Ticket #1230 (closed general: fixed)

Opened 19 months ago

Last modified 18 months ago

Requesting FESCo address Cherokee logo issue

Reported by: ref Owned by:
Priority: minor Keywords:
Cc: pavel.lisy@…, gholms, andrew@…, skottler, rdieter Blocked By:
Blocking:

Description

In 2011 I filed the bug https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=681339 in which I argue that the logo images of a caricature of a Native American child (and additional similar package images) violate Fedora packaging guidelines concerning acceptable content, particularly: "Content should not be offensive, discriminatory, or derogatory. If you're not sure if a piece of content is one of these things, it probably is." https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Packaging:Guidelines?rd=Packaging/Guidelines#CodeVsContent

According to the afore-referenced document: "All content is subject to review by FESCo, who has the final say on whether or not it can be included."

The Fedora package maintainer of cherokee, Pavel Lisy, while stricly speaking responsive, has failed to resolve the aforementioned bug in any way. My assumption, if those guidelines are accurate, is that ordinarily the package maintainer ought to bring an issue like this to FESCo for some resolution. Since he has not done so, I am submitting a ticket to FESCo myself.

Change History

comment:1 Changed 19 months ago by gholms

  • Cc gholms added

comment:2 Changed 19 months ago by notting

  • Keywords meeting added

Adding meeting keyword... note there is no meeting this week.

comment:3 Changed 19 months ago by toshio

I think Richard outlines the possible outcomes in this comment:

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=681339#c54

  • the existing logo be replaced with one that is not offensive
  • or else Cherokee be removed from the official Fedora package repository
  • or else we establish Fedora does *not* have a rule against inclusion of offensive content
  • or else that it does but consensus holds that the Cherokee logo is not offensive.

comment:4 follow-up: ↓ 24 Changed 19 months ago by toshio

  • Cc andrew@… added

Andrew Barilla, way back in 2011 you sent a message to the Cherokee Nation to ask for their opinions on the logo ( https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=681339#c3 ). Did you ever get a reply from them?

comment:5 follow-up: ↓ 11 Changed 19 months ago by spot

Red Hat Legal (in a relatively rare, but not unprecedented action) is officially requesting that either the icons or the package be removed. I have asked Mo Duffy if she is willing/able to generate new replacement artwork, since I think everyone would agree that is preferable to outright removal. If the maintainer of Cherokee orphans the package as a result, I will volunteer to maintain it (and open it to other comaintainers).

Effectively, they've decided that the Cherokee logo is offensive and presents a real legal risk to Red Hat.

comment:6 Changed 19 months ago by tmraz

In that case this should be noted in the bugzilla (older comments were stating that RH legal is not involved) and then we should give the maintainer (or comaintainers) chance to react.

comment:7 Changed 19 months ago by spot

RH Legal opened a new bug to indicate their change in stance:

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1060984

comment:8 Changed 19 months ago by toshio

@ref or @spot: Can you confirm that the statement that "they've decided that the Cherokee logo is offensive and presents a real legal risk to Red Hat." as an accurate summary of RH Legal's position? I can't draw that conclusion solely from reading bz#1060984 and bz#681339 so I just want to confirm that that the statement is made with knowledge of other discussions which lead to that conclusion.

The reason I want to be clear on this is that a "real legal risk to Red Hat" is sufficient for action to be taken without FESCo consideration of any of the other questions circling around this issue (does Fedora's offensiveness rule hold up? Does this logo fall under Fedora's definition of offensive?) So if that's an accurate summary, we should proceed directly to asking the package maintainer (Hi, Pavel) if they'd be willing to substitute some other artwork from mizmo for the one from the upstream package.

comment:9 Changed 19 months ago by spot

I'll let @ref confirm that, just so there is no ambiguity.

comment:10 Changed 19 months ago by ref

@toshio , @spot :

There are a few issues surrounding the matter of the Cherokee logo. They ultimately all have in common (a) the contention that the logo is racist, offensive, or derogatory, or has a strong likelihood of being perceived as such; (b) I have personally been the one raising these issues at the Fedora packaging level.

This particular immediate (FESCo) issue is NOT about RH Legal, but my personal views as a Fedora user and community member. It is directed at Fedora's published guidelines concerning acceptable content.

The issue here, then, is, assuming there *no* legal risk to Red Hat, does distribution of the Cherokee logo fall under Fedora's definition of offensive?

