Brendan Eich, the Dixie Chicks, and Judgement

After revelations that Brendan Eich, former CEO of the non-profit company Mozilla, had supported Proposition 8 in California (a campaign that was particularly odious and bigoted), I tweeted this:

Then, unfortunately, life caught up to me, and I wasn’t able to return to the topic. While there are a lot of good posts on the subject, I’ve only found one that discussed the Dixie Chicks.

What has puzzled me in all of this is the belief that there is one set of rules which must be followed, that judgement and context don’t matter. For certain issues, such as slight differences in the marginal tax rate, going full-out is ridiculous: there’s an issue of proportionality–not everything is ELEVENTY HITLERS!! But judgement also needs to be applied.

The Dixie Chicks opposed a disgusting, murderous war of choice that distracted the U.S. from stopping Al-Queda and that also harmed long-term U.S. interests. History will judge, if it hasn’t already, that they were right and their conservative critics were wrong.

Brendan Eich opposes gay marriage and supported a cruel and defamatory campaign. Having grown up in a part of the U.S. where religious justifications were used to oppose interracial marriage (especially white women ‘marrying out’), I really don’t care if he sincerely believes this. He is wrong. I don’t care about his justifications. Here too, history will be a harsh judge: Eich and his co-travelers were bigoted and cruel and attempted to deny people civil rights others freely enjoy.

One of these things is not like the other. Judgement matters, procedure not so much.

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4 Responses to Brendan Eich, the Dixie Chicks, and Judgement

  1. realthog says:

    Well spoken!

  2. anthrosciguy says:

    The rightwing in the US has frequently spoken out against boycotts by gays and progressive groups, claiming they are somehow morally wrong. And not morally wrong (supposedly) because of the reason for the boycott, but because boycotts themselves are morally wrong. Yet the very same people who make that claim have often called for boycotts for their own purposes.

    They simply do not care about consistency, or morality; they are just saying whatever they think might work at any given time, without regard to past actions or the transparency of their motives. Frankly, they resemble very young children in this.

    • realthog says:

      Frankly, they resemble very young children in this.

      They resemble very young children in so much: they seem to lack any conception that the untoward consequences of their actions will affect not just the rest of us but them, too; they seem to think that the way to deal with something you don’t like (such as the fact that we have to do something about climate change Right Now) is to pretend it doesn’t exist (or, as it were, to put your head under the blankets); and they quite evidently, like solipsistic infants, believe they’re special, the center of the universe.

    • albanaeon says:

      Keep in mind that a little while ago, World Vision decided to extend benefits to Same Sex Married couples. The outrage machine went to 11 and people started canceling their sponsorships. You know, sponsorships that FEED CHILDREN!

      WV caved pretty soon, regressives rejoiced, and the rest of us realized that that the regressives are pretty terrible people. They only don’t like boycotts when they are initiated against people in their tribe.

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