Hurrah For Tolerance - Mozilla CEO Resigns

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  1. GA Anderson profile image89
    GA Andersonposted 10 years ago

    Liberal and progressive minded people want tolerance for non-mainstream views.

    Liberal and progressive minded people don't want to be discriminated against for being different.

    Liberal and progressive minded people support inclusiveness - like the citizens of the LGBT community.

    But apparently they only do these things if you agree with them. It is said that tolerance is a virtue. Tolerance is what liberal and progressive minded people have been demanding.

    So why don't they practice what they preach?

    The impetus for this thread is the story about Mozilla's CEO being forced to resign because he donated to California's anti-gay marriage Prop. 8 - back in 2008.

    Here's the Google list - pick your flavor to get a version of the story:
    Mozilla/FireFox CEO Resigns

    One view:
    CEO was forced out by Mozilla Board bowing to pressure from the firestorm of protests from LGBT community and supporters.

    Another view:
    Mozilla itself relies on a diverse community of volunteers - it is not a for-profit Microsoft or Google. The community of volunteers it relies on are very much as the above described liberals, and the CEO's views would divide and harm Mozilla's community of volunteers and their support of Mozilla's efforts.

    After perusing about a dozen news stories on this, from a wide range of perspectives, a few things seem obvious, regardless of the bias of whatever spin was spun by any of the writers of the news stories:

    1) Yes, it definitely was the uproar from the LGBT community and its supporters that caused the CEO to be forced out, (not buying the "He resigned" rubbish).

    2) Yes, Mozilla's board was; a) cowed, b)wrong in picking this CEO in the first place - this controversy started in 2012!

    3) Yes, those screaming loudest for tolerance are appearing in too many public arenas to be more intolerant than those they crucify.

    The problem, for me; the screamers called for a boycott of Mozilla's FireFox browser for the sin of appointing such a hater as CEO. (at the time of the CEO's offensive donation - Obama was against gay marriage too) - how intolerant is that?

    But now, I disagree with Mozilla's actions, and am pissed at their first, dumb, and then, spineless, behavior.

    So, as an avid and appreciative FireFox user, should I boycott FireFox to match the actions of the intolerant illiberal and progressive thinkers?

    Hmm...Been hearing a lot of good about Google's Chrome...


    1. profile image0
      mbuggiehposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      The bottom line is that several Mozilla user groups were aggressively lobbying the company to get rid of him and encouraging user boycotts---because of a long and problematic history of "Christian" political activism.

      Lobbying works.  Boycotting works.

      What we should take from this is simple: There are enough Mozilla users who support gay rights and same-sex marriage and enough Mozilla users who support same-sex marriage who are serious enough in their support to abandon Mozilla, that the company determined that letting this guy go (letting him resign) was a sound business decision.

      1. GA Anderson profile image89
        GA Andersonposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Yup, I agree with all that. But, there is a but...

        This fellow's actions and opinion appeared to be closely kept. He apparently worked hard to keep his personal views separate from his interactions with these groups. Further, there is admission from some of the group that he actively worked to accommodate their views in the company's philosophies and actions.

        His only "sin" was a monetary donation - not of corrupting proportions, and a different life view.

        Gee whiz, isn't that what the LGBT wants, tolerance and acceptance of a different life view?

        Even agreeing with your point(s) does not alter my opinion that this example paints a picture of hypocritical intolerance.


        1. profile image0
          mbuggiehposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          No actually, the LGBT community does not want tolerance or acceptance of a "different view of life".

          We have no "different view of life" at all. We see life just like everyone else sees life.

          1. GA Anderson profile image89
            GA Andersonposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            Well, I guess that is that then. The rest of the world is seeing things wrong, and you are right.

            Your lifestyle is not different from anyone else's - and we are mistaken for thinking it is... right?

            Geez Louise....


            1. profile image0
              mbuggiehposted 10 years agoin reply to this

              I do not have a "lifestyle". I have a life.

              You are very mistaken if you think that the lives of GLBT people are different from those of heterosexuals. Very mistaken and uninformed.

              And, I guess, you have not been listening when we have spoken; when we have said we are just like you (heterosexuals) and want the same things you want (marriage, family, and mostly to be left alone to live our lives with our families).

              1. GA Anderson profile image89
                GA Andersonposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                And you are mistaken to think that I am uninformed about this issue.

                You are mistaken that, no matter how much you wish it to be so, yours is not a different lifestyle than the majority of people.

                You are mistaken to think the I do not understand that, as people;
                "... we are just like you (heterosexuals) and want the same things you want (marriage, family, and mostly to be left alone to live our lives with our families)"

                You are mistaken to think that I do not think you should have those opportunities.

                And finally, you are mistaken if you think that was the point of my original comment.

                You are not mistaken to think that I have a different perspective.


                1. profile image0
                  mbuggiehposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                  As I said, I do not have a lifestyle and whatever life I have is no different from anyone else's life.

                  That said, it is or should be obvious that the term "lifestyle" is at the core of most anti-gay rhetoric and hate speech in the US---and like the term "homosexual" is used to denote difference as inferiority by those seeking to discriminate, control, do harm, etc.