The one larger point I'd add is that if the outcome is that Fedora does not really wish to have an "offensive content" rule at all, then Fedora should not be stating to the community that it does have such a rule. I filed the initial bug in 2011 because I honestly believed that Fedora did have such a rule. Absence of any such rule may have some RH Legal implications in the sense that direct responsibility for formulating and policing such a rule will have to be undertaken by RH Legal (possibly me), which I don't particularly relish. But apart from that side point please do not think of this as a "RH Legal" issue.

comment:11 in reply to: ↑ 5 Changed 19 months ago by ref

Replying to spot:

since I think everyone would agree that is preferable to outright removal.

That *was* my view until today when the de facto upstream maintainer of Cherokee began making threats against me, essentially retaliating against me for exposing the possibility that the Cherokee logo is reasonably regardable as racist. It is not obvious to me why Fedora should have a policy of packaging any upstream software under such circumstances.

If Fedora does nothing when an upstream project maintainer threatens a Fedora community member, a Fedora community member invoking the very policies meant, presumably, to protect the interests of the larger Fedora community by keeping offensive material out of Fedora, what does this say about Fedora?

comment:12 Changed 19 months ago by mattdm

I think this is simple. The word "offensive" is difficult, because it implies that the problem is one of perception by an arbitrary individual, and we all know that people can be offended by all sorts of things. ("I'm offended by the Ruby programming language!") Similarly, there are arguments about intent.

But this isn't about that kind of offensive. It is clearly racist, in the large, systematic sense. It would be lovely if we lived in a world where any sort of caricature of any person carried equal and trivial significance, but that is not the case. I understand that this concept is outside of the realm of experience of many European contributors (as mentioned in the bug), but that doesn't make it any less true, and I hope that anyone who thinks that the logo is "okay" will take some time to research the larger social issues.

Carrying the logo is contrary to the "Friends" foundation.

I don't see any particular need for Fedora to have a logo for this package at all (since it is a web server, not a gui application), so my primary vote is to just remove it from the package. I am also okay with replacing it (I think that's a nice gesture) or simply dropping the package.

comment:13 follow-up: ↓ 22 Changed 19 months ago by pali

I finally found a way how to send a comment to this discussion. First of all: reason of my waiting is that I am not convinced by ref reasons that logo is offensive. I think this is his opinion and he has right to have it.

This kind of logo looks offensive to me: http://www.google.cz/search?q=cherokee+indian+logo&authuser=0&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=JvbxUpquLIej4gStn4DwCQ&ved=0CCgQsAQ&biw=1760&bih=1050#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=f_nNDUbn_bMIoM%253A%3BuvbQfnO5Yq56nM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.dreamstime.com%252Findian-chief-mascot-cartoon-vector-logo-thumb18126581.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.southshoreforums.com%252FphpBB3%252Fviewtopic.php%253Ff%253D5%2526t%253D32897%2526start%253D200%3B374%3B450

but not Cherokee web server logo. It is children cartoon picture.

I would like to see opinion of Cherokee Nation representatives but I haven see any. When somebody will get it and they will find this logo offensive even author of Cherokee program will be willing to change it.

I think he only refuse to follow dictate/opinion one person which it disagrees with

I will be on Fedora DevConf? in Brno and I hope we can discuss it in better conditions there.

comment:14 follow-up: ↓ 21 Changed 19 months ago by sgallagh

I'll mirror what Matthew said above, while also adding that if we are in fact dealing with a hostile (both technically and personally) upstream, I have no problems with banning the project outright except for this list below (the output of repoquery --whatrequires cherokee

  • WebCalendar-0:1.2.7-3.fc20.noarch
  • bugzilla-0:4.2.7-2.fc20.noarch
  • cherokee-devel-0:1.2.101-5.fc19.i686
  • cherokee-devel-0:1.2.101-5.fc19.x86_64
  • dspam-web-0:3.10.2-11.fc20.x86_64
  • gold-web-0:2.1.12.2-13.fc20.noarch
  • htdig-web-4:3.2.0-0.17.b6.fc20.x86_64
  • mimetex-0:1.74-3.fc20.x86_64
  • nut-cgi-0:2.6.5-15.fc20.x86_64
  • nut-devel-0:2.6.5-15.fc20.i686
  • nut-devel-0:2.6.5-15.fc20.x86_64
  • phpesp-0:2.1.1-8.fc20.noarch
  • phpldapadmin-0:1.2.3-4.fc20.noarch
  • phpldapadmin-0:1.2.3-5.fc20.noarch
  • phplogcon-0:2.1.6-11.beta.fc20.noarch
  • postgresql-pgpoolAdmin-0:3.1.1-5.fc20.noarch
  • qdbm-cgi-0:1.8.78-11.fc20.x86_64
  • roundcubemail-0:0.9.5-1.fc20.noarch
  • webacula-0:5.0.3-6.fc20.noarch
  • wordpress-0:3.7.1-1.fc20.noarch
  • wordpress-0:3.8.1-3.fc20.noarch

