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Re: Renaming the Debian Project

On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 02:03:40PM -0800, benjamin barber wrote:
> It's unfortunate that Debian is named after Debra and Ian, because having
> the project named after a white supremacist, who used his ex-wifes name as
> an trophy.

I agree in whole with the responses of my fellow developers Dimitri and
Russ.  I also believe, because the Internet never forgets, that this
libelous accusation needs to be addressed directly.

In the time leading up to Ian's death, he posted on his now-deleted twitter
account about an altercation with police.  He described being the victim of
police brutality, and expressed the desire that his story be widely known -
in the hopes that, where stories of police brutality (up to and including
murder) of racial minorities in the United States have failed to lead to the
systemic reforms that are needed, perhaps a story of a white, affluent,
educated, middle-aged man being a victim of the same systems might tip the

In the course of expressing these views on twitter, Ian used a racial

It appears to be this one word that has led to him being branded here as a
"white supremacist".

It is not racism to call attention to racial bias inherent in systems of
unequal power.

It is not white supremacy to use a taboo word for its shock value when
discussing violations of civil rights that should be shocking to all,
regardless of the color of the victim.

One can certainly disagree with his methods, but there is no cause for
accusing Ian of "white supremacy" when all the evidence suggests he desired
to see civil rights abuses corrected for the good of all.  His memory
deserves better than this.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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