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Re: Asking DPL to shorten Discussion Period for rms-open-letter

Dear Jonas, dear Debian community,

Jonas Smedegaard - 27.03.21, 10:41:57 CET:
> I need no further testimonies or evicence that RMS is a monster.
> Regardless of the amount and type of proof, Debian should in my
> opinion *not* take part in group shaming.  And *that* is relevant to
> discuss on this mailinglist: What to put on the ballot for the Debian
> vote.
> The originally proposed text says that RMS has demonstrated that he is
> what he is being accused of being.  That is a way of turning
> allegations into facts - i.e. *judging* - and I worry for Debian
> officially stating that the allegations are facts is going too far,
> and that it is unneded if what we want is to distance ourselves from
> a monster.

I never experienced Richard Stallman in real life so far. I have 
followed links of some of what he said – on his very own website – and I 
do not agree with some of what I found there. I have seen testimonies on 
him which could or could not be true. It could be this or that way and I 
accept that. I accept that I do not have much first-hand information 
about him at the moment. I also accept that I may not easily find out 
cause if I learned anything during the last year it is: What is written 
on the internet, what is portrayed by media is not necessarily the truth 
or even most often isn't.

However I suggest to focus on his behavior. His behavior is likely to 
come from personality traits he developed over time. But I would be very 
reluctant to judge on his personality. I'd focus on whether his behavior 
is acceptable within free software communities or not. I make no 
judgment on that – just cause I lack the first-hand information to do so. 
Of course it is also about the likely hood on whether he repeats past 
behavior that caused harm. And to that extent it may be necessary to 
look at what personality traits, beliefs and thought, but especially 
behavioral patterns he has shown in the past.

But still: Unless the information I have about Richard Stallman is 
crossly incorrect he is a human being. Or a soul incarnated in a human 

He is not a monster.

I see calling him a monster or calling him a toxic person as part (!) of 
the very same behavior he is accused of.

The most important thing in my eyes about how to deal with the situation 
is to take great care to do it with the highest excellence of human 
behavior you can honestly (!) come up with. Be clear, state clearly what 
behavior you do not see as acceptable, state clearly how you choose to 
handle the situation.

But also stay away from calling him a monster or a toxic person. Do not 
engage in the very same excluding behavior you accuse him of. You can 
say "You are not allowed onto any of our conferences" for example while 
still not saying "You are a monster".

That is at least my recommendation.

I have been reluctant to write anything about the matter out of the fear 
of being attacked in person for doing so. However I see myself well 
equipped to deal with anything that might come back at me. And at least 
I tried hard not to hurt and harm anyone. In case you still hurt by what 
I wrote there, I ask you to consider that I wrote this with the 
intention of the highest good of everyone who is involved in mind.


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