Bugzilla and Wordpress concern me particularly...

comment:15 follow-up: ↓ 16 Changed 19 months ago by notting

Stephen - bugzilla (as an example) just requires the virtual provide 'webserver', which cherokee provides, as does httpd and probably nginx. You'd need to check the provides more closely to see which of those require cherokee itself solely - wouldn't be surprised if it's just the cherokee devel package.

comment:16 in reply to: ↑ 15 Changed 19 months ago by mattdm

Replying to notting:

Stephen - bugzilla (as an example) just requires the virtual provide 'webserver', which cherokee provides, as does httpd and probably nginx. You'd need to check the provides more closely to see which of those require cherokee itself solely - wouldn't be surprised if it's just the cherokee devel package.

I was just posting the same thing. Add --exactdeps and the whole list goes away except cherokee-devel.

comment:17 follow-up: ↓ 18 Changed 19 months ago by pali

Please read this discussion ​https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1060984 before you ban it.

comment:18 in reply to: ↑ 17 Changed 19 months ago by mattdm

Replying to pali:

Please read this discussion ​https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1060984 before you ban it.

Hi Pali. I've read through all of the associated bugs. I don't think that one is particularly constructive in tone or really adds to the conversation. "Censorship" does not come into it.

comment:19 Changed 19 months ago by pali

I see your point. I think conversation is though because other side (Cherokee developers) are not convinced by reasons and they feels manipulated by one person. IMO that reason of Censorship word there.

Point of view of Cherokee Nation representatives would help to calm down discussion here. Can anybody get it?

It is better to convince "enemies" than send them out of Fedora to "reservation".

comment:20 Changed 19 months ago by skottler

  • Cc skottler added

comment:21 in reply to: ↑ 14 ; follow-up: ↓ 23 Changed 19 months ago by ref

Replying to sgallagh:

I'll mirror what Matthew said above, while also adding that if we are in fact dealing with a hostile (both technically and personally) upstream, I have no problems with banning the project outright

I should disclose to FESCo that just a few minutes ago I filed a private ticket with the Fedora Board that focuses on the fact that the upstream maintainer of Cherokee, Stefan de Konink, has been attempting to take retaliatory action against me through Red Hat channels for voicing my conscience and opinion on this subject. This is not directly relevant to the issue I have presented to FESCo, but it seems inappropriate not to mention it to FESCo. The issue I have presented to the Board, although I may not have articulated it well, is essentially whether it is appropriate for Fedora to distribute a package whose upstream lead, acting as spokesperson for the project, engages in threats and retaliatory action against a Fedora user.

comment:22 in reply to: ↑ 13 Changed 19 months ago by ref

Replying to pali:

First of all: reason of my waiting is that I am not convinced by ref reasons that logo is offensive.

This shows that the whole process is broken. You failed to say for three years "I am not going to act on this bug because I'm not convinced that the logo is offensive". You failed to ask for the opinion of FESCo or the Fedora Board or anyone else. This is what I mean when I say you are constructively speaking a nonresponsive maintainer. This bug -- the original one -- should have been disposed of sooner than three years after its filing. What your inaction suggests to me is that Fedora has no effective means of policing problematic content in a package, unless a *legal* reason is articulated. Not to invoke Godwin's Law but next time it might be a swastika that sticks around for five years because a package maintainer decides he's not convinced that a swastika is offensive and lets a bug pointing out the problem languish.

comment:23 in reply to: ↑ 21 ; follow-up: ↓ 26 Changed 19 months ago by gholms

Replying to ref:

I should disclose to FESCo that just a few minutes ago I filed a private ticket with the Fedora Board that focuses on the fact that the upstream maintainer of Cherokee, Stefan de Konink, has been attempting to take retaliatory action against me through Red Hat channels for voicing my conscience and opinion on this subject.

That does not appear to have made it into the Board's issue tracker. Are you sure you made it all the way through the process of filing it?

comment:24 in reply to: ↑ 4 ; follow-up: ↓ 27 Changed 19 months ago by bassburner

Replying to toshio:

Andrew Barilla, way back in 2011 you sent a message to the Cherokee Nation to ask for their opinions on the logo ( https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=681339#c3 ). Did you ever get a reply from them?