                  So what exactly, then, is the lifestyle of majority of the people?

                  1. janesix profile image61
                    janesixposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                    What would you prefer than "homosexual"? Or just that you prefer no lable at all?

                  2. GA Anderson profile image89
                    GA Andersonposted 10 years agoin reply to this



    2. rhamson profile image69
      rhamsonposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I like your posts as they offer good slices of the American perspective in many arenas.

      The idea that politically correct issues should be distinguished by those whose involvement is at question is an interesting dilemma. On the part of the CEO who felt compelled to donate on such an incendiary issue is really remarkable. Did he not realize when being employed by such a social medium that the customers he served would not object to his actions? And did he expect a board of directors would not react to his position? Was this an innocent guffaw?  If it was an act he did, not realizing the ramifications that could incur, is he competent enough to serve in this position?
      On the other hand why is the PC community all too willing to target an individual in the private sector who clearly acted outside his workplace parameters? Is it their contention that he would target their actions by some sort of corporate browser company ban or something similar? I am sorry to sound so callous but people there is Americans overseas in harms way that require a lot more attention then whether a CEO of some corporation is against who you sleep with.

      1. profile image0
        mbuggiehposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I suspect that the age range of dedicated user groups has something to do with this. (Stress not on users, but on dedicated user groups.)

        Most are relatively young people who are not only supportive of same-sex marriage and critical of so-called "Christian" values  but---and maybe this is the most important thing, are very willing (even seeking) to try new browsers, new ways of engaging with the web.

        What I see with many of my students---college students generally 20 to 30 years old (range) is a demand that CEOs of companies share their social and political values. It is not enough in the minds of younger people for a company to make money. They want management and practice to be consistent with their social and political values.

        I strongly suspect that Mozilla WAY underestimated the importance that young people place on value-driven companies.

      2. GA Anderson profile image89
        GA Andersonposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks for the kind words. And you make a good point about the political correctness component of these types of problems.

        But just a little clarification. The CEO's actions, (the donation), occurred almost six years ago, (2008 - he was only promoted to CEO about two weeks ago, (March 2014).

        And by almost all accounts I could find, his work actions, and personal interactions with members of the LGBT community, and LGBT supporters, throughout his 15 year tenure at Mozilla, (including the six years after his donation),  were all supportive and above criticism - except for his donation that is.


  2. janesix profile image61
    janesixposted 10 years ago

    I don't see anything wrong with the boycott. I might be missing something though.

    You expect tolerance of anti-gay sentiment from gay marriage supporters? I don't get where you're going with this.

    1. profile image0
      mbuggiehposted 10 years agoin reply to this


      Why should we who support same-sex marriage endorse and support a company whose management promotes an agenda of hate and intolerance?

      1. GA Anderson profile image89
        GA Andersonposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        "...agenda of hate and intolerance."
        Oh my! Hopefully you will read my response to Janesix.

        Given the explained circumstances of the situation, your comment is a cold declaration of exaggeration and intolerance itself.

        Do you really think you can justify your characterization that this guy was an intolerant hater - merely because he holds a differing "life view?"

        Is there anything in the details explained that could possible qualify him as having " agenda of hate and intolerance...", other than that he had a different view than you?

        I don't propose that you should have to support anything you don't agree with, but I am saying that your comment reflects the hypocritical intolerance that I spoke of in the OP.

        If this fellow was a crusader against you, actively and daily lived to diminish you, and held an obvious disdain for you - then yes, I would see him as a hater too.

        But since none of the information presented paints that picture - your response is an excellent example of the problem I spoke of.


        1. profile image0
          mbuggiehposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Easy to say that someone is an intolerant hypocrite when you are not the target of the kind of hateful populist politics that this guy supported with his money and his comments---many of which he has articulated in public forums and which are on the record.

    2. GA Anderson profile image89
      GA Andersonposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Janesix, this topic is like a diamond - it has many facets that contribute to the overall image.

      Firstly, there is the "magnitude" of the offense;
      This guy has been at Mozilla, (he co-founded it), for 15 years. He has worked with these protesting groups of people all those years. He and his company have supported LGBT issues throughout the company, ie. providing healthcare to all regardless.

      His personal views stopped at the office door - he said so, and so did the LGBT folks that worked around him.

      He contributed money to a group that supported a legislative referendum almost six years ago. He did not actively crusade for or publicly work to effect the passage of the referendum -  other than a monetary donation.

      These circumstances do not make him a "hater" - merely someone with a differing opinion.

      Secondly, his donation, and personal view, was "outed" in 2012 - yet these protesting groups still worked with him. Hmm...??

      And lastly, I thought the boycott was silly and unwarranted - given the above explanation, but I did not mean to imply they should not have the choice to do it.

      Nothing this man did, from what I have found, qualifies him as a "hater" or "activist" against the LGBT community - he simply had a differing opinion that he, again apparently,  did not bring to his interactions with others.

      Given that perspective - yes, I do expect gay folks to be tolerant of his personal views.


