Re: [Gendispatch] Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF

Christian Huitema <huitema@huitema.net> Tue, 02 March 2021 21:37 UTC

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To: Keith Moore <moore@network-heretics.com>, gendispatch@ietf.org
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From: Christian Huitema <huitema@huitema.net>
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Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2021 13:37:24 -0800
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Subject: Re: [Gendispatch] Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF
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On 3/2/2021 11:31 AM, Keith Moore wrote:

> On 3/2/21 6:33 AM, Dan Harkins wrote:
>
>>   This is why it is important to set the record straight on this bit of
>> folklore. There is really no racist baggage associated with the OK 
>> gesture
>> but now people feel empowered to selectively condemn people who use 
>> it. It
>> has become a weapon to attack opponents. 
>
> I think the lesson for IETF and TERM there is "be very cautious about 
> creating new weapons that can be used to attack opponents".   Because 
> people can and will use such weapons for purely political ends, e.g. 
> to demonize the people who are promoting ideas that the attackers 
> believe will harm their interests.   It's often easier to attack 
> people personally than to attack their technical contributions, and we 
> want to be very careful about legitimizing such attacks. 

It could be say that demonizing the OK gesture is an attack on veterans. 
In the French air force, that gesture was part of the standard ground 
check. So much noise that you can't speak, so the mechanics used it to 
signal all clear. I suppose the same was true in other NATO countries. 
As a consequence, it was widely used in regular communication between 
service members to signal that things were fine. I sometime find myself 
doing it out of habit, and I suppose others do too.

-- Christian Huitema