After several attempts, I did never receive a reply on this.

comment:25 Changed 19 months ago by toshio

Historical note -- Whenever there's a problem in a package, it usually goes first before the package maintainer (typically via a bugzilla bug). Then, if the package maintainer and reporter can't agree on the outcome it goes to fesco. Either the package maintainer or the reporter (or indeed, any other interested party) can open the fesco ticket, getting it onto our radar.

Although I would love for the package maintainers to be proactive about sending the issue up to fesco it most often is not the maintainer but another party that does so. This seems to be because typically the other party is the one to notice and be anxious to bring about change because of the issue. The package maintainer typically evaluates the bug and does not think that there's a good case for making any changes and so doesn't know how to even start to present the issue to fesco.

In this case, the bugzilla report does not appear to have been closed so I don't think the package maintainer intended to "sweep this under the rug", they just never understood the claim of offensiveness at all and so didn't find any basis to further the report.

For this particular part of the problem we could document the status quo (any interested party can pass it up to fesco when they feel that an impasse has been reached) or make it a specific response of one of the parties (I don't think this works as well in practice as the only tool fesco has to enforce non-compliance is to remove pieces of a person's packaging privileges). One problem with documenting this is that it's a general piece of information but there's no general policy that all fedora contributors read. So it will be hard to get everyone to realize that they should be pushing these issues up to fesco.

comment:26 in reply to: ↑ 23 ; follow-up: ↓ 28 Changed 19 months ago by ref

Replying to gholms:

Replying to ref:

I should disclose to FESCo that just a few minutes ago I filed a private ticket with the Fedora Board that focuses on the fact that the upstream maintainer of Cherokee, Stefan de Konink, has been attempting to take retaliatory action against me through Red Hat channels for voicing my conscience and opinion on this subject.

That does not appear to have made it into the Board's issue tracker. Are you sure you made it all the way through the process of filing it?

I'm not sure. I didn't get any autoreply or anything like that. What I did was send an email to board-private@… . I sent it from a personal email account that is not associated with my FAS username, in case that matters for some reason.

comment:27 in reply to: ↑ 24 ; follow-up: ↓ 29 Changed 19 months ago by pali

Replying to bassburner:

Replying to toshio:

Andrew Barilla, way back in 2011 you sent a message to the Cherokee Nation to ask for their opinions on the logo ( https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=681339#c3 ). Did you ever get a reply from them?

After several attempts, I did never receive a reply on this.

I thought so.

I've read many books about Jews and holocaust tragedy. I agree that it is important to protect persecuted people. But this is not that case. It seem to me that it is not problem for people from Cherokee Nation and they have more important things to do.

It is sad that somebody creates "problem" instead of solution.

  1. when I think somebody is offended by something I will spend time to ask him/them about his/their opinion
  2. if he seems to be offended, then I can report it to upstream and even better help them to solve it (create good logo)

In this case it started with correct question but when other opinion revealed it continued with blame of authors and packager. I think we want to create good software and distribute it to Fedora users. So we don't wont spend our time on problems which are not real problems.

Fesco is good place to talk and make decision about it. I'm glad it can protect us from dictate of loud lone voice.

comment:28 in reply to: ↑ 26 Changed 19 months ago by gholms

Replying to ref:

I'm not sure. I didn't get any autoreply or anything like that. What I did was send an email to board-private@… .

That is probably the reason, then. Please submit it here instead: https://fedorahosted.org/board/

Sorry for the noise, FESCo.

comment:29 in reply to: ↑ 27 Changed 19 months ago by ref

Replying to pali:

I've read many books about Jews and holocaust tragedy. I agree that it is important to protect persecuted people. But this is not that case. It seem to me that it is not problem for people from Cherokee Nation and they have more important things to do.

We do have a report from Mairin Duffy that provides evidence of how the Cherokee logo is perceived by one person of Cherokee descent: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=681339#c31 By contrast, no person of Cherokee ancestry has stated in any public record that he or she has no concerns about the Cherokee logo. I made a couple of attempts to contact official Cherokee Nation representatives myself, with no success. I wouldn't consider that dispositive of this matter.

It is sad that somebody creates "problem" instead of solution.

  1. when I think somebody is offended by something I will spend time to ask him/them about his/their opinion

I do not see evidence of you having done this here. In three years when did you spend time to ask the several people who agreed that the logo was offensive about their opinions?

