For the record, I am not calling for Ron Lindsay to be silenced, nor am I calling for him to be fired. If I was on the board of directors of the CFI I would be putting forward a motion of censure, if not a motion to can his sorry ass. But that’s not really what I want. This is what I want from the board of directors:
We’re really sorry our CEO acted badly at the Women in Secularism II conference. We think he was a poopyhead. But we forgive him because he’s human and everybody makes mistakes and because, given his age and the culture he comes out of, his attitude is understandable. We have asked him to change his attitude, and we expect to see some improvement. Now we would really like to put this whole mess behind us and get back to doing what we’re good at.
And this is what I would like to hear from Ron Lindsay:
I hope everybody will forgive me for being such a pompous fool at the Women in Secularism II conference. I have read all the criticism of my speech and subsequent public statements and I get it. I really do understand that I pissed off a whole bunch of very smart people, I understand why you all got upset, and I feel like a complete idiot for sullying the name and reputation of the CFI. I do not support harassment, stalking, or threatening of anybody. I have seen the appalling death and rape threats received by women in our organization, and I am sickened by the behaviour of the perpetrators. Such people have no place in the CFI. I am willing to offer my resignation to the board of directors, but I really hope they will believe that I have learned my lesson and let me stay on as CEO, because I still think I have a lot to contribute. Please support me in this, and I promise you will see a change in my attitudes.
If the board of directors were to reword this statement into acceptable corporate speak, without watering it down, i.e. replace “a poopyhead” with something like “lacking the mature judgement required of a leader”, and if Ron Lindsay were to say something the equivalent of this to the community, I can guarantee that the whole shitstorm would die away, leaving nothing but a lingering bad smell.
This is what we have hoped for, and what we’ve been waiting for. This, I believe, is all anybody wants. And what is so fucking difficult about saying this? Why are you guys resisting the obvious? Ron Lindsay was a pompous asshat. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad person. We’re all willing to forgive and forget. But we are not willing to accept the goods as delivered.
I guess the real problem is that these two statements have to be what the board of directors, and Ron Lindsay, actually believe, not just more stomping on the bag of flaming shit currently on their front porch. So far it doesn’t look like it.