  3. Mighty Mom profile image76
    Mighty Momposted 10 years ago

    Oy. So many layers of "ugh" associated with this.
    I agree with Janesix that boycotting a company because they are doing something you find abhorrent -- the American way.
    No problem there. I'm certain that Walmart has suffered at least one nanosecond over the years because I refuse to do business there. lol
    I tried to look up something -- anything -- about the Mozilla CEO's performance. Not easy to find anything.
    The fact of the matter is, he was hurting the Mozilla "brand" and thus the board forced him out.
    That is their prerogative.
    As to how the information came to light -- it makes my stomach hurt. I don't like it. "Gay mafia" is a good term.
    But, the information IS pubicly available on the internet.
    People scout out potentially damaging/exploitative information every day on the internet and use is to blackmail or whatever other people.
    What comes to mind for me is a lobby/movement that started with good intentions. But factions of it are out of control.
    Like ADA requirement accommodations for people with disabilities. Great idea. But there are unscrupulous lawyers out there (and activist disabled people) who spend their days looking for businesses to go after and sue. Hurting small businesses who cannot afford the renovations.
    GA Anderson -- you may be shocked at my position on this.
    I'm not comfortable at all.

    But the bigger picture for me is the irony that here the guy got nailed for what, a $1,000 contribution? And here we have donors pumping millions and millions of dark money into their pet candidates and initiatives. And they are untouchable.
    THAT makes me furious!!!

    1. GA Anderson profile image89
      GA Andersonposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I agree they had the right to boycott. Seems silly to me given the circumstances, but still, I don't protest their right to make that choice.

      It is not surprising you could not find any CEO performance information - he only had the job for 2 weeks. But his past work at the company was praised by all.

      Yes, his appointment was hurting Mozilla, I understand that - my beef with them is that they were dumb to make him CEO - they were not blind to these issues. Nor do they strike me as being naive.

      I completely agree about the wrongness of the way this information was made available.

      Good intentions... what is it about the road to hell...????

      As for your last statements - my opinion derived from past forum interactions leaves me completely unsurprised at your "shock." It is not a bad thing.


      1. profile image0
        Motown2Chitownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Years ago (and possibly still) a Christian pro-life organization produced a list of companies who have corporate sponsorship to Planned Parenthood and encouraged Christians to boycott those companies.  I have no issue with someone's choice to boycott a company based on what they choose to sponsor as a company.  I don't, however, think it's right to take business away from a company that, in general, supports your personal agenda-unless that is a personal decision, and not publicly promoted.  At the end of the day, I like coffee, so I'll drink it from Starbucks-even though I'm a Christian and their management thinks I shouldn't.  I like chicken and so I'll get a sandwich from Chick-Fil-A, even though the LGBT community thinks I shouldn't.  They provide a product, not an ideology.  Make a personal decision, but don't drag the rest of the world into it and demand that they affect the lives and careers of individuals.  Not cool.

        1. GA Anderson profile image89
          GA Andersonposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          I think yours is a very valid and reasonable perspective. But...

          I know, I know, I always have a but...

          In this particular case, I still see it as those screaming the loudest for tolerance of differing views being obviously intolerant of differing views.


          1. profile image0
            Motown2Chitownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            Me too.  I think it happens on every side.  We all justify our intolerance by talking about how intolerant everyone else is.  As a race, we are a bunch of hypocrites and intolerant folks.

  4. A Troubled Man profile image59
    A Troubled Manposted 10 years ago

    Here's what   Brendan Eich had to say on his blog when he was appointed CEO:

      " Working with LGBT communities and allies, to listen and learn what does and doesn’t make Mozilla supportive and welcoming.
        My ongoing commitment to our Community Participation Guidelines, our inclusive health benefits, our anti-discrimination policies, and the spirit that underlies all of these.
        My personal commitment to work on new initiatives to reach out to those who feel excluded or who have been marginalized in ways that makes their contributing to Mozilla and to open source difficult. More on this last item below.

    I know some will be skeptical about this, and that words alone will not change anything. I can only ask for your support to have the time to “show, not tell”; and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain."

    1. GA Anderson profile image89
      GA Andersonposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Yep, I too read that in my search for details. Doesn't sound like an intolerant hater to me.

      I would also add that several of the articles I read contained quotes from members of the LGBT community that affirmed his actions at work, and interactions with them confirmed the above statement


  5. Mighty Mom profile image76
    Mighty Momposted 10 years ago … ver-prop-8

    More food (including Girl Scout cookies!) for thought...

    1. profile image0
      mbuggiehposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      It seems that a private company decided that one its employees conducted himself in such a way in the public sector---politics, that keeping him on the payroll was not tenable.

      My guess: His contract contains very specific language about political donations of any kind. I am sure in the pre-employment vetting process that this was discussed.

      That said, we need to realize one thing: IF he was indispensable to Mozilla, he would still be on the payroll.

      He'd be going to some sort of training or "rehab" and fade back into the corporate woodwork.

    2. GA Anderson profile image89
      GA Andersonposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      What! You mean it isn't just me that sees this as an issue of intolerance - rather than an issue of gay or straight.

      Well Darn!



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