I railed against the boycott of Chick-Fil-A and Ender’s Game so I guess going into a lot of detail about the recent kerfuffle will seem a little redundant.
I’ll do it anyway. People are rarely smart enough to learn a lesson the first time it’s taught, and just as the same ridiculous scenario plays itself out repeatedly I will have to contribute my part to the cycle to hopefully enlighten those engaged.
There are plenty of things wrong with this story:
- At least similar boycotts (the previously mentioned Chick-Fil-A and Orson Scott Card ones) were based on the currently stated beliefs of those targeted. As I mentioned earlier, aside from the donation to Proposition 8, six years ago, Eich hadn’t done anything else to indicate he was anti-gay. So is this a zero-tolerance matter? Also, is there a stature of limitations? Should we question people if they ever used “faggot” in a derogatory sense to assess whether they’re fit to be a part of society (or earn a living)? That might exclude a big part of the population, if my experience growing up in the 80’s and 90’s was any indication. Hell, should the movie Monster Squad be purged from all media?
- One unanswered question is whether he’s donated to other organizations. Would that have mattered? The fact that several other Mozilla employees donated significantly more to support gay marriage didn’t spare the company from the wrath of boycott. Can one ever repent to the satisfaction of the gay rights community or is there no hope for you once you’ve transgressed them?
- I wonder if anybody who supported the boycott has heard of McCarthyism and the related practice of blacklisting.
- A particularly ignorant comment related to all this was: “My internet browser should not have a political agenda.” This person probably meant “My internet browser should not have a political agenda other than my own.” Because Google has certainly made their agenda clear, which would exclude their Chrome browser and especially their search engine. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is also excluded. Besides which, at what point can one draw the distinction between the CEO of a company and the political agenda of it, let alone all of its products? I suppose the taint can go all the way down, as Chick-Fil-A’s product was turned into the poultry of pure hate by its CEO’s views.
I think Big Gay Al said it best in the episode of South Park titled “Cripple Fight“:
It’s up to us to persuade, and help them see the light, not extort them to.