BreakPoint Blog

Return of the blacklist

Brendan Eich has resigned as CEO of Mozilla because of the outcry over his support of Proposition 8.


Total: 38 << Previous Page     Next Page >>
Homosexual Movement = GayKK
@ Ben W

Homosexuals have no reason to feel self-righteous on the issue of racism, which is rampant in their community. This was demonstrated in the aftermath of Prop. 8 which passed due to overwhelming support from Black Democrats.

Naturally, White homosexuals in California responded by hurling racist hate speech at Black people. Even Blacks who OPPOSED Prop. 8 like A. Ronald weren't safe from such vile racism.

Here's Ronald's first hand account:

"Three older men accosted my friend and shouted, "Black people did this, I hope you people are happy!" A young lesbian couple with mohawks and Obama buttons joined the shouting and said there were "very disappointed with black people" and "how could we" after the Obama victory. This was stupid for them to single us out because we were carrying those blue NO ON PROP 8 signs! I pointed that out and the one of the older men said it didn't matter because "most black people hated gays" and he was "wrong" to think we had compassion. That was the most insulting thing I had ever heard. I guess he never thought we were gay."

Homosexual racism is also on display by their enjoyment of blackface minstrel plays of Charles Knipps a.k.a. Shirley Q. Liquor:

And this is just the tip of iceberg:

So, Ben, homosexuals should deal with the "GayKK" in their midst before pointing the finger at others.
I've always wanted to try snorkeling. (That's right, the guy from the Land of 10,000 Lakes has never snorkeled.)
“Not One of Us Would Even Entertain the Idea”
Which one of us is that, Kevin? (rimshot)

Surf's up!
The upcoming Board meeting will be in Barbados, BTW.
Ben, it's sad but all too predictable that someone on your side of the issue would compare our side to groups that are known for hate. You have learned that applying the concept of "hate" to our position is a powerful weapon, and the fact that it accurately applies only to a relative handful of anti-SSM people doesn't in the least deter you from painting all of us with that brush.

Since when is hatred the only motivation for declaring something to be wrong? Do you never say that something is wrong? Are you driven by hate when you do so?

Just the other day, a fellow Pointificator talked about how we need to welcome and help gay people. I have said many times here that homosexual acts cannot be looked at as a special kind of bad compared to the sins we commit. Indeed, with the exception of one or two people who have probably been too harsh in their tone, I defy you to find anti-gay contempt showing up in our discussions about homosexuality.

Has Brendan Eich ever stated his views in an unbecoming way that would justify showing him the door? That would be a different matter. As it is, my understanding is that he had pledged to uphold Mozilla's policies, and there were no indications of his doing otherwise.

If there's been a time when Eich has publicly said, "God hates fags", then I'll accept your comparison to Westboro.

Here's an analogy I'd make: Gina, Rolley, Lee, Jason, and I are the board of directors for a secular corporation. We learn that the guy we've just hired as an executive is a supporter of abortion rights and has contributed money to the cause. I feel safe in saying that not one of us would even entertain the idea of terminating him.
Your request for consistency is a fair and understandable one (if not always easy to fulfill on a website where there are multiple writers and multiple points of view!). But please show me the post or article where anyone here said that someone should be fired from his or her job simply for making a donation to a cause. I may be mistaken -- and I'm counting on you to show me if I am :-) -- but I honestly cannot remember such an occurrence.
Gina, feel free to change "KKK" to "Westboro Baptist Church", if it helps the analogy. Or to any other similarly odious group that supports changing the laws, not breaking them, as some of the more diplomatic KKK groups now do. I don't think it makes much of a difference. (I mean, honestly, how would you feel if this guy had donated to a KKK group that stayed within the bounds of the law?)

Here's the point: Do you think that figureheads for public companies should be able to say whatever they want, without any fear of being fired or chastised?

I don't. I think that they're free to say whatever they want, and we're free to criticize them for it, or to not buy their products. Or if you're their employer and this will compromise their ability to do their job, you're certainly free to fire them.

