Re: [Last-Call] Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins

"Bless, Roland (TM)" <roland.bless@kit.edu> Thu, 06 October 2022 21:19 UTC

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Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2022 23:19:17 +0200
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From: "Bless, Roland (TM)" <roland.bless@kit.edu>
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Subject: Re: [Last-Call] Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins
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Hi,

On 06.10.22 at 19:23 Keith Moore wrote:
> On 10/6/22 12:17, Bless, Roland (TM) wrote:
> 
>> Really?
>> For example, here:
>> https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/terminology/jLTLVzGY-OhGZNn8LB36_DVdN6M/ 
>>
>>
>> He is ridiculing and humiliating groups by stating that "Where identity
>> groups can compound their power with the intersection of their venn
>> diagram of group identity. A trans black activist would have more
>> "authenticity", more ability to shout down Dave Chappelle than a white
>> trans activist and both of them would have more power than some cis
>> white male trying to shout down Dave Chappelle."..."The goal is to be in
>> as many identity groups as possible. They highlight their group identity
>> intersection because it _increases_ their place on the hierarchy!"
> I don't interpret Dan's writing that way.   I think he's citing an 
> credible problem with some models of privilege and/or intersectionality, 
> particularly when there's an expectation of some sort of compensation 
> for perceived lack of privilege.   I don't think he's ridiculing or 
> humiliating groups, I think he's lampooning the models and arguing that 
> they're intractable.

Sorry, I'm not a native speaker and to me lampooning is a kind of
humiliation. In order to help you understand the problem, let me
take Dan's line of argumentation and transfer it to another scenario:
guess how a disabled person, e.g., needing a wheelchair, feels if
someone claims that this person is just doing that in order to get
"privileges" like reserved parking lots or seats in the first row etc.?
Do you think that the person would not be offended by such a kind of
statement? This is simply unbearable.
Nevertheless, you should accept that there are obviously people in the
IETF community that interpret Dan's writing as being offensive or even
racist.

> But I think I see why people misunderstand messages like this. Anytime 
> you discuss a hot button issue and don't perfectly recite the "correct" 
> response (or sometimes, even if you do), there's a good chance that some 
> people will have strong emotional reactions that prevent them from 
> really understanding the message you're trying to convey.   I think it's 
> extremely unfortunate because these topics are vitally important and 
> deserve to be explored, but it's also foolish to fail to observe that 
> pattern of behavior. If a speaker knows that people are likely to have 
> knee-jerk reactions to something they say, they can either try to avoid 
> triggering those reactions or they can plow straight ahead and risk 
> causing them anyway.  It's their choice, and maybe not an easy one, but 
> I think I know which one is at least slightly more likely to be useful.
> 
> Of course, humor, including even ridicule, _can be_ a way of diffusing 
> such adverse reactions.   But it requires a lot of skill to be 
> effective, and not everyone can pull it off.   It's very risky.
> 
>> Embracing diversity and inclusion of group members is obviously about
>> participation and respect and not about increasing their power over
>> others and people do not/cannot change their identities or orientations
>> in order to to that.
> 
> Of course, but I don't think anything that you quoted contradicts that.

Ok, apparently we have quite different views on that, but as I already
wrote: as soon as there is feedback that Dan's messages are perceived
as being offensive (and this feedback has been given several times),
an adequate reaction should have been to stop writing these kind of
messages, but Dan deliberately continued to write teasing messages.
This is unprofessional and disruptive behavior and against our
guidelines of conduct.
This is hopefully indisputable.

Enough for me now,
  Roland