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Re: Renaming the Debian Project

Daniel Pocock:
> On 31/12/15 04:22, Steve Langasek wrote:
>> 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 
>> scale.
>> In the course of expressing these views on twitter, Ian used a
>> racial epithet.
> In fact, it has not been verified that those Tweets were from Ian
> himself.  It can only be said that there were Tweets and they appear
> to originate from Ian's Twitter ID.
> Had somebody hacked his account?

I believe the Tweets that have been posted are really from Ian.  The basis
of my belief is a story at The Register which quotes the facts as stated by
the San Francisco Police Department in the last few paragraphs:


When combined with Ian's Tweets the story told sounds harsh: two scuffles
with SF police leading to a medic dispatched on-site each time plus one
hospital visit, and it's clear Ian thought the response was extreme and that
he felt abused both physically and mentally/emotionally by the police.

There aren't many people I can think of who wouldn't have some strong words
to say after /that/ happened to them.  This isn't a time to take derogatory
words said out-of-context and leap to judge the character of the person that
said it -- rather it's a time to use one's empathy to try to understand what
he went through to make sense of what he said about it.

And concerning "the N word" specifically (I'm addressing this directly here
because that's what I think started this thread), there's a comedy routine
by Chris Rock in which he describes the rare kinds of situations in which he
thinks yelling such a thing "by a white guy" would be fitting.


Search that link for "Toys 'R' Us" and you'll see the quote.  I'll let that
speak for itself.

On another angle of the story, Ian asked the police if they were wearing
body cameras and the answer was "No".  Unfortunately that's not an error:
there's an ongoing debate about this because the policy used by the LAPD and
SFPD for body cameras would specifically allow officers to review video
before release -- in short if used as the policy last stated, they'd only
help to convict suspects and would not help transparency.



There was supposed to be a decision on this on Dec 2nd, but I haven't yet
heard what the decision was or whether the policy covering body camera use
remained the same as before.



I'm really saddened by Ian's passing for a lot of reasons.  Because of what
he last said in his Tweets I thought it was important to point these issues
out.  Just in case it's not 100% clear, I'm doing this with the intent of
fully respecting Ian and what I believe his last wishes were.

Thanks for reading.

   -- Chris

Chris Knadle

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