Might as well bring this trilogy to a close.
Mozilla’s CEO has stepped down. And the Internet erupted. I held my tongue today. But I watched a lot of impassioned discussions break out among the social networks I frequent. And I’m sad. I’m sad because I feel like I’m sitting on a side that bullied a man into leaving a job.
I’m sad at how this all played out. It feels an awful lot like a witch hunt. The HTMLynch Mobs gathered with their TorchPresses. The words have flowed today and the stories have been fast and furious. I’ve watched debates take place on Twitter and App.net.
I saw a lot of anger today. A lot of rage in my tiny corner of the Internet.
Justifiably. This is an issue that riles everyone up. This is an issue of discrimination and the results of such are not pretty. But this also became an issue of bullying. And an issue of ganging up on one person. That in the end, is inconsequential. What really changed today?
Did we win anything? Are we more tolerant as a people? Did we show that we can come together and work through our differences? No. We just yelled and screamed until we got our way. Did the ends justify the means?
It may be a win. But it’s not a pretty win. How is this any better than others losing their job for their views? We should not be out for blood. We’re not trying to make the whole world blind.
Are we any better for bullying a man who gave a small amount of money to a cause four years ago? He has not publicly spoken out against it. He has not made it an issue. He has not enacted policies to forbid it. He is coming out of this whole situation looking like the bigger man. He gave $1,000 to a cause where over over $83 million was donated.
Why are we not turning our pitchforks and torches towards the IRS who leaked the information? If they’re leaking information the no one’s donations are safe. No one’s actions are safe. Would you feel comfortable with everyone knowing who you gave money to last year? What about 5 years ago? How about 10 or 20?
Update: “California requires disclosure for donations over $100 in any ballot measure, and makes them publicly available.”
I did not know that and had not seen that mentioned.
Turn this situation on its head…
Take this headline.
Mozilla CEO resigns amid controversy over donation to anti-gay marriage proposition
Now let’s pretend it read differently.
Mozilla CEO resigns amid controversy over donation to gay marriage proposition
How does that strike you? Would a CEO stepping down after supporting gay marriage make you just as angry? Is that a win? Or a loss? Or a man losing his job because he had an opinion a vocal minority didn’t agree with? This doesn’t feel like winning. It just feels mean.
Patrick Rhone said:
I agree with him. We should be working to come together despite our differences. Not yelling at those who don’t share them.
This wasn’t justice. This was revenge. And that does nothing to aid either side. We are not working to be closer and to have our side heard. We’re using the same tactics as those who wish to keep things as they are.
The Verge has a good post on this whole mess. Mozilla is a company in turmoil. Their board members were already planning to leave. Eich wasn’t even sure he wanted this job. And this issue originally surfaced in 2012.
For a man who talked of his wish for inclusiveness, he wasn’t given any. One of the people who originally started this whole thing writes of the sad “victory” and about not ever wanting it to become this big.
If that was the case, when why make a public statement? Why not talk to your new CEO privately? Why not take to email? Pick up the phone? Schedule a meeting. Sure, CEOs are busy and not necessarily in the same building as you. But there are ways this could have gone down very differently.
So you raised an issue publicly. Got a man fired for his beliefs. And now you can go back to your life without consequences? That’s not inclusiveness. That’s not equality. That’s not a victory. Extremism doesn’t end well for anyone.