  1. if he seems to be offended, then I can report it to upstream and even better help them to solve it (create good logo)

Upstream was aware of this issue long before I filed the Fedora bug, because Zachary Krebs had raised it; perhaps others have done so. Also, in the bug you indicated you did not feel capable of suggesting an alternative logo for upstream (even though Mairin Duffy offered to help) https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=681339#c14

In this case it started with correct question but when other opinion revealed it continued with blame of authors and packager. I think we want to create good software and distribute it to Fedora users. So we don't wont spend our time on problems which are not real problems.

The only opinions in favor of the view that the Cherokee logo was not offensive came from you, the packager, and from persons associated with the upstream project, as far as I can tell.

Let's assume for a moment that the logo is sufficiently likely to be perceived by substantial numbers of reasonable people as racist - in some sense part of the question presented to FESCo. Clearly it then is a real problem.

Fesco is good place to talk and make decision about it. I'm glad it can protect us from dictate of loud lone voice.

You make much of this idea that I am a "loud lone voice" despite the fact that in the bug I was one of several people who seemed to express the view that the logo was offensive.

comment:30 follow-up: ↓ 37 Changed 19 months ago by duffy

Here is another person of Cherokee ancestry agreeing the logo is problematic: https://twitter.com/garrett/status/420663816083341312

Here, a Native American media publication highlights the Cherokee Web Server as one of 8 culturally-insensitive brands: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/10/04/8-cherokee-things-arent-remotely-cherokee-151603

Here are more folks who found the logo problematic: https://twitter.com/leeflower/status/420684138291535873 https://twitter.com/dollarbinblues/status/420707103204864000 https://twitter.com/listrophy/status/420725239257911296 https://twitter.com/gemini6ice/status/420917322308911104 https://twitter.com/deborah_gu/status/420918126608654336

There are more but their twitter feeds are private. I hope this clearly establishes that Richard is not the only one concerned about the logo (I am too. You should be as well! I think we all want open source and open culture to be inclusive.)

I am sure I could find and contact more people of Cherokee heritage and have them weigh in. But this isn't a poll or a contest. The graphics are clearly racially-charged and offensive and we really don't need any more evidence to establish that. The project maintainers being European is really no excuse or justification; even if it was, the Fedora Project is based in the United States where these images are very problematic.

This is an email I wrote to Alvaro on Jan 9, 2014 in response to his asking in the bug for specific critique of the logo and why it is racist. Maybe it will help you understand, Pavel. He has not replied to me, so I have no idea if the explanation helped or not (I'm guessing not.)

Hi Alvaro,

You provided several counter-examples to the Cherokee mascot in the Bugzilla that are wholly inappropriate and non-applicable:

  • Python: a snake. A snake is an animal, not a human being. Snakes are not a marginalized race of people.
  • CouchDB: A person (white in color, and male) lounging on a couch. White men sitting on couches are not marginalized people.
  • Docker: A whale carrying boxes. A whale is an animal, not a human being. His forehead isn't removed, it's a particular style of artwork.
  • GNOME: A foot. A foot is not a person. A foot is not a member of a marginalized / oppressed race of people.

None of these examples apply, since none of them refer to a marginalized race of people. Nor do these example serve to foster understanding - rather they appear to serve as some sort of joke in poor taste. (I am assuming the best of intentions here and that you didn't mean to liken the boy in the logo to an animal twice.)

I wanted to provide you a specific point-by-point analysis - to the best of my ability - as to why the current mascot for the Cherokee project is problematic. Take in mind these points are pretty serious given the history of oppression and genocide against the Cherokee:

  • The character is a child. This is called infantilization. Why must the image of a child be used to represent the Cherokee, here? Is this really necessary? Understand that in the United States, the Cherokee race of people - yes, human beings, just as worthy of the right to live in peace as you or me - were systematically wiped out, their homes taken from them, their children murdered, villages of people murdered and burnt to the ground, much of their culture language and history lost forever. The European colonists of the Americas basically either treated the Cherokee (and other Native Americans) either as less-than-human - like animals - and hunted and killed them for their land, or (the nicer ones, including missionaries) treated them like children who had a backwards culture that needed to be destroyed and who felt the people needed to be taught the European and 'superior' way of life. This article has more information about infantilization that includes an example of the infantilization of Native Americans specifically (Read the comments too for more info):

https://filipspagnoli.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/infantilization-a-collection-of-images/

