In 2008, Brendan Eich donated $1,000 to a group that supported Prop 8, which amended California’s constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Voters passed the ballot initiative by 52 percent to 48 percent.
My purpose in this post is not to argue about same-sex marriage. For the record, I voted for Prop 8, so you can guess my views. Nor is it to argue whether companies have rights to set standards for their employees. They do.
My purpose is rather to point out the sheer Orwellian nature of the official statement about Eich released by Mitchell Baker, executive chairwoman of Mozilla. Here is it, in its entirety, with my comments in bold brackets.
Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. [No joke!] We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves. [Right. (a) How does a corporation stay true to itself if, as many on the Left claims, corporations aren’t people? (b) Given that Eich was a cofounder of Mozilla–present at the creation, one might say–how can he be excluded from the “ourselves” to which you claim you didn’t “stay true”? Less obliquely, you “proved false” to one of your founders. Wasn’t that also an act of betrayal to your community?]
We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better. [And by “you,” you mean that group of Mozilla users who support gay marriage and protested loudly at Eich’s new job as CEO. Presumably, you didn’t bother to take into account–or care about–Mozilla users who do not support same-sex marriage. But, whatever…]
Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community. [In other words, you’re a jerk, but he’s a stand-up guy. And by “chosen to step down,” do you really mean “given the option to resign or be fired”?]
Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. [Excellent!] Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. [Okay, but why “meaningful” rather than “free”?] And you need free speech to fight for equality. [Absolutely!] Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard. [Only if your desire for equality trumps your commitment to free speech.]
Our organizational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness. We welcome contributions from everyone regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views. Mozilla supports equality for all. [Except people whose views don’t support same-sex marriage.]
We have employees with a wide diversity of views. [One less diversely-viewed employee as of yesterday.] Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public. [Unless it involves donating money to support Prop 8 in 2008.] This is meant to distinguish Mozilla from most organizations and hold us to a higher standard. [Meant to, but in this case did not.] But this time we failed to listen, to engage, and to be guided by our community. [Now I’m just confused. You’ve transitioned from “encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public” to “fail[ing] to listen and “be guided by our community.” This implies that your commitment to your staff’s sharing exists in reverse proportion to your users’ liking what they share. And, it needs to be remembered, that Brandon Eich was a founding member of that community and that not all Mozilla users support same-sex marriage. So, you’re failing to listen to that segment of your “community” that complains most loudly. Point taken for the next time.]
While painful [especially for Brandon Eich, whose lost his job], the events of the last week show exactly why we need the web. So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better. [Except, of course, when that “tough conversation” involves same-sex marriage. Then we punish employees whose views we don’t like.]
We need to put our focus back on protecting that Web. And doing so in a way that will make you proud to support Mozilla. [How can you “protect that web,” the one that allows “tough conversations,” when you defenestrate an employee who engages in that conversation?]
What’s next for Mozilla’s leadership is still being discussed. [I bet. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the discussion involved lawyers.] We want to be open about where we are in deciding the future of the organization and will have more information next week. However, our mission will always be to make the Web more open [except to opponents of same-sex marriage] so that humanity is stronger [except opponents of same-sex marriage, whom we hope lose their jobs at tech companies], more inclusive [unless they donated to Prop 8 six years ago] and more just [where justice is defined as hounding opponents of same-sex marriage out of their jobs]: that’s what it means to protect the open Web [except for Brandon Eich; we’ve closed his Web just a little].
We will emerge from this with a renewed understanding and humility — our large, global, and diverse [but not too diverse…wink, wink] community is what makes Mozilla special, and what will help us fulfill our mission [to extirpate troglodytic supporters of traditional marriage from our ranks]. We are stronger with you involved [because it took quite a few people to push Brandon Eich out the corporate window].
Thank you for sticking with us [unlike how we treated our cofounder, Brandon Eich].
Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman