Missing response to Black Lives Matter movement

Five months ago, there was a request to address the black lives matter movement: https://pagure.io/fedora-diversity/issue/135

About a month after the initial request, a statement was ready.
The statement was not published and also no other statement was published. According to the ticket, the Council did an internal discussion to revise the statement again about 3 months ago and then no further action appeared.

The lack of a timely response makes it appear to me that that black lives and diversity/inclusion are not a priority for Fedora leadership. Also, it seems to me that the leadership is too inert and not following the first foundation that states: “However, the Fedora Project’s goal of advancing free software dictates that the Fedora Project itself pursue a strategy that preserves the forward momentum of our technical, collateral, and community-building progress. Fedora always aims to provide the future, first.” (highlighting by me)

What’s your opinion about this?

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Why is a statement about this necessary? My opinion is that it has no place here and absolutely should not be a priority of any kind. It’s best to avoid political statements, or things that could be potentially divisive or seen as racist.


This was a topic reviewed at the Council face-to-face spread across this month. I took on the action item for follow-ups in the D&I Team ticket. I hope to have an update by the end of this month. There has been a lot of back-channel feedback shared by the community that has made a public response difficult.


One of Fedora’s foundations is Friends, to quote:

We are a strong, caring community.
The Fedora community is made up of people from all walks of life, working together to advance free software. There is a place in Fedora for anyone who wants to help

This means to care about black community members instead of excluding them or discriminating against them. Therefore a statement clarifies that this is not just a meaningless text but really a foundation that actions are based on. This foundation is already a political statement.


I rue the day simply stating a group of people matter as human beings is “political.”

It is against everything Fedora stands for to frame a simple message of support to a portion of our community as political when it is no such thing.


There’s really no reason that the Fedora project should publish a political
message like that.


Making a statement of support and reaffirming the inclusive and diverse nature of the community should in no way be construed as a political message. Please don’t let the spin from the politicos or the media influence the community’s decision to speak out in support of the message. This should be viewed as a positive, not a divisive. My friends come in many colours, genders, ages, and status in this life. After all, one of Fedora’s four pillars is “Friends”.


Support of the statement created by joining those three words is not the same
thing as support for the violent movement using that name, or the organization
using the name. If a message does go out about BLM, I find it unlikely that it
will be from the community, rather than from some of the council and from the
D&I team. In my opinion, it is really unfortunate that such political messages
are being pushed by software projects these days. This is dangerous.


I do agree that not everyone must issue statements in support of particular causes. If I had my way, my government would be getting every one of our citizens, irrespective of their financial standing, a post secondary education. Truly, if we (globally) want to tackle the problems around the inequity in our societies, we must begin with education. A lot of the what I have read and seen/heard that is prejudice, can be attributed to ignorance. Knowledge is the light that burns away the darkness of ignorance. Indeed there are extremists at the ends of the spectrum of this conversation, but those extremists shouldn’t make us fear supporting those we care for, such as the diverse Fedora community.


Hi all, my post will be the tenth to this thread since it was created less than 24 hours ago. This is a passionate topic. It is deeply personal and has impact beyond just the Fedora Community. I get why this thread is a hot topic.

However, we need to take a pause and let this cool down. I am closing this thread for 72 hours (three days). The thread lock should be automatically lifted in 72 hours from now. In the event that it is not, please let me know. I am trying out this feature for the first time.

I am delegated from the Fedora Council face-to-face that just happened this month to move this forward. The short answer is we will not publish a formal letter but instead reaffirm our existing and ongoing interest to support inclusion, particularly for people of color, in the Fedora Community. A formal explanation is on the way. I hope it will better inform the discussion with a Council perspective.


This topic was automatically opened after 2 days.

Your point is right, but this BLM movement is only focusing on black people and leaves everyone else strictly out. To fight racism with a special kind of racism is not the way in my opinion.

Please note that my criticism is only towards the “institution” BLM. It is shady in my opinion and should not be supported. But the idea, that every living person is equal, should totally be supported.


We should care about EVERY individual. And that includes people of different races, but also people of different opinions.

It is very sad that this has to be pointed out.

Yes, we are a strong community and everyone is included here!

We’ve already made a decision to not issue a statement and to instead focus on actual concrete actions to support Black lives in a meaningful and relevant way. I don’t think it helps to debate the actual politics here, or attack or defend the Black Lives Matter organization. Fedora simply is not the place for that kind of discussion.


Can you please clarify what you mean with this? Do you mean it is sad that this needs to be pointed out as part of Fedora’s foundations?

Hi Till,

I meant this not only regarding Fedora, but in general.

I think that is a much more Fedora-centric approach.

Why do we need to address that? This is a very Americanocentric movement and Fedora’s community is worldwide, do you plan to give a statement about every social problem in other countries as well?

A decision has been made here to focus on action and not make a specific statement. It is not helpful for more people to keep reviving the thread to urge the already-chosen course of action. Since that does keep happening, I am going to lock this thread.

If you have something new to say that is specifically relevant to Fedora — for example, ideas for active ways we can show in practice that Black lives do matter to Fedora — please start a new thread.

And, yes, I’m open to specific actions we can take to better include and support other marginalized groups in open source. Taking such an action does not mean we don’t care about other situations, or the non-specific case of everyone in the world. But let’s take plans for such actions to other threads. Thanks.