Politics & Policy

Mozilla’s Statement on the Brendan Eich Controversy, Explained

Reading between the lines of the platitudes

Here is the statement that Mozilla’s executive chairwoman, Mitchell Baker, posted last week about the “resignation” (firing?) of CEO Brendan Eich over his personal $1,000 donation in 2008 in support of California’s Proposition 8. I’ve added my own text in italics to better explain what Baker was really saying:

‘Brendan Eich Steps Down as Mozilla CEO’

Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard [and we won’t employ anyone who doesn’t conform to that standard] and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves [and we didn’t shove Brendan Eich out the door fast enough].

We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started [or fire Brendan Eich as soon as he expressed any variance from the liberal orthodoxy that is the only acceptable view of any civilized individual]. We’re sorry. We must do better.

Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO [to avoid being terminated]. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.

Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech [except when that speech disagrees with the liberal view of the world]. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech [but some speech is more equal than other speech]. And you need free speech to fight for equality [just not the wrong kind of free speech]. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard [so we took the politically correct, easy way out].

Our organizational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness [unless you disagree with our views, in which case you will not be included]. We welcome contributions from everyone [except dissenters] regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views. Mozilla supports equality for all [except for some, like Brendan Eich].

We have employees with a wide[ly narrow] diversity of views. Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public [but if you share beliefs and opinions we disagree with, you’ll be fired]. 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 [and we apologize for having ever tolerated someone like Brendan Eich, who has personal opinions we don’t like even though they had nothing to do with his qualifications as a corporate officer].

While painful, the events of the last week show exactly why we need the web. So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better [and so we can easily find out who has made political donations to causes we don’t support].

We need to put our focus back on protecting that web [and our profitability]. And doing so in a way that will make you proud to support Mozilla[’s brand of censorship].

What’s next for Mozilla’s leadership is still being discussed. We want to be open about where we are in deciding the future of the organization and will have more information next week [on what the only acceptable views are on cultural and political issues for all Mozilla employees]. However, our mission will always be to make the web more open so that humanity is stronger, more inclusive and more just: that’s what it means to protect the open web [so we can root out, bully, and expel anyone who doesn’t have the correct views].

We will emerge from this with a renewed understanding and humility — our large [but now smaller by one], global, and [non-]diverse community is what makes Mozilla special, and what will help us fulfill our mission. We are stronger with you involved.

Thank you for sticking with us [everyone except Brendan Eich].

— Hans A. von Spakovsky is a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Along with John Fund, he is the co-author of Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk (Encounter, 2012) and the upcoming Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department (Broadside, June 2014).


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