But my problem here is the hypocrisy from the Christian Right. You have articles here at the Breakpoint that support the Boy Scouts banning gay kids from their ranks, or that pushed against building the 9/11 Mosque, but when a public figure is fired from a public company for supporting Prop 8, suddenly "freedom" is at stake.

I'm just asking that you each be consistent. Decide for yourself whether you support boycotting or blacklisting, or if you don't. But be consistent in that belief.
And most of all, don't turn it into a persecution complex when it's applied against you, when you've done the same to others in the past.
Ben, it's worth noting that the KKK and neo-Nazis advocate violence against those they oppose. The Prop. 8 movement does not. That alone, I think, torpedoes the analogy.
Kevin V:
Yeah, I said elsewhere that if you want to blame anyone for this fiasco, blame the board of directors at Mozilla.

Kevin P:
If we're enforcing conformity of thought or conscience by threat from government, that's a step towards fascism, yes. (Of course "fascism" entails more than just Thought Police, since you'll find the TP in many different forms of dictatorship, and it's worthwhile to distinguish between, say, fascism and communism.. but enough about semantics. The Thought Police would be a step towards something bad, surely).

That's not what we see here, though. What we see here is economic enforcement (boycotts) and social enforcement (ostracizing). We can certainly debate about how bad these are, but I'd say there's no question that they're a lot *less* bad than the government stepping in and banning free speech.

And as to calling it "fascism", the point remains that these forms of enforcement are quite often used by the Church. Heck, Paul commanded the church at Corinth to expel those who willfully sinned from the church, and that's just another form of social enforcement. Personally, I can certainly respect that families, communities, and businesses need ways to enforce their social, religious, or economic norms… though where we draw the line is a bit tricky (e.g., allowing segregation of schools or not).

To everyone:
Before we make this about social "fascism", or about the freedom to say whatever we want without repercussions, you might ask yourself if you'd feel differently if the contributions hadn't been to Prop 8, but to the KKK or a neo-Nazi party. Would you be okay with Mozilla firing the CEO in that case? (keeping in mind that the CEO is an extremely public role, as a figurehead for the company).

Yes? If so, then maybe it's not really about freedom, for you. *Maybe*, just maybe, this is actually about where you stand on a particular trending socio-political issue - teh gays - and you're not really being consistent in whether you support "free" speech.

And that's my main point. Many Christians are quite fine with blacklisting or boycotting behavior when it's to support a conservative cause, but they get up in arms about "freedom" and "fascism" when it swings the other way. But if you only support a person's freedom to say things you agree with, then you don't really support freedom. You support conformity.

Redhead Rev:
'Whatever happened to the days when Americans said, "I may disagree with what you're saying, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it?"'

To be honest, I think this was never a particularly popular sentiment in America, and it was originally spoken by a Frenchman (Voltaire).

How long ago was it that we had a "Committee on Un-American Activities", to investigate those suspected of having certain unpopular and dangerous beliefs? And more recently, I certainly remember people arguing that Muslims should not be allowed to build a mosque near the ruins of the Twin Towers. (Notably not just arguing that it was *untactful* for them to build there, but that we should use the force of law to stop them). Go back through history, and you can find countless more examples, from both Left and Right.

