I could not be happier to see Brendan Eich become the new CEO of Mozilla
Brendan has a vision, a unique vision that made Mozilla what it is today, and he is a great leader, respected all over the world, all over our geek's world. Reliable, hyper-smart, friendly and knowing perfectly - of course - the organization he co-founded.
But there is one thing I would like to come back to, because I read something too disruptive to me on planet.mozilla.org: yes, Brendan donated to the anti-marriage equality Prop. 8 campaign in California. I don't like, I don't like at all seeing that pop up again in public space because that's pointing an index at someone for his/her beliefs, that's something that should not happen in a community like ours. When Brendan was under attack, two years ago, I sent him my support. Not a support to his opinion, but a support to his freedom of opinion and freedom of expression of that opinion through all legal means. Including a donation.
Seen from Europe with a European point of view, I do not understand how one can complain about it. Mozilla promotes openness and freedom of choice, that's its Manifesto, that's our core values, why most of us contribute to Mozilla. I want that openness and freedom of choice to be a deep, anchored value of the whole Mozilla community. With that in mind, I entirely respect Brendan's personal choice, that was exposed only because of the Californian law and was attached to the name of Mozilla only because that law makes it mandatory to mention the affiliation of the donator above a given level of donation IIRC. I trust - we all trust - Brendan to be able to deal with the whole community - employees or contributors - equally, whatever their own beliefs or personal choices. I met Brendan 14 years ago and have never seen him behave in a different way.
The Mozilla community at large represents quite well the diversity of thoughts on the globe. We have people who love fire weapons; I don't like it but that's legal in their countries. We have people supporting death penalty; I hate it but that's legal in their countries. We have people from all political sides, including extremes; I don't understand it but I accept it. We have people based in countries one could easily qualify as antidemocratic and who support their regime; yes, diversity is a marker of the human kind. And we have people who have diverging opinions about major societal issues, within the limits of the law, absolutely. We even have true nerds, barely social, who can't understand what's a private and family life. So what? Again, seen from Europe and with a European point of view, not a problem at all.
Pointing an index at someone of our community for his/her beliefs can only have one side-effect: people will stop expressing their opinions because they will be afraid of the kickback, people will be blamed in public for legal behaviours and that's totally unacceptable to me as a European. That's not the world I want to live in, that's not my concept of democracy and freedom of opinion/speech. That's not the Mozilla I want. Brendan, I value your opinion, and that does not say anything about my agreement or disagreement with your opinion itself.
We, as a community, cannot promote openness and freedom of choice without a deep respect for individual beliefs. A reminder of Brendan's personal choices years ago is unfair and violates too much for me the core values of the Mozilla community. I am writing this article because I want it to be the very last time we read about it in public space. FWIW, and given the long chats we had about it in Europe two years ago, I think the above is a quite widely shared opinion in the European Mozilla community.
Welcome Brendan, and long life to Moz.
Update: following a private message, I want to say that, yes, I carefully read the message that triggered my response above. My take is that even in a positive message about Brendan, reminding the Prop8 story is putting, again, an index at him. And I feel it is just totally wrong because his opinion is not less respectable than others.
Update again: I did not intend to let the comments open here, my bad. What I feared did happen: hate messages. Closing comments then. My blog, my prerogative, and the French law makes me accountable for all comments on this blog. Period. Sorry for the people who left polite messages, agreeing or disagreeing; I hope you understand.