10.27.21

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Beatriz Busaniche Speaks Up in Defense of Richard Stallman

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 1:13 am by Guest Editorial Team

Published two days ago in this site


Beatriz Busaniche sent us this comment in July 2021. She wrote it originally in Spanish. Here are both the original text and our translation to English.


Spanish (Original)

Soy Beatriz Busaniche, activista de Software Libre y Derechos Humanos de Argentina desde hace 20 años. Escribo estas palabras porque me considero desde hace mucho tiempo amiga de Richard Stallman, un hecho del que siempre me sentí y me siento orgullosa. Richard se ha hospedado en mi casa muchas veces, hemos compartido eventos, reuniones sociales, actividades políticas y públicas, organicé muchísimas de sus conferencias en mi país. En todos estos años siempre se ha comportado de forma totalmente respetuosa, cálida y generosa conmigo, mi familia y mis amigos.

Richard hizo aportes inmensos al mundo de las tecnologías, sentó las bases de la cultura del Software libre, un movimiento indispensable en los tiempos que corren, nos ayudó a pensar críticamente lo que hacemos y cómo lo hacemos. Como movimiento, le debemos mucho y debemos hacernos cargo de que nos hemos ocupado poco de Richard como ser humano.

Quienes tenemos la suerte de conocerlo bastante, sabemos que es una persona sensible, amorosa, con flaquezas y debilidades como cualquiera de nosotros, una persona que igual que cualquiera de nosotros comete errores pero que es capaz de cambiar de opinión frente a argumentos claros y razonables. Sabemos también que es una persona con una lógica imbatible que no siempre aplica a las cuestiones de la vida social.

Como feminista que soy, siempre he luchado por romper los estereotipos y los procesos de normalización hegemónica. Siempre pensé que debíamos aprender a integrar las minorías y las diferencias y sobre todo, luchar por la justicia y los derechos para todas las personas.

No hemos sido justos con RMS en los últimos meses y me siento profundamente avergonzada por no haber levantado mi voz en su defensa con más firmeza en ocasiones anteriores.

Como bien dice Richard en su declaración del 12 de abril pasado[*], y como bien sabemos todos los que hemos convivido con él en alguna instancia, su forma de razonar y analizar es muy peculiar pero es algo que está más allá de lo que él puede decidir. ¿De qué nos sirve llamarnos progresistas, feministas, antifascistas si no somos capaces nosotros mismos de lidiar con la neurodiversidad?

No voy a juzgar a quienes no quieren a RMS, cada quién construye las afinidades y opiniones que quiere, pero arrojar piedras sobre RMS por su dificultad para escapar de la literalidad es un acto de crueldad indigno de quienes creemos en un mundo más justo y diverso. No cuenten conmigo para eso.

* RMS addresses the free software community (Archived)

English Translation

I am Beatriz Busaniche from Argentina, and I have been a free software and human rights activist for 20 years. I’m writing because I am very proud to consider myself a longtime friend of Richard Stallman. He has stayed in my home many times. I have organized many of his conferences here in Argentina, and we have shared events, social gatherings, and political and public activities. In all these years Richard has always behaved in a totally respectful, warm, and generous way to me, my family, and my friends.

Richard has made huge contributions to the world of technology. He laid the foundation for the culture of free software, which has grown into a movement that is crucial to our world today. He has helped us to think critically about what we do and how we do it. Our movement is forever in his debt, and we must acknowledge that we have not met our responsibility to appreciate Richard as a human being.

Those of us who are lucky enough to be well acquainted with him know that he is a sensitive, loving person, with weaknesses and imperfections like anyone. He can make mistakes, just like any of us. Yet, he has an extraordinary capacity for logical thinking, and is able to change his position when presented with clear and reasonable arguments. Sometimes, however, he expresses his ideas in an unusually direct way that may seem strange to some.

As a feminist, I have always worked to challenge stereotypes and over-generalizations about people. I believe that we should be inclusive of those with differences and, above all, fight for justice and the rights of all people.

I feel that Richard has been treated unfairly in recent months, and I am deeply ashamed for not having raised my voice in his defense more firmly before this.

In his statement of April 12, 2021[**], Richard admits—and those of us who know him well will concur—that his way of reasoning and analyzing situations is very idiosyncratic, an aspect of his personality beyond his control—an example of what might be called neurodiversity. What is the point of calling ourselves progressives, feminists, or anti-fascists, if we ourselves cannot deal with someone who thinks and expresses himself differently?

I am not going to judge those who do not want to associate with Richard Stallman, everyone is entitled to form their own opinion. But I think that throwing stones at him for his tendency to speak logically and literally is an act of cruelty unworthy of those of us who believe in a more just and diverse world. In that, count me out.

** RMS addresses the free software community (Archived)

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