Archive for April, 2014

Brendan Eich and Big Boys’ Rules


Brendan Eich.


He’s totally entitled to his bigoted views. So are people who think Jews rule the world, that women are inferior to men and that black people shouldn’t be allowed to vote.


There’s no concomitant right to hold controversial political and social views and hold any particular job. What you can hope to get away with depends on what kind of job you have. Your postman and the guy who fixes your car have a lot of freedom in this regard because nobody really cares what they think. If you are the CEO of a major enterprise then  your views are going to be subjected to a much higher level of scrutiny and those views had better not be repugnant to major stakeholders in your business.  That’s tough but it’s how it is.


And then there is the “I’m gay and Eich is a homophobe, we should both keep our jobs” argument. Do I have to spell out why it doesn’t work?  Being gay isn’t a political position or commitment. It’s part of who one is. You can’t change it, you shouldn’t have to hide it and nor should it be a relevant factor when it comes to what job your entitled to do.


Contributing money to a campaign to deny basic rights to some citizens is a choice.  If you do it you’d better think about what effect it will have on your high flying business ambitions.  You can’t expect those who are victims of that campaign (and those who sympathize with them)  to  keep quiet when they see you have landed a big  job. They have the right to call you on that and if they can persuade important stakeholders in the enterprise that it’s not worth the trouble holding on to you, well, that’s tough too. Big boys’ rules.


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