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Cartman's impersonation of Brendan Eich.
I might feel pretty burnt around about now. The pseudo-libertarian rightwing nonsense people are preaching about Brendan Eich is sending me over the edge.  

Yes, Brendan Eich invented Java and without it we’d have nothing to click on. Yes, he co-founded Mozilla, known for Firefox, an internet browser (with a shrinking market share.)  

After two weeks as CEO of Mozilla, he flounced, taking all of the colorful marbles up in his head with him. Good luck, Mozilla.

Behind him, he left a toxic and corrosive cloud that poisoned the national discourse. Before the screen door even slammed on his way out, the pseudo-libertarian rightwing conjobbers were howling about an aggressive homofascist agenda. If it got Brendan Eich, who would the next victim be?

What a load of horseshit!

This is a two-year old controversy over a political donation made six years ago.  As this article from the LA Times shows, Brendan Eich’s contribution to the Anti-Marriage Equality initiative, Prop 8, blew up in the media in 2012. He survived it then and he never even bothered to make a public statement about it. As CEO, his position was in no more jeopardy now than it was two years ago. Instead of looking at the issues, some self-avowed liberals and progressives carelessly adopted a red herring promoted by rightwing regressives.


If the intense focus and criticism of Brendan Eich's Prop 8 donation didn't force him out of Mozilla two years ago, why would it now? From the LA Times piece linked above:
"The record of the donation has been available since at least 2008, but it was rediscovered by the Twittersphere last month and the information -- and outrage -- has continued to spread, with more than 5,000 people tweeting about Eich's contribution Tuesday."
Examples of the messages tweeted are linked to the LA Times article. Here are some examples:
  • Brendan Eich, inventor of JavaScript and discriminating homophobe.
  • Apparently, Brendan Eich, father of JavaScript, isn’t as versatile as his language. He donated $1000 in support of a gay marriage ban.
  • truthy || falsy values – like JS, Brendan Eich  also has issues with equality
  • The creator of JavaScript, Brendan Eich, paid money to keep people like me from getting married.
  • Brendan Eich, While I admire your contributions to the web community, yours actions against humanity are deplorable. UNFOLLOW.
  • Not cool brendaneich  not cool at all
  • Sad to see that Brendan Eich donated $1,000 to support Prop 8 in California.
  • another good reason to support Dart over JavaScript: JS creator Brendan Eich put $1000 towards gay marriage ban
  • I’m so used to awesome programmers being awesome people too. Really disappointed that Brendan Eich bucked the trend.
  • Seems like Brendan Eich is for an open web, not an open society.
  • Oh, Brendan Eich is a bigot.

I expect the rabid rightwing to ignore Mozilla’s statement and Brendan Eich’s statement about the reason for his leaving. Rightwing regressives have a new and very specific ideology to push with regard to gay people:

Gays demand tolerance yet are the most intolerant of all.  
This bit of inside-out upside-down logic opens the door for discrimination. It’s the basis for laws like the one that was recently vetoed by the Governor of Arizona. It starts with a claim that bigots are being victimized.  

A message that popped up on my phone a few days ago set me off:

Gays are doing to Brendan Eich what Whites did to Blacks in the 1960s.
Here's my reply:
Show me a link to any news that he was firebombed, dogs were let loose and high-pressure hoses were opened on him, or he was left hanging from a tree.
As if the plague of rightwing bigots isn't bad enough, there are some self-avowed liberals and progressives who get conned into thinking that there’s some noble principle in defending Brendan Eich.  
He’s being persecuted for what he thinks/believes.
Is “Equal Rights For All” hard to understand? It's a founding ideal of our republic. Does bigotry supersede “Equal Rights For All?” Or is it the other way around?

Brendan Eich supported an unconstitutional and illegal initiative. It was ruled so in US District Court. The US Supreme Court issued a historic decision on June 26, 2013, rejecting an appeal with further instruction that affirmed the district court’s decision.

Should liberals and progressives have any sympathy for this individual’s right to his opinion?  Americans think and believe what they like but some want to impose their particular beliefs and opinions on others leading to conflict.

Brendan Eich's freedom to believe what he likes was never in jeopardy. That's a red herring. He certainly has no right to expect anyone to agree with him or endorse his views, considering the courts' opinions on the matter. And he certainly has no right to expect his fellow citizens to remain silent about his beliefs. Anyone who has difficulty with the free-exchange of ideas isn't cut out for democracy. Note: Free-exchange means all voices are heard. It can get pretty rough but its suits most Americans. A thick skin and a level head are good accessories.

