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The Meaning of Eich

When does it become a bad blacklist?

by
Charlie Martin

Bio

April 7, 2014 - 11:00 am

blacklist-premiere-sneak

Back in 1971-72, I was Cadet Commander of a Civil Air Patrol Squadron in Pueblo, Colorado. I don’t know that I was a great cadet commander, but God knows I was trying to be. But then the squadron got a Chaplain, and the Chaplain wanted to have private talks with all the cadets. I didn’t think anything of it — I talked with Baptist preachers fairly regularly, my family was largely Baptist even though I’d been a Buddhist for 6 or 7 years.

So I had my little chat, told the guy I was a Buddhist and why I had stopped being a Christian, and that was the end of it.

Literally. I arrived at the Squadron for our next meeting and found, stapled to the board, an order from the Squadron Commander saying that I had been removed as Cadet Commander, and someone else was appointed in my place. The kid who was appointed was a Good Christian.


When I went to college, as an undergraduate at University of Colorado, there was a lot of talk about Dalton Trumbo, a Coloradan who’d been a student at CU and then became famous as a screenwriter, then as a blacklisted screenwriter, and then was rehabilitated. Trumbo, of course, was one of the famous Hollywood Ten. Eventually, the fountain outside the CU Student Center was renamed the Dalton Trumbo Fountain in his honor.


Of course, we all know that last week Brendan Eich, the inventor of Javascript and one of the founders of the Mozilla project that eventually inherited and extended the old Netscape browser, was forced to resign from Mozilla for having donated $1000 to an anti-Proposition 8 campaign in California.


Last year, I was identified by Gild.com as one of the top developers in the country, with a Gild score of 99.7 out of 100. Gild flew me to Las Vegas last October to meet about 50 senior recruiters, including the senior recruiter from Mozilla, who gave me an extended sales pitch on the wonders of working for Mozilla. It sounded very interesting; I applied, exchanged a couple of emails, and never heard from them again. Not even an email reply.

Of course, I’m pretty much out of the closet about being “conservative” in the peculiar American meaning of the word, where a radical egalitarian, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-free speech, pro-porn, mind your own damn business, yes we need to pay attention to what happens in the Middle East and Ukraine because we’d rather fight there than here anti-fascist Buddhist is “conservative” while an aristocratic elite dedicated to centralized control by a chosen few is “liberal.”

Now, I’ve got to wonder: was I dropped from consideration by Mozilla for my politics?


Here’s the point. I feel this issue particularly because I’d run into it many times before myself. I’ve seen the desire to blacklist applied to friends in the recent past — Orson Scott Card, and other SF writers. Not to mention some writers who I generally think are obnoxious and unlikeable dolts (cough Vox Day cough).

None the less, I object to anyone being blacklisted. As long as anyone is being blacklisted for holding an unpopular opinion — or in Eich’s case, a popular opinion — then none of us are free to speak.

Charlie Martin writes on science, health, culture and technology for PJ Media. Follow his 13 week diet and exercise experiment on Facebook and at PJ Lifestyle

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All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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I think you've hit upon the kernel of truth behind the myth of "white male privilege." People who respond to setbacks with a shrug and go back to work are far more likely to succeed than those who try to "make things right" and obsess about the past.

After all, it seems like it's a good thing that Mozilla blacklisted you. It saves you the trouble of resigning in protest.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, duh. Feel proud of being in very good company!
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Great post, Charlie.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tell'em, Charlie. Recently, I've found you to be trite and obnoxious. I still wouldn't dream of writing to the owners of PJM to have you silenced.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Trite? Trite!?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Must not be a fan of greens.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah. I mean, obnoxious I could get behind....
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've always found you to be rather lovably obnoxious Charlie. Vox, well, much of it is an act. People decided to be offended and attack him for speaking his mind, so he decided to be as offensive as he could.

or so it seems to me, mostly he just likes stirring the pot.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
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