Who Failed Brendan Eich?

A response to Brendan Eich, We've Failed You. I'm Sorry..

tl;dr: The entire post makes no sense.

We value ideas such as free speech and freedom of expression; yet, we criticize yours. I’m sorry.

Freedom of expression includes criticism of someone else's speech and expression. You can't have one without the other.

We encourage others to be tolerant; yet, we have been intolerant of you. I’m sorry.

To recap: in 2008 Brendan Eich donated a small sum of money to the campaign for California Proposition 8, which sought to ban same-sex marriages in California.

It would seem that a good way to encourange tolerance of lifestyles you don't agree with is to criticize a C-level executive's donation to an intolerant campaign.

We claim to be a meritocracy; yet, we judged your capabilities as CEO not on merit, but on something else. I’m sorry.

(I don't know who we refers to, but let's take it as read that most open-source communities claim some form of meritocracy.)

I'm not qualified to determine who should be CEO of Mozilla and I don't have a horse in that race in any event, so this is just supposition:

Mr. Eich's response to this whole situation speaks volumes about his capability as CEO. A small donation to a pro-equality charity and a statement that, while acting as the public face of the Mozilla Foundation, he'd be dedicated to furthering its goals. Done.

If the CEO can't figure out how to handle criticism from the Internet, that doesn't bode well for his ability to handle other hurdles.

We work hard to be inclusive and to have diversity in our community; yet, we have chosen to push you away. I’m sorry.

How does this make any sense? Usually, "inclusiveness" and "diversity" are ensuring that under-represented minorities (i.e. not white males) be properly represented. I don't see how they apply to "rich old white guy who doesn't want gays to marry in California".

Maybe that's just me though.

You are a pillar of the open source community; yet, when it came time to support you, we didn’t. I’m sorry.

What does being a "pillar of the open source community" (of course, there's only the one community) have to do with being the public face of an organization?

I applaud Mr. Eich for his many achievements: Javascript chief amongst them, a long and successful tenure in the industry another. I don't know him personally, but I don't wish him any particular harm. Hopefully, he has a strong support network of friends and family; surely this is a rough time for him.

Blindly stating that "this guy is one of ours and we didn't back him when he needed us" ignores the fact that Mozilla is a huge part of the greater open-source and web development community, and a lot of LGBTQ folks were concerned when Eich was made CTO and later CEO.

This kind of crap is how you end up with the "old-boys club" power structure.