Should liberals and progressives defend Brendan Eich’s right to donate $1,000 to an initiative that would have denied a universal human right to a minority?

Absolutely not! There’s an issue here that somehow got lost. It’s about the advantage of privilege and class to access the political system and influence it with money. How could anyone miss that especially with the other Supreme Court decision from June 26, 2013, Windsor v United States? The case originated from a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over a $363,053 tax liability incurred because Edith Windsor’s marriage wasn't recognized.

As a privileged white man earning $700,000 a year, Brendan Eich could easily afford a $1,000 contribution to keep the obvious financial advantages of marriage from people like Edith Windsor and also from many others who are denied those financial advantages and can’t afford a $1,000 political donation.

Where is social justice?

Here was a golden opportunity for liberals and progressives to wave the banner on an important issue. But some with the loudest voices distracted attention from social justice issues to promote the Heritage Foundation's red herring instead.

I have to wonder if another demographic minority instead of gay people was the object of such bigotry and hate whether the rightwing could have claimed persecution.

Was Brendan Eich forced out by mob rule? Is his story a real life version of “Lord of the Flies.” Fuck no!  

The US District Court and US Supreme Court are on the side of people who spoke up about Brendan Eich’s bigotry. That’s not a mob. They had the rule of law on their side and every right to their opinion. He turned and ran. He flounced. A real leader doesn't do that. An 8 year-old boy named Cartman does. The situation could have been handled differently with communication, understanding, and sincerity.

But the rightwing wouldn't have been able to score any points off that.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If I WERE gay, and I am, I would take tremendous (10+ / 0-)

    exception to the fact that rich, mostly white, mostly male SOBs have oppressed me, and my kind, since the fall of the Roman Empire.

    Note to the people of Supreme Privilege: we have rights, too. That goes for Eich, it goes for the vomitous George Will who thinks he and his fellow Ivy League WASPs are being oppressed by the Purple Mafia, and it goes for any other good-ol'-boy Country Club conservative fuck who is all a-twitter because he doesn't know where the next subhuman class for him to oppress, ridicule, and scapegoat is coming from and secretly suspects that that next class is he himself.

    Thanks for being an ally for civil rights for all people. Even Country Club conservative fucks. Because God loves them, too. ;)

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 02:22:50 PM PDT

    •  Ironically, since you are, the correct (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark Lippman

      phrase is, "If I was gay . . ."

      It's only "If I were . . ." if you are not.

      Ethical problem: if you had a time machine, would you go back and kill Cheney before he took office?

      by Fiddler On A Hot Tin Roof on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 02:33:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Conditional takes the subjunctive. (3+ / 0-)

        It's a shame you pressed this, I was trying, in the most subtle way possible, to correct the diarist's grammar.

        No worries, but you just totally crapped on that. There is NO case in which If I....and "was" is proper grammar. NONE.

        Did no one go to 9th grade?  

        Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

        by commonmass on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 02:46:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I grew up in the Bronx and in the local idiom (3+ / 0-)

          was is preferred.

          There is no existence without doubt.

          by Mark Lippman on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 03:07:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Kudos (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass, Mark Lippman

              and Thank You. " If my friends were alive (plural)," was singular makes perfect sense to me as an Angelino  (Los Angeles) being that we are sister cities to NY AND Boston, what's between, Who knows? Alls I know :) is Bill De Blasio is Mayor and WE have a lot of catching up to do. No NY, Boston, pun please :)

            March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

            by 3rock on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 04:29:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I studied English in the ninth grade. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass

          You are incorrect as this discussion demonstrates.

          The relevant quote from an expert on the subject:

          One sample sentence in this post has continued to bug me: “If I was to train as a carpenter, I would get to wear safety goggles.” Should the verb be was or were? Theodore M. Bernstein’s The Careful Writer: A Modern Guide to English Usage (1965) supports the indicative was in such sentences:
          Difficulties do arise, however, from making the unwarranted assumption that if always introduces a condition that is contrary to fact and thus should always be followed by a subjunctive. If may introduce clauses of supposition or concession, as well as conditions that are not true or are hypothetical, and in such clauses the verb is usually in the indicative, not the subjunctive, mood.
          A sample sentence from The Careful Writer: “The Egyptian declared that if there was more trouble the U.A.R. would ‘exterminate Israel.’”

