A Troubling Situation Indeed

Posted on Thu, 03/23/2017 - 09:17

When I was checking Twitter last night, a prominent community member posted a "TMI" message with a link to a blog post. This was totally off-character for a man regularly promoting thought leadership in technical capacities (why I was following him on Twitter). I was quite curious and I was immediately appalled by what I read. The post can be found here: https://www.garfieldtech.com/blog/tmi-outing


This created widespread outrage on Twitter, Reddit, and much more. Inevitably it was followed up by a blog post from Dries: http://buytaert.net/tag/living-our-values


While totally uninformed and uneducated, I'm feeling torn between so many things. I don't believe in being nosey or meddling in anyone else's business. That's how I was raised and you treat others how you wish to be treated. I don't support violence in any form and I truly have no clue of what the Gorean community supports. I have not seen any supporting evidence to suggest that Crell supports violence either (although the term "consent" does give me pause). I fully support being an inclusive community and I have generally not questioned any boundary of including others. I've always felt the community should welcome people from all walks of life. I also am a firm believer of separating personal matters from professional matters - especially when it comes to one's family.


I'm torn because I don't have the information I need to be educated on why Crell violated the communities' values (aside from my own surprised reaction in reading about the "other" community). Did his actions impact the Drupal community? This is much different than his beliefs. To be clear: I don't support his beliefs. But, I have generally supported people's right to live their own lives in many different forms (religious, sexual, etc) and it's not in my nature to place judgement in telling someone else how to live their life.


This appears to be at the crossroads of values, morality, and supporting diversity. I'm finding myself, again uneducated on many fronts, torn between the many things I try to support and generally feeling like crap that we're watching this situation unfold in such a public and toxic way. This crossroads has left me void of opinion and strongly conflicted.


I've been in positions where I've had to be Dries. It's no admirable position to be in and there are always two sides to every story. When taking actions like this,  one needs to consider transparency; "the truth shall set you free." In this case, transparency may help the community heal. What process was used to evaluate this situation? Conversely, there may be legal reasons why Dries and others cannot share information. If they have information that is damaging to Crell, they have no right to share it and this would certainly entertain a lawsuit. However, if these actions were made out of the perceived optics between the belief systems of the Drupal and Gorean communities, this is a huge stretch that warrants vast criticism as a political maneuver void of the backbone we need to truly promote community diversity. Dries' blog post alluded to Crell's beliefs. I question if our community should have the authority to act on what someone believes in. This seems fundamentally wrong to me.


I can't help others process this situation - you need to form your own opinion. I am having a hard time forming mine. Crell's blog post was damning. Dries' response did not necessarily inspire my confidence. But, Dries seems to suggest that there is more at play here. I have fully understood the outrage of those in the community. I can't tell you if it's misplaced or not. There may be information that comes out later that further explains these actions. I continually recognize that I am uninformed on many fronts. I don't know who to trust and I recognize there could be more to the story. I've always found people in the community to be kind, warm, and supportive of all and that's what really makes me question my ability form an opinion. It's understandable to react to any difficult situation. I would only ask community members to recognize and respect all of those involved. We should proceed as we're inclined to do: with love, compassion, and support of greater good. Let's all pause and refrain from reactionary action based on our perceived right or wrong. I hope this is resolved amicably and in a way that helps us continue to promote the values we hold.


I only have formed one opinion. If true, the actions of Klaus Purer reads like a witchhunt. I'm so totally disappointed by watching Crell's private life unfold publicly and that he felt no other option but to tell his story. It is so hard watching his professional standing unravel by another member of the community who appeared to have practically stalked his private online activity. This may be what I take the greatest amount of offense to. I keep coming back to how shameful it was for Klaus to stalk Crell. These were not actions privy to our community. Klaus had no right to do any of this, let alone raise this to the likes of anyone in the community. My hope is there is severe action for these blatant attempts to destroy Crell's life. If there is one thing that seems to go against the community code of conduct, it would be Klaus' actions. He may claim to be a martyr driven by his beliefs for some perceived mission of greater good, but it is these intolerant beliefs that should truly be banned from our community. I struggle to see how Crell could be asked to leave for his beliefs while allowing Klaus' to remain. He should be asked to immediately resign from any community involvement as well.


To remain inclusive, we need the community to continue to support one another. We can't become a moral authority for what beliefs should or should not be included. It's not anyone's job to tell others what to believe. I can only ask for Dries and the association to hear the concerns of those in the community and possibly reconsider if their stance was based on belief. This is a slippery slope that we, as a technical community, have no business participating in. 

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