Mozilla: Leftist Hypocrisy On Display

Mozilla’s dumping of now-former CEO Brendan Eich has brought about a slew of negative attention to the Mozilla Corporation, which is being slammed by conservatives as well as some on the left.  It appears Mozilla underestimated the backlash they would receive for their action against Eich, whose high-crime was making a private $1,000 to California’s Proposition 8, which was to have prevented gay marriage.  Even gay journalist Andrew Sullivan jumped into the fray, berating Mozilla for their actions.

The Dish – Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.

But was it only the donation to Prop 8 that brought Eich down?  Michelangelo Signorile of the Huffington Post doesn’t believe so.  He says it appeared that Eich was going to be staying put until it came out last Wednesday that, in addition to the one grand for Prop 8, he also gave money to an “extremist.”

Huffington Post – Eich only announced he was stepping down after it was revealed late Wednesday that he’d given money to Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign in 1992, and later to Ron Paul’s campaign. Suddenly, in addition to defending a CEO who gave money to homophobic efforts, Mozilla would have to defend a CEO who supported Buchanan, a far-right extremist and isolationist who’s been accused of racist and anti-Semitic attacks, and who also was, rightly, driven off MSNBC.

From all accounts, the Mozilla Corporation is gay-friendly, states their principles are inclusive and even recently added a trans-inclusive healthcare policy.  Also from all accounts, Eich made no statements against such policies or attempts to change the inclusiveness of Mozilla.  He left his personal beliefs at the door and worked to further the Mozilla Corporation.  But despite this, and despite Mozilla’s claims of inclusiveness, Eich’s personal actions and beliefs were too much for them to tolerate and he resigned, I’m sure at the private request of the Board.

And now for the part of my post which may surprise some people – I fully support Mozilla’s right to get rid of Eich.  Read that statement carefully.  It does not say I support their decision.  It does not say I believe Eich should have resigned.  It only says that I support the right of the Mozilla Corporation to get rid of an employee whose personal beliefs and actions do not mirror the corporate image.  That said, I do believe the dumping of Eich was the height of leftist hypocrisy and that their claims of ‘inclusiveness’ are now a farce.  How can you claim to have inclusiveness if you get rid of a stellar employee for having personal beliefs which are in conflict with the company’s?  Apparently, inclusiveness at Mozilla is defined as either leftist ideals or conservative ideals as long as you never donate to right-wing causes and keep your mouth shut.

mozillaMost state have at-will employment, meaning that a business can fire an employee for any reason, outside of protected classes such as race or religion.  With the dumping of Eich perhaps those on the left would like to keep things going and have corporations fire everyone else who donated in support of Proposition 8.  The list is available here from the Los Angeles Times. The list has 35,275 people who donated to support Proposition 8 and 66,619 people who donated to oppose it.  Would the people who think getting rid of Eich was the right thing to do be okay with corporations firing the leftists who donated to oppose Prop 8, if doing so goes against the company ideals?  Wouldn’t that be the fair thing to do, for all 101,894 people on the list to be fired if their personal beliefs aren’t in concert with the corporations that employ them?  Of course this is ridiculous, but how less ridiculous is it to get rid of one person than 101,894?  Once employers start firing people for their personal beliefs, where will it end?  Why not just make it legal to ask prospective employees certain questions during the interview, such as their political affiliation, religious beliefs, donation history, television viewing habits, paper or plastic, Coke or Pepsi…. Again, this is ridiculous, but if Mozilla is going to dump Eich, wouldn’t it be more prudent to not hire someone in the first place if they will just end up getting rid of them after their personal views see the light of day?

The Mozilla Corporation had every right to get rid of Eich and their right to do so should not be eliminated.  Government has already placed far too many restrictions on businesses.  That said, businesses have an inherent duty to treat their employees fairly and allow that there will be those who have personal beliefs that do not conform to the company line.  The fact that Mozilla has received such a backlash, from some on the left as well as the right, should be a clue to them that they have not treated Eich honorably.  Their treatment of him also damages their corporate image with respect to how they will treat those who use their products.  As David Burge so eloquently put it on Twitter, “A company that doesn’t care about the information privacy of its own CEO sure the hell doesn’t care about yours.”

I’m sure Mozilla thought their decision to get rid of Eich was the ‘progressive’ thing to do.  In reality, the ‘diversity’ preached by progressives was shown to be rife with hypocrisy and the intolerance of the left was put on full display.  Mozilla’s off-with-their-heads mentality is a display so prominent that even some leftists lambasted Mozilla for their actions.  And when even fellow leftists are bashing you for your actions, you know you’ve screwed up royally.

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2 comments to Mozilla: Leftist Hypocrisy On Display

  • LD Jackson

    To be sure, the fact that Brendan Eich was forced to resigned tells us a lot about Mozilla. It is even more indicative of the left, in general. They like to claim the right is intolerant, but this is a classic example of their tactics. They make outrageous claims, but it turns out they are the guilty ones, not conservatives.

    Why am I not surprised?

    • Nobody should be the least bit surprised. And I think we all know how the left’s reaction would have been completely different, had Eich been fired for being an opponent of Prop 8 rather than a supporter.