          More recently, the American Heritage Book of English Usage (1996) also supports was:
          Remember, just because the modal verb would appears in the main clause, this doesn’t mean that the verb in the if-clause must be in the subjunctive if the content of that clause is not presupposed to be false: If I was (not were) to accept their offer — which I’m still considering — I would have to start the new job on May 2.

          To get even more pedantic, you are gay presently, and are discussing your present state, so the discussion should really be whether to use "If I am . . ." or "If I be . . ."  The first is correct for you.  Presumably, the latter is the correct for the diarist.

          Don't worry.  You did better in ninth grade English than most.

          Ethical problem: if you had a time machine, would you go back and kill Cheney before he took office?

          by Fiddler On A Hot Tin Roof on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 03:11:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  If you were the Fiddler on a Roof, you'd be an (2+ / 0-)

        authority to settle this. But since you're the Fiddler on a Hot Tin Roof, all bets are off. When in doubt, I go with whatever sounds right. I figure no one will notice because it probably sounds right to them, too. English isn't easy.

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 02:58:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I work with a few of these (4+ / 0-)

      rightwingers and they love to debate with me. Luckily we're at different locations but they have a habit of texting at random times. I had to turn off the phone over the weekend.

      Somehow this morphs into a condemnation of the entire left because we're all fascists. That's them projecting their own traits. It's like confession and they don't even realize they're doing it.

      There is no existence without doubt.

      by Mark Lippman on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 02:42:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It really is projecting, Mark, and on a grand (4+ / 0-)

        scale. I remember, years ago, reading David Brock's Blinded By the Right about his time in "movement" conservatism and his eventual exodus from it. He wrote at great length in that sordid confessional memoir that conservatives cannot imagine that their opposition does not think and do exactly like them, except at the opposite end of the political spectrum.

        The GOP figures, for instance, that Obama is a NaziSocialistCommunist dictator-wannabe, because that's how theyroll. They cannot wrap their heads around the fact that Democrats, for the most part, don't think like that and are not motivated by what motivates the GOP.

        Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

        by commonmass on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 03:00:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Indeed (8+ / 0-)
    What a load of horseshit!
    It is utter horseshit that Brendan Eich was "bullied." He took an action. He was called out on it. He became a person his organization could no longer afford to have as its head. Tough break but that's the way it is.

    There really are not two legitimate sides in the debate. Either one is in favor of equality or one is not. Stating it in those terms, why should Eich's personal position garner him any sympathy whatsoever? After all, it's not as though the fundamental right to marry the partner of one's choice is some sort of recent invention. It was the law of the land in 2008. It is even more so now. The major difference is that the courts have finally come to a better understanding of what "partner of one's choice" really means. I don't see where there's any difference between providing financial support to a law which aims to deny marriage equality and providing financial support for a law which seeks to legalize racial discrimination  (which was in fact the subject of a California ballot measure in the 1960's). Eich is entitled to his views. He's entitled to give money to organizations that agree with him; he's entitled to proclaim those views on any forum he wishes to use. He isn't entitled to a pass for having those views.

    •  It reminds me of the speech (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfbob, 3rock, skrekk

      Ron Paul gave in Congress when the House marked the 40th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He said he would have voted against it because it infringed on the rights of property owners.

      What a load of horseshit!

      There is no existence without doubt.

      by Mark Lippman on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 03:15:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The absurd thing is... (7+ / 0-)

    that they are are arguing that employers, who have a legal obligation not to discriminate, should have the "right" to fire a gay person simply for being gay. But when consumers and the ever sacred free market, both of which have no obligation to consume a given product, pressure a business over a hiring choice...that's the end of the world. The former is something we've long recognized can't be allowed to happen, the latter is the market working exactly as it was designed to work. Their idea of "tolerance" is an embrace of intolerance.

  •  I am gay, and... (4+ / 0-)

    ...I'm encouraged.

    I've been hearing all manner of things from them for the 40 years since I came out, and these days, the more the anti-LGBT crowd scrounges for memes, coming up with only the most desperate ones, the more clear it is to me that they pretty much realize - as an old phrase has it - it's all over but the shouting.

    I don't expect the hardest-core among them ever to wave the flag of surrender, but as with the racists of my youthful years, their narratives appeal now only to those, as Wm. F. Buckley put it, standing thwart history yelling "Stop," and earn them more opprobrium than admiration.