  • You might then try to argue that the boy is not intended to be a Cherokee boy. Can you tell me then, why is he wearing Native American paraphernalia? (whether or not said paraphernalia is actually indicative of Cherokee culture in particular. Hint, it's not.)
  • The character is either wearing a blue feathered headdress (red band, blue feathers) or has a blue mohawk and is wearing a red headband. I'm pretty sure from the drawing that it's meant to be a feather headdress and not a mohawk, but let's talk about both just in case:
  • If it's a feather headdress, it's an inappropriate and incorrect representation of Cherokee. This is because feather headdresses are from the Plains Indians, *not* the Cherokee who are originally based out of the southeastern United States. Cherokee simply do not wear feather headdresses. This is akin to calling someone by a name that is not their own - like if I repeatedly referred to you by the name 'Frank' even tho your name is Alvaro. Or if someone repeatedly referred to me by the wrong name, or called me a 'he' repeatedly, etc. It would be like if you came to the United States and people called you a Mexican when you were Spanish. Or called you Scottish if you were Irish. It's just plain wrong, and for it to happen continually it's really offensive.
  • If it's a mohawk, it's also inappropriate. The Cherokee did not wear mohawks. (And the terminology for Mohawks is all wrong - the Mohawk (of upstate New York in the northeastern US) did not wear mohawks either; they had small squares of hair at the top of the back of their head. The Pawnee did wear mohawks - they were a mid-western tribe, unrelated to the Cherokee.) Either way, wrong.
  • The character is WHITE. He is colored in WHITE. Native American people are not white people. There's a particularly painful issue here that this image can bring up that the Cherokee Nation member I posted comments from in the bug pointed out. There is a long, painful history that continues even today of the US government taking Native American children away from their parents and raising them under a white cultures rather than their ancestor's culture. So you've got a presumably Cherokee little boy, wearing Native American paraphernalia that are entirely inappropriate and wrong given his heritage (note the loss of culture and heritage is another horrible and painful symptom of the conquest of the Americas) and he is colored white as if he is a white person, quite literally.

So to a Cherokee person, looking at this image of a 'Cherokee' boy wearing the feather headdress of the Plains Indians (or the mohawk of the Pawnee) with white skin... the interpretation they would have is of a boy who was stolen from his tribe, stripped of his culture, made 'white', and then taught incorrect and stereotypical information about his heritage.

Can you tell me honestly you can not see, even just a little glimmer, of how incredibly offensive that is?

If you want to show a happy young boy having fun pretending he is an airplane, why does he have to wear a headdress?

Last edited 19 months ago by duffy (previous) (diff)

comment:31 follow-up: ↓ 32 Changed 19 months ago by ref

In some ways I'm surprised we're even debating this issue of offensiveness. The idea that we need to wait for some affirmative statement from an official representative of the Cherokee Nation is absurd.

There is clearly a Europe vs. US divide here. Everyone can see it. The Cherokee web server project is dominated by Europeans and always has been. By (I assume) coincidence the Fedora package maintainer is also European. Critics of the logo (both the original upstream critic, Zachary Krebs, and others) seem all to be Americans on casual inspection. I entirely understand that Europeans may not fully appreciate the way in which their logo and related artwork might be perceived within American culture. However, I do not entirely understand the force of the reaction to the suggestion that the logo may be offensive.

Some of the people reading this ticket are, like me, Red Hat employees. Imagine if you will an alternate universe in which Marc Ewing and Bob Young had named their fledgling company "Cherokee Software". They might even have picked a logo similar to the Cherokee web server logo. Now suppose Cherokee Software, Inc. had followed Red Hat's path. Investments by major tech companies and an IPO by the late 1990s, a successful focus on the enterprise market that began in the early 2000s. Does anyone *seriously* think that this Cherokee Software would have kept the old logo throughout that trajectory? It is preposterous and every American reading this knows it.

Perhaps someone thinks a comparison to a commercial enterprise is inapposite. This problem is ultimately the fault of the Apache web server project. As a weak pun they -- a bunch of young white American men, I believe, at least for the most part -- chose to name their project 'Apache', and it is that decision which spawned this silly tendency, seen in at least two cases I know of, to name alternative open source web servers with "Indian"-sounding names. But the Apache project had the good judgment not to take this too far. Their present-day 'feather logo' is borderline on the offensiveness scale (I know one of the original founders of the Apache project who regards both the name of the project and the feather logo as an embarrassment).

Suppose in an alternate universe the Apache web server project had picked as an early logo for their project something like the Cherokee logo. And suppose in that alternate universe Apache followed the same historical trajectory. It formed its 501c3 foundation in the early 2000s, it developed its close relationship with IBM at the same time, and over the years it came to develop close ties to and sponsorship relationships with numerous technology companies, most of them headquartered in the US, to the point where today Apache is an open source community brand that (to some people) is suggestive of enterprise-quality open source software in some sense. Does anyone here *seriously* think that at some point, probably right at the point at which Apache established its relationship with IBM, Apache would not have been asked to come up with a different logo?

