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Re: Willingness to share a position statement?

Am Mi., 24. März 2021 um 00:22 Uhr schrieb Adam Borowski <kilobyte@angband.pl>:
> On Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 04:56:39PM -0600, Gunnar Wolf wrote:
> > Hello,
> >
> > I hope not to be too inflamatory with this. As you are surely aware,
> > last week Richard Stallman was reinstated as part of the Board of
> > Directors of the FSF. That is something deeply disturbing and
> > confidence-shattering for many of us.
> >
> > Some people have moved to action -- if nothing more, at least to
> > express they are disgusted with the turn of events
> I'm also disgusted with such hatred towards the person who started the
> whole "Free Software" thing, and personally did most of the work in the
> early days.

No human can do anything that makes them immune to criticism. This is
not a matter of hate, I actually doubt anyone who signed the petition
really "hates" RMS.
RMS without a doubt did a lot of good with starting the FSF and his
early work on Free Software and we owe him thanks for this, but he
*also* inflicted a lot of damage on his own organization, hurt a lot
of people, has shown to be unable to learn from mistakes and empathise
with people. There are a lot of examples of behavior that pretty much
everyone should deem inacceptable.

So, even though RMS has done good things, he also is in a way the
worst person to have a leading role in the FSF. Think about the signal
we send if we as a community are okay with a person openly debating
whether sex with children is okay in a leading role at the top of the
organization that's promoting software freedom. I also very much
question whether his strong technical influence on GNU projects is a
good thing (he did in fact revert community-made decisions in the

It is also not like this issue is a new thing. He knows about his
behavior, has been told about it time and time again, and doesn't seem
to have any sensitivity at all as to how his actions and words impact
other people and reflect on his organization. Furthermore, the FSF
board itself, by putting him in a leading role again, also does seem
insensitive about that.
If you are just a guy with an opinion on the internet, the situation
*may* be different (but one could argue against that too), but if you
are in any position of leadership you have to be held accountable for
your actions and words and have to reflect on them. In other words, be
a good leader. RMS failed at that (and arguably as a human) and he
should be held accountable for his decisions. That hasn't happened,
really, and if it doesn't happen we are in a way saying that we don't
care if someone at the top of an organization misbehaves.

> Even if you feel this way as a private person, it would be improper to push
> for the Debian Project to turn against our pioneer this way.
> And, if you want to exclude the greatest hero we had, your calls for
> "inclusivity" are a bold-faced lie.

It's not like it's a call to silence him forever. It is however a call
to remove him from a position he appears to be unfit for. Inclusivity
and tolerance does not mean we have to accept every opinion as equally
valid. It is also not like Debian has some kind of debt to pay to RMS
- Debian is a community of people who definitely can have a nuanced
Whether the project as a whole can easily put out a joint statement is
indeed a tricky question in this particular case, I am very curious
about that.


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