For a number of years now I have used Mozilla Firefox as my exclusive web browser. I despise Internet Explorer for its tendency to freeze and crash and Firefox has consistently been more stable. I have never liked Google Chrome in older iterations because it always seemed to stripped down. In spite of all of that I am done using Firefox. It was announced that Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, is "stepping down" after a very short tenure. In corporate speak "stepping down" is code for "being forced out". What horrible crime has he committed? Was he an embezzler? A corporate spy? Did he kill someone while driving drunk? None of the above. His crime was a contribution of $1000 made in 2008 to support passage of California's Proposition 8 which affirmed marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman, a position that has been the accepted norm for civilization for thousands of years. For this thought crime Brendan Eich is out as CEO of the company he co-founded after a couple of weeks.
What is the message here? According to Mozilla in this painfully ironic passage from their blog....
Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.
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.
We have employees with a wide diversity of views. Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public. This is meant to distinguish Mozilla from most organizations and hold us to a higher standard. But this time we failed to listen, to engage, and to be guided by our community.
In our confused world of muddled language that is supposed to be a serious statement regarding a man who co-founded this company and expressed his views in the public square. What it really means is that free speech and expression is limited to a certain set of views. Mr. Eich engaged in expressing a view on a political matter and while I don't know what his motivation was I do absolutely affirm it is protected speech, the sort of free expression enshrined in the very first amendment to the Bill of Rights. Mozilla opted to capitulate to the forces of intolerance that are dangerously close to a form of fascism.
What is going on today is a leftist version of McCarthyism. In another example of delicious irony the bogeyman of the American Left, "Tail-Gunner Joe" McCarthy, is being resurrected by the public tribunals of political correctness. While this is anything but funny you have to chuckle at the reversal. They might as well hold hearings for any potential public figure and ask "Are you now or have you ever been a supporter of traditional marriage?". Even if this came to pass you can be sure that most of the "equality" folks wouldn't even get why it is ironic.
Choosing a web browser is not like choosing other products as they are free. Whether I use Internet Explorer or Firefox or Chrome has no direct impact on my pocketbook. It is entirely a matter of preference and choice and starting now I am making a different choice. This move is driven by the intolerance of an organization that has chosen to run their CEO out of town on a rail in order to appease a small but vocal minority and preserve a perversion of "openness" and "inclusion" while at the same time engaging in the precise opposite behavior.
Let me be clear. I absolutely recognize and affirm the right of Mozilla to hire and fire as they see fit even if many of those calling for Mr. Eich's head do not. I likewise affirm my right as a consumer to use any browser I see fit and to not use a browser for any reason. I am sure that Mozilla doesn't care one way or the other but I do. If engaging in free speech is grounds for being displaced from Mozilla then I have no desire to use their product. So adios Firefox.