Re: [Gendispatch] revised

Pete Resnick <resnick@episteme.net> Wed, 31 March 2021 17:21 UTC

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From: Pete Resnick <resnick@episteme.net>
To: Mallory Knodel <mknodel@cdt.org>
Cc: Tony Rutkowski <rutkowski.tony@gmail.com>, Dan Harkins <dharkins@lounge.org>, "Salz, Rich" <rsalz=40akamai.com@dmarc.ietf.org>, terminology@ietf.org
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2021 12:21:40 -0500
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Subject: Re: [Gendispatch] revised
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[Bcc'ing gendispatch; Cc'ing terminology]

Folks, please move this discussion over to the terminology list.

pr

On 31 Mar 2021, at 10:02, Mallory Knodel wrote:

> Agree that nothing whatsoever should prevent IETF from addressing 
> these issues urgently,
>
> -Mallory
>
> On 3/31/21 10:52 AM, Tony Rutkowski wrote:
>> It is not clear why the focus here has avoided other fundamental 
>> rights related to discriminatory behavior, e.g., xenophobism, 
>> antisemitism, sexual orientation.  A rather full enumeration can be 
>> found at https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-rutkowski-hrpc-hraas-00
>>
>> It is relevant because the IETF and its participants are subject to 
>> legal requirements relating to proactive (rather than passive) 
>> mitigation of discriminatory, along with transparency and 
>> anticompetitive behaviors.
>>
>> --tony r
>>
>>
>> On 31-Mar-21 10:17 AM, Mallory Knodel wrote:
>>>
>>> On 3/31/21 9:35 AM, Dan Harkins wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On 3/31/21 6:10 AM, Mallory Knodel wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> On 2/23/21 10:12 AM, Salz, Rich wrote:
>>>>>>>   There seems to be a desire to have the group focus
>>>>>>      (first/primarily?) on race as the single axis in which 
>>>>>> to discuss diversity
>>>>>>      and inclusiveness, e.g. [1]-- and that would be very 
>>>>>> divisive and
>>>>>>      destructive.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Why do you think it would be destructive, as opposed to a first 
>>>>>> step because some think it is easier to handle?
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> This work hasn't been chartered to focus on race; we're focussing 
>>>>> on racism. Racism is systemic social oppression, so it's within an 
>>>>> institution like the IETF's remit to ameliorate these larger 
>>>>> social ills as they play out within its community, eg as through 
>>>>> initiatives like using inclusive language.
>>>>
>>>>   Uhm...no. Defining racism as "systemic social oppression" means 
>>>> that certain groups
>>>> (those who do not wield systemic power) cannot commit racism.
>>>
>>> It's not my definition.
>>>
>>> We're not concerned with who is doing the committing.
>>>
>>>> Racism is actually the act of prejudice and antagonism against 
>>>> people on the basis
>>>> of their race.
>>>
>>> That's discrimination and hate crimes, et al. Those are prohibited 
>>> in the IETF by BCP 54.
>>>
>>> There are relationships between all of these concepts, but it's 
>>> important to be clear where TERM is focussed.
>>>
>>>>   And while this is, indeed, a social ill it is not up to a 
>>>> technical standards body like the IETF
>>>> to ameliorate it. We have protocols to finish!
>>>
>>> I said:
>>>
>>>> it's within an institution like the IETF's remit to ameliorate 
>>>> these larger social ills as they play out within its community, eg 
>>>> as through initiatives like using inclusive language
>>>
>>>>> We're not talking about individuals' racial identities.
>>>>
>>>>    You're talking about a group's racial identity. You treat 
>>>> individuals as members of a
>>>> group. I still maintain that is divisive and destructive and I 
>>>> don't think it's a good path
>>>> for anyone to go down, certainly not us.
>>>
>>> Research and academic scholarship has shown that for diversity, 
>>> equity and inclusion efforts to be effective that concrete actions 
>>> have to be taken, beyond just a vague commitment to do better. That 
>>> just makes us feel better temporarily without actually changing 
>>> anything. The IETF is doing concrete things, and it's really great 
>>> to see. One of the important elements is to _elevate_ identity 
>>> because in an unequal and exclusive community, bias is _hidden_ 
>>> identity discrimination.
>>>
>>> No doubt this is divisive, though IME it's uniquely acute in the 
>>> IETF. It might also be temporarily destructive (anti-racism is about 
>>> destroying racism, after all). However, a strong and goal-oriented 
>>> (protocols!) community like the IETF will certainly survive TERM for 
>>> the better.
>>>
>>> -Mallory
>>>
> -- 
> Mallory Knodel
> CTO, Center for Democracy and Technology
> gpg fingerprint :: E3EB 63E0 65A3 B240 BCD9 B071 0C32 A271 BD3C C780