Last edited 19 months ago by ref (previous) (diff)

comment:32 in reply to: ↑ 31 ; follow-up: ↓ 33 Changed 19 months ago by mitr

Replying to ref:

In some ways I'm surprised we're even debating this issue of offensiveness.

Of course we are. For FESCo to agree that the logo should be removed FESCo needs to agree that it is, in fact, offensive. "Offensive" also needs to mean "generally offensive"; every single thing in the world is offensive to someone.

Does anyone *seriously* think that this Cherokee Software would have kept the old logo throughout that trajectory?

Until comment:30, I would be convinced of that.

It is preposterous and every American reading this knows it.

When you know that Europeans don't understand this, calling their opinion and knowledge preposterous is really not a practical way to convince them.

Given all the excitement that has happened around this issue in the past week, I'll strongly recommend just waiting for a FESCo meeting to address this unless you really want FESCo to consider additional objective evidence in favor of either position.

comment:33 in reply to: ↑ 32 Changed 19 months ago by ref

Replying to mitr:

Replying to ref:

In some ways I'm surprised we're even debating this issue of offensiveness.

Of course we are. For FESCo to agree that the logo should be removed FESCo needs to agree that it is, in fact, offensive. "Offensive" also needs to mean "generally offensive"; every single thing in the world is offensive to someone.

Agreed. I think I did not express my rhetorical point well.

Does anyone *seriously* think that this Cherokee Software would have kept the old logo throughout that trajectory?

Until comment:30, I would be convinced of that.

It is preposterous and every American reading this knows it.

When you know that Europeans don't understand this, calling their opinion and knowledge preposterous is really not a practical way to convince them.

I believe you misunderstood what I was trying to say. I am sure that is largely because I didn't express myself well. However, I did specifically say "I entirely understand that Europeans may not fully appreciate the way in which [Cherokee's] logo and related artwork might be perceived within American culture."

Given all the excitement that has happened around this issue in the past week, I'll strongly recommend just waiting for a FESCo meeting to address this unless you really want FESCo to consider additional objective evidence in favor of either position.

OK.

comment:34 follow-up: ↓ 35 Changed 19 months ago by mmaslano

ref, you are right that European and American views on this topic differ. Mattdm persuaded me it's offensive and racist in US. Fedora project is based in US, so we have to follow those rules.

I wouldn't push Cherokee project for a change, because from European point of view, it doesn't make any sense. I'm not sure if such solution is possible according to discussion in both bugzillas.

comment:35 in reply to: ↑ 34 ; follow-up: ↓ 36 Changed 19 months ago by ref

Replying to mmaslano:

ref, you are right that European and American views on this topic differ. Mattdm persuaded me it's offensive and racist in US. Fedora project is based in US, so we have to follow those rules.

It's true that the Fedora Project happens to be based in the US, but I don't consider that too relevant in itself. Fedora is by design an international project and a large number of contributors and users are not in the US. What I'd say is that the perspective of people in the US matters just as the perspective of people in European countries and all other countries where Fedora is used matters. I can imagine a similar situation involving something that was arguably considered offensive or racist by large numbers of people in some non-US country yet non-obvious to many in the US, and if someone raised the issue with Fedora it should be taken just as seriously. I hope I have not come across as suggesting that US cultural issues should be privileged over others - I do not believe that at all.

I wouldn't push Cherokee project for a change, because from European point of view, it doesn't make any sense. I'm not sure if such solution is possible according to discussion in both bugzillas.

I agree, indeed I think this is probably something everyone agrees on. I've seen how distros can help shape behavior by upstream projects on the legal side, but this is not quite the same situation.

comment:36 in reply to: ↑ 35 Changed 19 months ago by mmaslano

Replying to ref:

Replying to mmaslano:

ref, you are right that European and American views on this topic differ. Mattdm persuaded me it's offensive and racist in US. Fedora project is based in US, so we have to follow those rules.

It's true that the Fedora Project happens to be based in the US, but I don't consider that too relevant in itself. Fedora is by design an international project and a large number of contributors and users are not in the US. What I'd say is that the perspective of people in the US matters just as the perspective of people in European countries and all other countries where Fedora is used matters. I can imagine a similar situation involving something that was arguably considered offensive or racist by large numbers of people in some non-US country yet non-obvious to many in the US, and if someone raised the issue with Fedora it should be taken just as seriously. I hope I have not come across as suggesting that US cultural issues should be privileged over others - I do not believe that at all.

