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Re: Tone policing by a member of the community team [Was, Re: Statement regarding Richard Stallman's readmission to the FSF board]

Le mardi 06 avril 2021 à 11:15:29-0700, Steve Langasek a écrit :
> > Asking for de-escalation is not tone-policing.
> > Tone-policing is using the way some people tend to express their
> > opinion (generally violently, out of reaction to an attack they suffered
> > from) as a way to invalidate their opinion or criticize them.
> We disagree here about the definition.

Ack. That being said, I tried to feed on adapted resources on the
internet, so I think I'll stick to this one.

> But the definition is not the point; the effect is the same: asking
> "both sides" to "de-escalate" when one party has been subjected to an
> existential attack by the other, prioritizes "civility" over equity.

I understand your point which has been made to me a big number of times.
This is a complexe ball of wool.

To me, asking people to not go into fist fights when someone is telling
shit is not prioritizing civility over equity, but rather trying to
resort to appropriate methods we, as a civilization, defined as
appropriate to handle uncivilized people without giving up to their
crappy methods.

Because one day, someone will deem me, or someone else uncivilized, and
should I allow myself to punch any person I consider as uncivilized in
the face, then this someone will probably feel legitimate to the same
towards me. And in the end we will just have a big brawl of people
convinced they are right and doing the good thing, and many black eyes.

One broken nose later, you probably feel better, but the matter is still
not solved, and uncivilized people not really dealt with.

> > Asking everyone to try remaining civilized when they interact is not an
> > attempt to invalidate what you could say or think, or to criticize you
> > as a person especially since you're not specifically targeted.
> Transphobia by definition is not civilized and the rules of civilized
> discourse do not apply when dealing with individuals who are external to
> your civilization.

(I take the concept to be more general than Debian, so my reply is more
general too) No one, even the most uncivilized douche bags of them all,
is not part of our civilization, if we would really like to call it that
way. The mere principle of a civilization is that it can't be one if it
ostracizes anyone, and that is why we look "weak" today to many
supremacists because we just send uncivilized-non-recoverable persons to
jail while they'd like to put a bullet in their heads.

Of course in Debian, if they are Debian Members, getting rid of them by
removing their member status is quite easy, and in some way, they won't
be part of this micro-civiliszation we are, although as we saw with some
Daniel, it does not mean end of troubles.

> An individual whose very existence is being rejected by an
> interlocutor has no moral obligation to respond in a "civilized" way
> to the attacker, and any Code of Conduct which insists on civilized
> discourse under these circumstances does harm to the oppressed.

If the goal is to keep the civilization as functioning and working, I
can't agree with that, as it's exactly when we accept to waive the rules
we set that these rules lose their value and therefore the whole starts
to fall/crumble. This is actually part of why I have the signature I
have. Not because I'm perfect and abide by this all the time, but to not
forget it.

Without becoming Jesus and showing the second cheek, we have ways to
handle douchebags, and resorting to these ways is the best mean we have
to show them they can't win.

Of course, these ways have to be adapted when the need arises.

We have a strong need to feel safe. Especially oppressed minorities. And
to fulfill this need as a community, we in Debian probably have way more
work to handle smoothly and efficiently things going south.

But I'm pretty convinced that trying to avoid fist fights is and always
will be appropriate.

Last, but not least, to any of those having signed the RMS letter, -
and whose mailbox currently is just full of mails from self-entitled
douchebags considering harrassment as an acceptable practice, and whose
big ego will one day collide with earth when they realize that after
having sent their shit, their life is still as void as it was before
they did, - you have my full sympathy and support.

An to these actual douchebags : I only feel sad for you.


Pierre-Elliott Bécue
GPG: 9AE0 4D98 6400 E3B6 7528  F493 0D44 2664 1949 74E2
It's far easier to fight for principles than to live up to them.

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