Re: FreeBSD has a politics problem

From: Jeff Roberson <>
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2018 11:02:58 -1000 (HST)
Hi John,

First of all this is really not an appropriate forum for this discussion. 
It is really unfortunate that these emails were leaked.  However, I think 
if you take a careful look at them, you will find a couple examples of 
hostility but the great preponderance of them are quite reasonable 
discussion.  People are sharing experiences, discussing how cultures other 
than western ones may be affected, what abuses have taken place, and what 
our aspirations for the project are.  This mostly looks like healthy 
debate to me, understanding that the subject matter may create strong 
feelings all around.

There is a lot of catastrophizing going on in the dialog, especially that 
on third party sites and among non-committers.  I believe in the strength 
of the project and its members to avoid these worst case scenarios.  I 
believe the vast majority of contributors are incredibly reasonable and 
desire a project where they can share their good work and be respected and 
respect others.  It is unfortunate that a few have left but that seems 
quite rash to me at this stage.

I would urge everyone to be calm and patient.  This is an important dialog 
and it's bound to be bumpy.  I also strongly urge people to refrain from 
discussing it further on technical lists where it is counter productive 
and unwelcome.


On Sat, 3 Mar 2018, John Darrah wrote:

> FreeBSD recently introduced an updated Code of Conduct that developers and
> members must adhere to. There has been much backlash online about it and
> about introducing identity politics into a technical OS project in general.
> The Code of Conduct was adopted from the "Geek Feminism" wiki's version,
> which claims (among other things) that racism against whites doesn't exist,
> sexism against men doesn't exist, and that certain protected classes of
> people should not be criticised.
> Emails of the internal discussion about this controversial Code of Conduct
> have now been leaked publicly, painting a picture of the disagreement in
> the FreeBSD project about how this was handled.
> A number of developers, particularly benno_at_, phk_at_ and des_at_, have used racist
> and sexist remarks against those criticising the far-reaching project policy
> change, saying that the concerns about the policy essentially boil down to
> "white male privilege" and being "on the wrong side of history".
> Other developers expressed concern about the policy being thrown upon them
> with no discussion or debate, as well as The FreeBSD Foundation's choice
> to pay an outside person (with donations from the users) to work on the
> Code of Conduct's enforcement. Said person identifies as a feminist.
> Mods on BSD and FreeBSD-related subreddits are censoring posts, removing
> threads, and banning users for posting the link. Colin Percival is among
> the mods doing the removal. FreeBSD forum mods are also cracking down and
> eliminating any discussion. Censorship is not the way to win culture wars.
> This file is an email archive in MBOX format. You can open it with any
> email client (including the mail or mutt commands) or view it as plaintext
> with any text editor. It contains just over 200 emails.
> View:
> Download:
> I encourage you to read and form your own opinions, especially with regard
> to how the project is handling donation money.
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Received on Sun Mar 04 2018 - 20:03:49 UTC

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