    Anyway, regressives are quick enough to hound someone from a position (think Van Jones or Shirley Sherrod) for past actions, and they'll as quickly turn their ire against those in their own party (think Republican primaries) for ideological impurity, so their howls of protest are accompanied by the most crocodilian of tears.      

  •  He is a terrorist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Lippman, 3rock, skrekk

    I do not understand why terrorists against LGBT's are being pitied

  •  I have been juxtaposing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Lippman, skrekk

    Brendan Eich with Paula Deen as two people who have experienced economic loss as a result of public reaction to their stands on civil rights issues. I have been trying to get the born again libertarians who are promoting Eich as a victim of progressive bullies to tell me if they view Deen in the same light. I have yet to get one of them to answer the question.

    I am quite clear that their view of gay rights is something that people can be opposed to without qualify as a person with ethical issues. As a political issue it is sort of in there with a bond election for the local school district. I am not entirely sure what this says about their views on racism. However, it does give me a pretty clear indication that they are not dealing from the top of the deck.

    •  I'm a straight guy in a mixed-race marriage and (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Lyon, StevenWells, WakeUpNeo

      have a gay kid.   To me the issues are not only identical, but the bigots tend to be the very same people in the same regions of the country, belonging to the very same religious cults which vehemently opposed mixed-race marriage.

    •  Here's what I learned about that (0+ / 0-)

      from watching the Arizona legislature.

      Tea party bolsheviks brought a bill to protect their religious beliefs. The Democrats tried debate tactics to make the regressives define a need for the law they introduced.

      It took hours of probing and proposing amendments to determine how the bill's sponsors intended to use this law.

      The rightwingers in AZ were careful to avoid racist statements and they'd never say  Paula Deen was bullied.

      Their position was that race is a protected class under federal law so that black people can't be excluded from the lunch counter, for example.

      However, there's no such protection under federal law for gays, so the lunch counter owner could still exclude them. The exclusion would be justified as necessary to protect the lunch counter owner's religious freedom. That's how they reverse the bigotry to make the bigots into victims.

      It's not applicable with race only because federal law prevents it.

      They were asked about laws that protect gays from discrimination in localities like the city of Phoenix. Their position was that state law supersedes local.

      They're not trying to overturn all civil rights legislation at once. They're very clever and patient and quite content to chip, chip, chip away wherever they can find a weakness they can exploit.

      It's my goal to frustrate them.

      There is no existence without doubt.

      by Mark Lippman on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 05:25:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The whole idea of having to actually deal with (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark Lippman

        gay rights that has acquired substantial public support and is beginning to get legal support is something they really don't yet believe that they have to take seriously. I think that is why Eich set off so many shock waves. I was participating in the black civil rights movement in the deep south in the early 60s. I saw the same incredulity that people expected them to change anything back then.

        The battles over the religious rights laws are getting very shifty and interesting. There are a number of different legal fictions that are being concocted.  

        •  What surprises me is the continuation of attitudes (0+ / 0-)

          that became obsolete long ago. The stereotypical bigot is the Southern redneck, uneducated, and low-income.

          It makes Brandon Eich hard to understand. His work relied on logical statements and evaluations but he must follow some other standard for the way he lives his life. If he can work through the series of functions that make Java perform, why can't he work through his own processes to figure out if they make sense with regard to gay people.  If so many ordinary people have figured out that there's no basis for continuing a destructive social custom, why can't he?

          He's used to travelling all over the world and being around different kinds of people. But he must have a bias that leads him to observe only what confirms it.

          There is no existence without doubt.

          by Mark Lippman on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 06:56:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Having grown up in the south (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            apimomfan2

            and still having relatives there it doesn't surprise me. My relatives are the rednecks in pickup trucks. They are genteel bigots. That entire culture has made the minimally necessary adaptations. It has not changed in any fundamental sense.

  •  I do: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, Mark Lippman, LuvSet
    I might feel pretty burnt around about now.
    But also refreshed having read this diary. Thanks for your support.

    I don't mind if you're straight. Just don't flaunt it in public.

    by Chrislove on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 05:47:37 PM PDT

  •  pity for millionaires (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Lippman

    I don't have much. It seems to me if we're going to wig out over injustice, a millionaire getting or keeping a high profile job (he's not going to be out of work; he's not going to be poor) should be way waaaay down on our list of things to get excited about.

    I don't hit the barricades over women CEOs who make less than their male counterparts - and I could see the principle of objecting to that - unlike protesting on behalf of poor Mr Eich. Since when is consequenceless political engagement the order of the day? Since it was rich people's political engagement!

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