Monday, August 1, 2011

Calling things by their proper names—UPDATED

July 12, 2011 ( – The American-based multinational corporation Cisco Systems, a company that touts its “inclusion and diversity” strategies, has come under attack for the recent firing of a top employee, reputedly over his off-the-job work defending true marriage.
Earlier this year, the company fired Dr. Frank Turek, Cisco’s leadership and teambuilding program co-ordinator, after receiving complaints from a homosexual manager with the company regarding Turek’s authorship of a book on homosexuality and marriage, entitled “Correct, not Politically Correct: How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone.” 
According to Cisco management, Turek’s work with the company had received nothing but praise. In fact, in the manager’s complaint to the company he commended the leadership program lead by Turek as “excellent,” but took issue with his political and religious views, which he considered inconsistent with the values of the company.
 Let's look beyond the immediately divisive issue of gay marriage at something more chilling: If the story is correct, then Cisco implicity claims a right to monitor your speech off company time, off company premises, in social contexts where you can't be reasonably understood to represent company policy, and make employment and disciplinary decisions based on that speech. 

I've also seen stories that imply HR people look at your blogs and social media accounts when they can find them; your Facebook statuses aren't considered "protected free speech". Think about that the next time you want to vent your political spleen to your 150 closest friends.

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth calls this claim "homo-fascism". The prefix, however, is unnecessary and unfair to homosexuals, like calling organized crime "Italian gangsterism". It's just totalitarianism, pure and simple, an attempt at ideological engineering of which Josef Stalin would have been delighted and proud.

Update: August 3, 2011
It figures that another news story would confront me with something I'd written. Deacon Greg Kandra, writing on Patheos, passes on a link from the New York Daily News about Frank Borzellieri, the principal of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Fordham, Da Bronx, who has links to a white supremacist group.

The News revealed Sunday that Borzellieri, 48, was quietly hired two years ago as principal of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School despite his controversial writings. In his 2004 book – “Don’t Take it Personally: Race, Immigration, Crime and Other Heresies” – Borzellieri declared “diversity is a weakness” and that America’s rising black and Hispanic populations will lead to a “New Dark Age.” He has also written for the white supremacist publication American Renaissance. 
 As repulsive as I find racism, though, I have to stick to my last: Unless OLMC can find proof that Borzellieri discriminates against black and Latino children, then his ties to white supremacists might be cause for penance but not dismissal. I simply find abhorrent firing people for their ideological sins.