Youngish Republican whippersnapper Ben “Friends of Hamas” Shapiro, who is an editor-at-large at the conservative Web site Breitbart, and has been serving more generally of late as the it-girl of anti-gay intolerance in the modern GOP, said today during a BBC interview that conservatives would be fine with a Holocaust-denier running a major American company.
The interview on the BBC’s “World Have Your Say” show, which I was a guest on as well, was discussing the resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, following a firestorm of online protest, and protest from his own employees and board of directors, over the fact that Eich had donated $1,000 to the Proposition 8 campaign, and had supported the presidential candidacy of Republican bigot Pat Buchanan.
During the show, Shapiro also claimed, incredibly (and incorrectly), that the federal Internal Revenue Service “leaked” the fact of Eich’s Prop 8 donation, which Shapiro claims (again incorrectly) was “anonymous.”
Proposition 8 was the successful campaign in 2008, led by the Catholic church, the religious right, and the Mormons, to repeal the right of gay couples to marry in California. Prop 8 supporters also hoped that passage of the measure would dissolve the already-performed legal marriages of 18,000 gay families, many of which had children.
Prop 8 was finally overturned definitively, and the marriages of gay couples became legal again in California, last summer with the Supreme Court’s historic dismissal of Hollingsworth v. Perry.
Shapiro, who refers to being gay as a “lifestyle” and regularly pens anti-gay articles, began the BBC show by claiming, incorrectly, that Brendan Eich’s donation to Prop 8 was “anonymous,” and that the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) illegally leaked the fact of Eich’s donation:
“This guy, first of all, his donation was anonymous. It was leaked by the IRS to somebody.”
It most certainly was not. And that’s an incredibly irresponsible accusation to come from someone who has become of late the darling of the Republican party. In fact, the database containing the names, and amounts of donation, of all Proposition 8 donors has been online for years. It was made public in February of 2009, per California law.
You can find the Prop 8 donor database on the Los Angeles Times Web site - and here’s Eich’s donation:
Breitbart-editor Shapiro then went on to claim that gays were “fascists” for opposing the elevation of Eich to CEO of the company based on his anti-gay views. Interestingly, Shapiro has written articles expressing his belief that companies should be able to fire their employees simply for being gay.
So, just to reiterate: It’s okay to fire your employees for being gay, but not for being anti-gay.
That stench you’re noting isn’t “freedom.”
But let’s get back to the Holocaust, shall we? Here’s Ben Shapiro, explaining to the BBC why it is that Republicans are in favor of Holocaust-deniers running major American corporations:
“I’m Jewish. If Brendan Eich had been a Holocaust-denier, but he treated Jews decently at his company, and he had not discriminated against Jews in any of his business dealings, I’d hold exactly the same position.”
While I don’t doubt that Ben Shapiro, as a Republican Jew, has no problem working for someone who might be, say, a Hitler-sympathizer on his off-hours, I have a hard time believing that most Americans, or most Republicans for that matter, would agree. There is no way that a Holocaust-denier would ever be appointed CEO of any major American corporation, and Shapiro knows it.
It is interesting, and telling, however that conservative thought-leader Shapiro appears to have more sympathy for the employment prospects of a neo-Nazi than he does someone who is gay.
And Republicans wonder why they keep increasingly losing the gay, African-American, women and Latino vote. Perhaps they should look no farther than the neo-Nazi job creators in their midst.