- Have there been recent incidents of "... bigotry, intolerance, hatred, harassment, and violence in Code4Lib" that warrant a re-iterated statement?
I have been surprised in the past - when people have asked this question in other library discussion forums that I've been a part of, the answer from many people in those forums has been "Yes, that happened to me." (That's happened often enough in different venues that I'm no longer surprised.) Often those who have answered in that way have also said that they do not want to discuss those issues further. Code4Lib has had discussions over the past few years that touch on this as well.
- What are C4L's desired outcomes of "diversity, equity, and inclusion", and will such a statement improve the attainment of such ends? Is the goal of C4L to promote "diversity, equity, and inclusion" within C4L, the software technology community at large, or beyond?
My own desired outcome, worth no more than a simple +1, is that diversity, equity, and inclusion are normalized within C4L and in the realm of library technology. I believe that the statement brings us closer to that by explicitly addressing the lack of diversity in the tech sector. I hope that as we get closer to that outcome, we will have a positive impact beyond this little community.
- What constitutes "bigotry, intolerance, hatred, harassment, and violence" is not always obvious, and often needs to be teased out through reasoned dialogue.
I agree that reasoned dialogue is a valid approach to understanding things. However, empathy is another valid approach to understanding things. Bigotry, intolerance, hatred, harassment, and violence are all inextricable from human emotions, so I (again, speaking only for myself) tend to feel that empathy is a better guiding principle for dealing with these issues.
- If inclusion spans "all technologists", then excluding those who dissent or present points of view bordering on "bigotry, intolerance, hatred, harassment, and violence" will be silenced, and likely to (further) develop resentment and anger, leading to further division. Is it better to exclude such people through language as forcefully as possible, or promote an environment of reasoned dialogue and relating to the "other"? When people are silenced they may go underground, and is it better to be underground or in the open?
I don't think we can have a group where people whose views border on violence feel comfortable expressing themselves, and people who have been targeted by violence also feel comfortable expressing themselves. Empirically, there are plenty of professional spaces where diversity, equity and inclusion are not happening, or not encouraged, or actively quashed. The statement Bohyun and others have been working on reflects my personal belief that Code4Lib should not be one of them.
- Will this re-iterated statement promote self-monitoring and self-censorship and thereby decrease diversity, one of the primary values of C4L?
Self-monitoring and self-censorship are already going on - in addition to the things I mentioned in my answer to the first point, I would also draw attention to Code4Lib's ongoing discussions of impostor syndrome. If we choose to increase our local diversity by including bigotry, intolerance, hatred, harassment, or violence, then we are choosing to also decrease broader diversity by being just another group where those things are normalized.
Once again, just my two cents.
Joe Montibello, MLIS
Library Systems Manager
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