[Chaoss-Board] CHAOSS response to FSF

Sean Goggins s at goggins.com
Thu Apr 1 12:14:46 UTC 2021


To the letter drafted below, you may want to add something along the lines of: 

As a community, we are aware of statements made by RMS in the past that are exclusionary. Of equal, or perhaps great significance, is that as a public figure in the open source community who is recognized for passionately non-inclusive language, welcoming him onto the board of the FSF would send a strong, and possibly lasting signal that Open Source Software, in the very largest sense, remains a non-inclusive work context for many. At CHAOSS, we are working to help advance open source toward a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive future. In that light, we think it is critical that we erase any doubt about our guiding principles of a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive future for open source software. For those reasons, we ask for the immediate removal of RMS from the Free Software Foundation Board.

Possibly too strong. However, my point that RMS is more of a risk to the future of DEI in open source as a symbol of support for non-inclusivity, than he is a threat to DEI individually is the main one.

Sean

> On Mar 31, 2021, at 3:40 PM, Georg Link <linkgeorg at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Hi CHAOSS Board members,
> 
> In the DEI Working Group call [1] there was discussion about the recent/ongoing concerns related to RMS rejoining the FSF board. As the DEI WG is committed to helping organizations and communities center DEI in their open source work, the question was raised whether CHAOSS could or should have any response. It is possible that the Linux Foundation is also responding to this (or already has) and any insight on that would be helpful too. 
> 
> We have three decisions to make and I would love your input. 
> We don't need to make the choice right now, we can first discuss.
> I will voice my own opinion in a response to this email tomorrow.
> 
> # Decision 1 - YES/NO: Public Statement: Does CHAOSS make a public statement?
> 
> Other organizations have publicly stated how they stand on the subject of bringing RMS back on board but more broadly about expecting respect and dignity from free software and open source leaders. Examples:
> OpenUK: https://openuk.uk/openuk-response-to-richard-stallmans-reinstatement-to-fsf-board/ <https://openuk.uk/openuk-response-to-richard-stallmans-reinstatement-to-fsf-board/>
> RedHat: https://www.redhat.com/en/blog/red-hat-statement-about-richard-stallmans-return-free-software-foundation-board <https://www.redhat.com/en/blog/red-hat-statement-about-richard-stallmans-return-free-software-foundation-board>
> Outreachy: https://www.outreachy.org/blog/2021-03-23/fsf-participation-barred/ <https://www.outreachy.org/blog/2021-03-23/fsf-participation-barred/>
> 
> # Decision 2 - YES/NO: Community Communication: Do we, as the board, send a message to our community members?
> 
> We are lucky with how inclusive the CHAOSS community is and now might be a good time to reinforce that this is by design and choice, affirming to our community members that we value and strive for DEI, respect, and positive.
> 
> Here is a draft for the CHAOSS mailing list that we can discuss:
> 
> >>>
> Hello CHAOSS Community members, 
> 
> In light of recent events surrounding the FSF, we wanted to reach out to our community; specifically those who may feel uncertain what our stance is. We wanted to assure you that this community does not condone or tolerate harassment or inappropriate conduct at any time.
> 
> We would also like to extend our sincere thank you to all of you. Your effort and contributions are what make the CHAOSS community who we are. We welcome and support everyone.You have all been excellent in creating a positive environment by:
> Using welcoming and inclusive language
> Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences
> Gracefully accepting constructive criticism
> Focusing on what is best for the community
> Showing empathy towards other community members
> Should you notice unacceptable behavior, please use our process in our Code of Conduct <https://chaoss.community/about/code-of-conduct/> to allow us to restore the positive environment we are currently enjoying in CHAOSS.
> >>>
> 
> Thank you to Matt, Nicole, and Elizabeth for helping with the draft.
> 
> 
> # Decision 3 - YES/NO: Sign Open Letter: Does CHAOSS sign the open letter to FSF?
> 
> This is the letter: https://rms-open-letter.github.io/ <https://rms-open-letter.github.io/>
> 
> 
> What are your thoughts?
> 
> Best,
> Georg
> 
> PS: Please remember that the CHAOSS Board mailing list has a public archive. You can share your thoughts privately with me and other board members by sending a direct email.
> 
> [1] CHAOSS DEI meeting from 2021-03-24, starting at minute 28:30 <https://youtu.be/L_tuEhyLRt4?t=1714>
> 
> -- 
> Georg Link, PhD
> (he/him)
> _______________________________________________
> CHAOSS-members mailing list
> CHAOSS-members at lists.linuxfoundation.org
> https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/chaoss-members

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