Re: [Gendispatch] revised

Tony Rutkowski <rutkowski.tony@gmail.com> Wed, 31 March 2021 14:52 UTC

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To: Mallory Knodel <mknodel@cdt.org>, Dan Harkins <dharkins@lounge.org>, "Salz, Rich" <rsalz=40akamai.com@dmarc.ietf.org>, "gendispatch@ietf.org" <gendispatch@ietf.org>
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From: Tony Rutkowski <rutkowski.tony@gmail.com>
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Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2021 10:52:17 -0400
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Subject: Re: [Gendispatch] revised
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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
>