[Osmf-talk] Dale Kunce (OSM, OSMF and HOT US Inc president) on [OSMF] mailing list: "a viper pit of racism and misogyny"; a statement which minimally calls for answers and facts

Rod Bera rod at goarem.org
Tue Dec 19 11:41:52 UTC 2017


I'm in total agreement with you.
+ using terms like racism or misogyny out of purpose also blur
simplistic minds about the very meaning of these aggressions against
minorities (and indeed everybody, as human beings), and may mask how
serious they are in fact.
If what happens on this list is a "viper pit of racism and misogyny",
then everything can be called racism/misogyny, and in turn
racism/misogyny mean nothing any more. Which would be good news for
racists/misogynist as we would then lack appropriate words to
specifically denounce what they actually are.

Overusing or distorting words is a very dangerous thing, indeed.

And the fact that Dale Kunce (OSM, OSMF and HOT US Inc president, as
Nico reminds us) is in this kind of business is at least worrying.

But not surprising to me from my past experience as a HOT member.

Moreover these "arrangements with facts" (or ungrounded imputations, if
you like) long were a landmark of a significant part of the HOT board
and those supporting them against those not sharing their views (i.e.
minorities, mainly "political", maybe also geographical and/or linguistic).

Hence my warning 2 years ago against a possible over-representation of
HOT in the OSMF board (with limited effect: from 1 to 2, missing the 3).
That it was repeated by others this year was not sufficient either (now
from 2 to 3). What's next? takeover?
There is a component of HOT which is toxic and I would't like this venom
to extend to OSMF.
But it seems it is anyway. On the list, as well as on the board.


On 19/12/17 08:36, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> Hi,
> On 18.12.2017 23:18, nicolas chavent wrote:
>> I randomly ran into this tweet of Dale Kunce [1],
>> /> "Community. The absolute best and worst things of OSM. Current
>> mailing list is a viper pit of racism and misogyny. I don’t know it if
>> will ever be a safe place. Even I’m thinking of unsubscribing."/
> Sadly, ranting on twitter (or your personal blog, or even a talk at a
> SotM conference) about how these mailing lists are the worst of the
> worst, has a long tradition even among people who have been with OSM for
> a very long time.
> I am always very sad to read this, because I feel that the vast majority
> of people on this list, or on any OSM list, are intelligent, friendly,
> and respectful human beings, and being collectively kicked in the groin
> like that - and not even to your face, but by someone talking to a
> different audience - hurts. A lot. (To be fair, in this case the
> accusation is unspecific enough; I don't even know if he's talking about
> any list that I am on or maybe some other list that I don't even read,
> and if he's talking about a list that I'm on it is unclear if I am part
> of the accused. Bit like if I was to say "the USA is a viper pit of
> racism and misogyny", only that this is *so* generalising that it would
> be easy to quote examples.)
> People talk about a lack of diversity on the mailing lists; tweets like
> that are a sure-fire way to keep people from joining and judging things
> for themselves. Like you, Nicolas, I haven't seen racism or misogyny
> expressed here on osmf-talk in the recent weeks, in fact not for years;
> and such extraordinary claims should certainly be backed up by solid
> facts, and certainly not directed against the mailing list community as
> a whole but just against those people who are seen to post such content.
> We should have a zero-tolerance policy against racism and misogyny, but
> we should also have zero tolerance against false accusations of such,
> because such accusations can create lasting damage.
> I have recently looked through old mailing list entries on osm-talk from
> before 2010, and the climate has certainly improved since then; but once
> established, a mantra of "OSM mailing lists are a viper pit" is very
> hard to eradicate. It will be repeated un-questioned by people who don't
> bother to check for themselves ("it is a well-known fact that OSM
> mailing lists are the worst, everyone says it...").
> One vile tweet like that can ruin hundreds of hours of work that have
> gone into writing thoughtful, respectful, and friendly messages on the
> mailing list. All for nothing - I could just as well start every one of
> my messages with "Bullshit!".
> Someone who writes tweets like that does *more* for the lack of women
> and people of colour than any mailing list contributor could with an
> unsensitive post. But, as I said, Dale is only the latest person to do
> so in a long list.
> Bye
> Frederik

Rod Béra,  MCF Géomatique                /   Lecturer, Geomatics
           et SIG pour l'Environnement  /    and Environmental GIS
Agrocampus-Ouest|65 r.Saint-Brieuc|CS84215|35042 Rennes cedex|France
+33 (0) 223 48 5553 - roderic.bera at agrocampus-ouest.fr

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