a major company.  It is an influential man.  And for the company to instate him as CEO when he personally believes that discrimination is acceptable sends the message that the company believes that discrimination is acceptable.  But it isn't.

Ostracism is a good and useful tool in correcting bad behaviors.  Yes, we should be diverse.  We should allow people to be different and to hold differing views.  But there are some things we should not tolerate.  We don't need to tolerate murder.  We don't need to tolerate theft.  Even if there's someone out there who believes that murder is okay.  That person certainly has the right to say that ey feels that murder is acceptable.  But if Google were to make that person their CEO, that would be a statement that Google believes that murder is okay.  It would send the message to the thousands of its employees that their lives could be taken at any moment.  And that's a horrible message to send.

Just so, having a person in a place of authority when that person believes that certain humans deserve more rights than other humans is going to be bad for PR.  It should be bad for PR.  What happened with Eich is precisely what I believe should have happened.  They shouldn't have people in charge who are opponents of equality.  The society I believe we should create is one where all people are treated equally.  So those who feel that inequality should exist, such as Eich, should not be promoted.  They should not be lauded and given authority over other people.  They should be ostracized and their beliefs should be exposed for the bigotry that they are.