Maybe all the people who demanded, then got and then applauded the forced resignation of Mozilla Firefox CEO Brendan Eich aren't old enough to remember Sen. Joe McCarthy, McCarthyism and witch hunts.
Or maybe they remember, and they just don't care about people getting bounced from their careers for what they believe, and say because what they believe is "wrong."
Or maybe they're just modern day fascists, who like so many Americans today are ignorant of history. Ignorant of how Hitler cleansed corporations, civic organizations and any other group whose members harbored unapproved thoughts.
I'm old enough to remember those days of witch hunts and HUAC, Hollywood blacklists and the smears of such well-known artists as Lena Horne, Paul Robeson, Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller, Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein. Of people being sniffed out or betrayed by friends or acquaintances as "commie sympathizers," or, as they were better known "comsymps."
Stalin purged people. And now Mozilla, OKCupid and New York Times contributors such as Leanne Pittsford ("Progressive Companies Need Progressive Chiefs,") and Leslie Gabel-Brett ("In the Marketplace, Free Speech Has a Price") are on the same path. No, they're not sticking ice picks in the back of their opponents' heads, like Stalin, but by denying people employment for their beliefs they're headed in the same intolerant direction.
I'll be told, lectured and harangued actually, that Eich's purge was okay because what he did--i.e. the beliefs that he expressed--are intolerable. I'll lay it out for you. They're not. Intelligent and good-hearted people can and do oppose same-sex marriage for valid and rational reasons. It is NOT the same as opposing interracial marriage or the many other red herrings tossed in the way. I favor opposite sex marriage because I've argued that every child has a right to a mother and a father.
I'm sticking to it, although the calls undoubtedly will go out to get me booted off ChicagoNow and the Chicago Tribune op-ed page. Go ahead; it won't be the first time. I've been told to leave by both the left and the right. Which goes to prove that both the left and the right have their share of fascists.
Here it's worth quoting someone I don't agree with when it comes to gay marriage, Andrew Sullivan, as he said in "Hounding of a Heretic:"
Will [Eich] now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.
Precisely. Be sure to read his reader reaction, where someone actually and incredibly argues that of course Eich has a right to free speech, but not when it becomes action, as in making a political contribution.
What was America's greatest come-from-behind war? Go here to find out.
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