As a country, we're just not that great at disagreeing agreeably.
mozilla flameout
On hearing the news of Mozilla's intolerance, I spent the better part of an afternoon exporting my bookmarks and recovering my passwords; then I uninstalled all mozilla related software from my PC and sent mozilla this message: Since the mozilla leadership has decided to bow to the pressures of political correctness; in effect sanctioning a homosexual political agenda, while encouraging the suppression and intimidation of any expression of points of view at odds with that agenda; I am therefore removing from my PC any and all mozilla products, and will no longer use them. I will also tell others of my decision and urge them to do the same. Respect of other's right to have and express differing viewpoints is the bedrock of the American way; however much I disagree with the practice of homosexuality, I do not seek to prohibit anyone from the public discourse, nor do I care what consenting adults do among themselves - but when a prominent business makes a public example of an employee, promoting a climate of fear and intimidation, in the furtherance of something so obnoxious as the idea that everyone must accept and condone a concept that is profoundly offensive to the moral sensibility of a Christian society, then you (mozilla) have broken faith with the patience, toleration and forbearance of that society, and no longer deserve our patronage and respect.
Mozilla is out!
Whatever happened to the days when Americans said, "I may disagree with what you're saying, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it?" It's a sad day for America when the thought police of any stripe can demand the resignation of anyone and be successful. No longer going to use Mozilla.
It is perhaps worth noting that while Mozilla, OKCupid, and other actors in this mess are non-government, the whole issue started because of a government requirement that all donors to organizations supporting ballot initiatives be identified. Eich isn't the only person harassed because of supporting Prop 8; there were a number of cases reported at the time of people forced to leave their jobs, picketed at home, etc., because they had the temerity to provide financial assistance.

Of course, there was a legitimate reason for the reporting requirements; knowing who's bankrolling a proposal, or a politician, can help voters understand more about what the intentions are. (If you know that a candidate is getting 90% of his money from plaintiff's lawyers, you probably have a good idea where he stands on tort reform, even if he doesn't put information about it on his web site.) But when the disclosure rules were put in place, we didn't have the personal nastiness and Internet vigilantism that are infecting politics these days. I'm not sure what the best solution is, but I'm distressed that both sides are refusing to deal with the legitimate concerns of the other.

The NAACP famously was protected from having to reveal its membership list during the hottest days of Jim Crow, for fear of intimidation and retribution. If they had been putting money into a fund for political purposes, under current rules they wouldn't be protected. Does that advance freedom or hinder it?
I love seeing you comment at this site, Ben, for the rather selfish reason that as I make my own comments I usually hear in my head a voice saying "Lee, that's complete balderdash." Your presence, even if only periodically experienced, confirms that the voice is not a pure hallucination. ;-)

FYI, Firefox was originally going to be named Firebird (along with Thunderbird, Sunbird, etc.), as a reference to the mythical Phoenix, since Mozilla arose from the ashes of Netscape. I hope that today Brendan Eich is working on yet another new venture.
To follow up on Kevin's comment, people seem to think this current form of oppression is okay because not all of it (though certainly some) is coming from the government. Is de facto oppression much better than de jure? Someone pointed out recently that regardless of the fact that the First Amendment applies to the government's relationship with the people, there is no free speech for all if expressing certain out-of-vogue viewpoints can result in the ruination of one's career and life.

Ben, I have mixed feelings about the use of boycotts, but I have no respect for a company that knuckles under to them for the wrong reasons. The Duck Dynasty fiasco is a good example. First, A&E canned the guy because they feared backlash over what he said. Then, they did a 180 because of the reaction from the other side. For crying out loud, show some backbone and principles. It's hard to know what these companies actually stand for. I wonder if Mozilla really does believe in punishing its employees for their beliefs, or if this is just another example of lacking spine.
I don't consider it hyperbole
When the power of the State is being used to compel citizens either to conform to certain opinions and actions or to face financial threat (and prison, presumably, if the fines are not paid), then this is oppressive. Yes, in this instance it was a private corporation, not the government, but there are increasing instances of business owners being compelled under threat to violate their consciences.

Enforcing comformity of thought, conscience and action by threat and the action of the goverment-- this is not some degree of fascism?
LQ: "Well, if the most excellent Ben W is still reading this blog, he'll probably get a chuckle out of the fact that my only choice to replace Mozilla Thunderbird is an email client named "Evolution" (which I'm now using)."

Actually, my giggles are over some almost-sympathy for Mozilla. First, they were boycotted by gay-marriage supporters, and now by gay-marriage opposers. In both cases, people are going to be switching from Firefox to other browsers, and you know that once people switch, they don't tend to switch back so readily. So Mozilla just can't win here, no matter what they do. =p

Regarding the "blacklist", I can't tell you how many times growing up I heard that we shouldn't watch Disney movies, or that we should boycott businesses who say "happy holidays" at Christmas, or whatever other stuff. Is boycotting only okay when conservatives Christians do it, and not when liberals do it? Or maybe it was fine up until it actually resulted in some change, like Eich getting fired?

