For reasons that escape me a whole bunch of internet and software organizations have come to the conclusion that it is objectionable for the founder of the Free Software Foundation and the GNU Project, Richard Stallman, to return to the foundation’s board of directors.
An open letter written by someone identifying as “we” was written proclaiming Stallman to be a “dangerous force” and calling for the removal of the entire board of the Free Software Foundation.
I am thoroughly behind the idea of free speech and freedom in general. I think everyone should be allowed so sign any letter they want to sign, just as much as Richard Stallman is allowed to publicly state his opinions. But I think this issue is important enough to me personally to publicly state what I think is happening here.
Not only over thousand people from the larger Free and Open Source Community have signed this letter, also a whole bunch of organizations. The most importand of which are
Other organizations have published press releases namely:
The above mentioned open letter says the following:
There has been enough tolerance of RMS’s repugnant ideas and behavior. We cannot continue to let one person ruin the meaning of our work. Our communities have no space for people like Richard M. Stallman, and we will not continue suffering his behavior, giving him a leadership role, or otherwise holding him and his hurtful and dangerous ideology as acceptable.
I think this to be very telling. He, she or they and anyone signing this letter admit that they are intolerant. It is Richard Stallman’s hurtful ideology that is ruining the meaning of their work. A circumstance they cannot tolerate.
I beg to pardon, how?
What does the word tolerance mean to the people and organizations signing the above mentioned letter?
Are there really people leaving the FOSS community because every once in a while Richard Stallman is giving a speech?
Is the Free Software Movement so strong that it’s strongest voice must be silenced? I mean, we’re not even talking about Open Source. Richard Stallman is strictly opposed to the Open Source movement. He says so every time he gives a speech.
I have met Richard Stallman only once. He was standing outside the room he had spoken in selling stickers and buttons. Alone. There was no team beside him.
So, here is my opinion about this: Creative Commons, Freedom of the Press Foundation, GNOME Foundation, Mozilla, SUSE, RedHat, EFF and FSFE: You’re putting your whole organizational weight against a single individual. That, regardless of what opinions he might hold, is hard for me to tolerate. It sickens me, having to tolerate it. Yet, I must tolerate it. Because what am I supposed to do? Use KDE and Chromium? And I don’t understand what you think you might gain from these statements? What do you gain from Richard Stallman being gone?