Was it clear I'm from Europe? I'm not saying we should follow US behaviour/culture/whatever, I'm saying Fedora might have a legal problem.

I wouldn't push Cherokee project for a change, because from European point of view, it doesn't make any sense. I'm not sure if such solution is possible according to discussion in both bugzillas.

I agree, indeed I think this is probably something everyone agrees on. I've seen how distros can help shape behavior by upstream projects on the legal side, but this is not quite the same situation.

Yeah, please let's focus only on the solution.

comment:37 in reply to: ↑ 30 Changed 19 months ago by pali

Replying to duffy:

Here, a Native American media publication highlights the Cherokee Web Server as one of 8 culturally-insensitive brands: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/10/04/8-cherokee-things-arent-remotely-cherokee-151603

Hi, Thank you for this link it was what I've looked for. Now I'm convinced that it is real problem for Indian / Native American people not only for some hypersensitive "white" persons which have too much time to find problem where they are not. I don't mean anybody here personally - it is my general attitude - I want to solve only real problems because time is too expensive. I will try to find way how to solve it.

comment:38 Changed 19 months ago by duffy

A link to an online magazine is good enough, but an interview with a Cherokee woman that I posted to Bugzilla a month ago is not? *SMH*

comment:39 Changed 19 months ago by pali

Sorry. I work with people a lot and when I don't know that person I am skeptical. It was one voice among other not directly related to Cherokee Nation. I could find a lot similar persons who don't have any problem with that picture. That is why I wanted to hear some representatives who speak for more then one person from Cherokee Nation or more voices individual members of Cherokee community. And when official places don't answer it make suspicious that problem is not serious enough for them.

It is only explanation of my reaction. Not start of new discussion ;-)

comment:40 Changed 19 months ago by toshio

Thanks for taking the time to understand, pali!

At today's FESCo meeting, we confirmed that the upstream logo would fall into Fedora's definition of offensive. We voted on the following:

  • package maintainer to remove or replace the offensive logo(s). If maintainer refuses or 2 weeks pass, package to be retired from fedora and no longer shipped PASSED (+1:8, 0:0, -1:0) (abadger1999, 19:38:54)

The following additional notes were made:

  • fesco notes that the upstream "censored logo" is also deemed to fall into the offensive category.
  • as a stopgap until a suitable logo could be created, the images could be replaced with a transparent pixel or other placeholder.
  • mizmo had withdrawn her offer to create a new upstream logo but clarified her position on IRC after the meeting:

<mizmo_> sgallagh, if the upstream guys stop harassing richard, sure
<mizmo_> sgallagh, i'm open to creating one for fedora if it's only used downstream
<mizmo_> (even if upstream maintains their ludicrous position)

Please correspond with mizmo if you're interested in her offer.

Leaving this ticket open to track progress on updating the package.

comment:41 Changed 19 months ago by rdieter

  • Cc rdieter added

comment:42 Changed 19 months ago by pali

I agree with FESCo meeting decision. I'm busy now and I hope I can start some changes next week.

comment:43 Changed 18 months ago by mitr

Pavel, should FESCo still expect the logos to be removed? The FESCo-imposed deadline has expired last week.

comment:44 Changed 18 months ago by notting

From the 2014-03-05 FESCo meeting:

AGREED: FESCo decision reiterated. Package will be retired Monday (March 10) if not fixed. (+:7,-:0,0:0) (notting, 18:54:42)

comment:45 Changed 18 months ago by toshio

Updates submitted for F19-RawHide?, EPEL5, and EPEL6.

https://admin.fedoraproject.org/updates/cherokee

  • cherokee-1.2.101-4.el5
  • cherokee-1.2.103-3.el6
  • cherokee-1.2.103-3.fc19
  • cherokee-1.2.103-3.fc20
  • cherokee-1.2.103-3.fc21

This update replaces some of the logos with generic images and removed the logo entirely from others. Pavel, once you have time, you may want to talk with mizmo about having more specific images created.

comment:46 Changed 18 months ago by pali

Toshio, thank you for your help. I take it as a first necessary step. I will try to contact mizmo today to get new icons to definite replacement old ones. Thanks again.

comment:47 Changed 18 months ago by mattdm

  • Keywords meeting removed
  • Status changed from new to closed
  • Resolution set to fixed
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