I don't get it. Personally, I'm fine with anyone boycotting a business they don't like, but we shouldn't act like it's righteous when we do it, but "blacklisting" when the opposing side does it.

PS. On "fascism": Oh, please, spare us the hyperbole. Losing your job as CEO of a very public company is not remotely related to living in a nationalistic, conservative police state, other than that these are both things you don't like.
It's about as accurate as crying "communist!" when someone suggests you carpool.
On the other hand we have a problem. Freedom of Assembly requires freedom to set conditions of membership; imagine a union forced to accept a Pinkerton mole.

If we protest someone else's Freedom of Assembly our own might be in danger. What if someone weighs in on the demand that preachers not be heretics?
Regarding democracies arising from tyrannies, thank you, Kelvin - that's just what I was hoping for. I'm much more familiar with the bloodier transitions. But even if the Eich firing is simply a sign of a decline into American fascism, it would still be possible to recover from it without requiring our participation in armed battles from within or without. Of course, nothing is impossible with God - but it's nice to see previous examples, and to remember.

Regarding changing browsers, you're right that it isn't really taking a stance for freedom of expression. It's more about me not continuing to get upset when I see that logo on my laptop or phone. But if a lot of people switch, it will have a noticeable impact. It turns out that when you use a browser to visit a website - such as, say, - your browser identifies itself to the site's web server. That data is stored by at least some websites to permit developers to know which platforms are the most popular, and therefore which ones they should use when testing new software releases. And it's collected by more than just Google; lots of web pages include code that permits the stats to be gathered worldwide:

So if many people simply stop using Firefox (no need to uninstall), those who care will know. And Mozilla will be affected if its popularity steeply declines; I'm old enough and geeky enough to remember actually using Netscape Navigator:

And not only Google but prettymuch all the e-commerce websites use data mining to target their consumer messaging. That's really nothing new; I think tracking consumer preferences in some form dates back at least 50 years if not a lot longer. And it may seem creepy, or it may mean that you don't get bombarded with ads for products you'll never buy - making it a good thing. Right now the breakpoint site is showing me popups for "MORE RECOMMENDED READING". I'd be grateful if such popups alerted me whenever you or one of my other favorite commenters posted. But I may also go get a popup-and-ad blocker plugin for Chromium.

Plus, most open source software groups are not only exceedingly gay-friendly but many are openly socialist and/or communist, as well as largely and militantly atheist. To be a Christian in such an environment, much less a conservative Republican and a Young Earth Creationist, is to be mercilessly mocked and ridiculed - as I have been since the mid-1980s. That comes with the territory; so far it hasn't cost me my job as it did Mr. Eich, but I won't be surprised if someday it does. ("TAH!!" he shouted triumphantly, pumping his fist.)
Mozilla does make money from our usage. For example, according to Wikipedia, 85 percent of its $66.8 million revenue in 2006 came from "assigning [Google] as the browser's default search engine, and for click-throughs on ads placed on the ensuing search results pages."
It's not clear to me that moving from Firefox to Chrome is taking a stand for freedom of expression. #1, one reason Eich was forced out was concern that Google is so stridently gay-friendly that it might not renew its agreement with Mozilla to pay big bucks to be the default home page/search engine for Firefox. #2, Google is famous for recording everything everyone does and using it to hone their advertising. Remember the adage: If it's free, you're not the customer, you're the product.

Besides, I'm not sure what it accomplishes to switch to another browser. You're not reducing their income, since the browser is free (in fact, you're marginally reducing their costs, since you don't make demands on their servers to download updates). I certainly wouldn't be likely to contribute either time or money, but it's not like I was planning to do that previously. It seems to me like a boycott particularly in this case is just an exercise in self-congratulations for maintaining one's purity. Maybe I'm being too dismissive of the symbolism.
Total: 38 << Previous Page     Next Page >>