April 08, 2014

Eich and Mozilla — SJW overkill or legitimate action?

Brendan Eich/Wikipedia photo
By now, everyone tuned in to gay rights news knows that protests by gay activists and others concerned about civil rights have forced Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich out of his CEO's position, after it was discovered he had given money to the campaign to pass Proposition 8 in California.

Then, even as Eich was stepping down, senior leaders in promoting gay awareness, starting with Andrew Sullivan, cried foul.Contra the likes of Sully and Tod Robberson of the Dallas Morning News, while Eich has his right to his personal views, activists have a right to protest against Mozilla hiring him as CEO.

Besides, as the Guardian has documented, this is part of a pattern of Eich's, who also made donations to Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul, and to Buchanan back when he was challenging Poppy Bush in the early 1990s.

Another gay activist, whom I certainly respect more than Sullivan in general, Michelangelo Signorile, tells Sully, at least, to get a clue (and drop some pretenses). Another gay activist, John Aravosis, says, please, don't call this personal choice.

He then brings up the issue of, what if Eich had contributed to the KKK? Well, given that Eich contributed to Ron Paul at the time that racist newsletters were going out from his congressional office under his byline as publisher, that's not just a theoretical question.

(And, apologies for saying in a Facebook thread that Aravosis' stance was the same as Sully's.)

Aravosis, in a later post, was worried somewhat, but didn't go into Sully territory. However, he does worry about the likes of Suey Park and Brittany Cooper of #CancelColbert infamy, steering something like this in the ditch. I think he's probably about right on this issue.

Per people who say that inclusiveness should include being inclusive of the refusing-to-be-inclusive, tosh. That's as nonsensical as "the set of all sets which are not members of this set" or similar.

Per people claiming this isn't free speech? Sure it is. It's certainly more that than money is, contra John Roberts. More than that, banding together to threaten boycotts or other actions is explicitly freedom of assembly, the most forgotten of the four freedoms of the First Amendment.

People who know me know that I am by no means in the corner of the "social justice warrior" movement. But, this was more broadly supported than that. And, no, contra Sully, he wasn't being asked to "repent." Actually, Mozilla was asked to repent.

As for the claim that SJWs should now stop using JavaScript because he invented it? Tosh.

I don't stop reading what Harrison Schmitt said about walking on the moon and doing professional geology work during Apollo 17 because we found out 20-plus years later that he's a climate change denier. Red herring.

As for the idea that right-wingers could do similar boycotts?

Well, we already know that Hobby Lobby, wanting a contraceptive exemption from portions of Obamacare, invests in contraceptive makers, and as of yet, I've heard bupkis about any threatened Religious Right boycott of it. It may happen soon enough, but I'll give you 50-50 odds that, other than the fringes, the real fringest, of the Religious Right, there is no such boycott threat.

Related to that, Brian Beutler nails it on wingnuts getting into a fake tizzy on this issue.

My example, even more than his? If conservatives really care about freedom of speech and freedom of assembly (technically, it's NOT freedom of "association") then they can start working to repeal "right to get fired" laws in red and pale-pink states. (It's my blog, and I'll call said laws what they are.) As every liberal, and every honest conservative, knows, "right to get fired" laws are regularly used to stifle free speech at the workplace.

OTOH (April 8): OKCupid's CEO (remember, that's the company that started this all) lives in a partial glass house. Even if Yagan has rethought some of his politics, per the MoJo story, this may have been a PR stunt as much as anything. And so, would-be gay lovers? You've been used like a $2 tool. How's it feel?

On the third hand (April 8) Jamelle Bouie says not so quick on castigating OK Cupid's Sam Yagan as a hypocrite. And, I'll at least halfway agree, since Yagan's was a contribution to a politician and Eich's Prop 8 was to a special-interest cause. With a Congresscritter like Cannon, he may have been pushing a specific piece of legislation Yagan liked. And Eich's longer list of contributions, to me, as noted above, establish a pattern.

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