Godot Gets Woke!
Published on: Nov. 7, 2019 | In: News | By Dean
So a few days ago Rémi Verschelde posted news on the official Godot Engine website that Godot’s Project Leadership Committee has written and published a new Code Of Conduct that all users and contributors are to be bound by both online and at Godot Events. You can read the new Code Of Conduct here
The Code of Conduct was posted to the /r/godot subreddit where a discussion took place and it was later shared to the /r/programming subreddit where is was widely mocked and criticized for being another attempt at ramming far left and social justice ideology down the throats of the users and contributors of free and open source software.
I tweeted at the lead developer of Godot Juan Linietsky to urge him to “question the motives of the people that wrote this new Code Of Conduct”. As it was clearly written by far left activists. His response was: “Where do you see the CoC being political or leftist? I am really puzzled at this.” And this seems to be the general response of people in favour of the Code Of Conduct. So to avoid having to have the same argument with a character limit and with multiple people at the same time on twitter I thought I’d share my thoughts, concerns and potential solutions here and then reference this post.
So let’s look at why I think the COC was written by leftists and why that’s bad for the Godot Project.
And Juan, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry that you got mobbed by people on twitter after that. That was not my intention and it’s why I stopped responding to that initial thread. I’ve been in that situation before and it’s not pleasant.
The first sentence of the document is “The Godot project is an international community open to everyone without discrimination”. The word discrimination is a politically charged word. It is often used by far left activists and intersectional types to shut down free and open discussion on the vague notion that someone might have their feelings hurt. I assume that a lot of time went into creating this COC. The sentence makes perfect sense as “The Godot project is an international community open to everyone”. I don’t mean to nit pick here. But they added that word for a reason, as it is unnecessary.
In the restricted conduct section of the document we see the greatest indication that this document was created by people who subscribe to an intersectional ideology and intend to further its cause.
“The Godot project is committed to providing a friendly and safe environment for everyone, regardless of level of experience, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, language proficiency, age, political orientation, nationality, religion, or other similar characteristics. We do not tolerate harassment or discrimination of participants in any form”.
Looking at a social interaction through the lens of race, gender and identity is something that people who subscribe to this far left ideology always do. There is always a hierarchy of identities. If someone they deem has an identity that is in the “majority” “harasses” someone who has an identity that is in the “minority” this is somehow more egregious than if someone deemed a “minority” “harasses” someone in the “majority”. If race, gender and identity doesn’t matter to the author, as it shouldn’t, and as they claim it doesn’t, then why did they bring it up and make it the focus point of the restricted conduct section?
And I know what they will say to defend this. They will say that they are "protecting marginalised people". But that's just not the case. These people are not marginalised in any way. If anything the software development community already goes well out of its way to be sure that people who might be considered "industry minorities" are comfortable. I might be a straight white male, but if I was a gay black transgendered person, I would find this rhetoric belittling and insulting. As if I can't compete with the straight white men because of arbitrary characteristics like race and gender. But anyway let's keep going, because it gets worse.
The next line is basically the same as the previous except this time they make it very clear with the use of the phrase “In Particular” that they view the opinions and feelings of “minorities” as superior to the opinions and feelings of those in the “majority”. Just in case you had any doubt as to where this was going. If you are harassed by a “minority” you better suck it up, buddy. But if you are seen to be harassing a “minority”, you best believe that you will be banned and slandered as a bigot, a racist, a homophobe, a transphobe and "literally hitler".
“In particular, we strive to be welcoming to all industry minorities and to ensure that they can take a more active role in the community and the project. Targeted harassment of minorities is unacceptable.”
I'm obviously injecting a little humour into this post and being a little bit facetious. But I think you get the message.
If this is not political and not a document created by leftists with the intention of furthering their cause of intersectional, divisive social justice then why is there such a focus on “minorities”. Why does the identity of someone being accused of or being the victim of harassment matter? If one individual is harassing another individual then the identity of the individuals ought to be irrelevant. The act itself it what is wrong. The identities of those involved is immaterial.
The only people that share the view that identity matters when dealing with a social interaction are the far left and the far right. Which is basically the same thing but flipped around. In my opinion, and I hope this is the majority opinion because it should be, this document should not make reference to race, gender, sexual orientation or other identities as doing so means that these characteristics of an individual can and will be taken into account every time the COC or even the Godot Project itself makes a decision.
This line here also concerns me about the intentions of the authors:
“You will be excluded from participating in the community if you insult, demean, harass, intentionally make others uncomfortable by any means, or participate in any other hateful conduct, either publicly or privately”.
Firstly this idea that if you make anyone intentionally uncomfortable or insult them in any way you can get banned. Will this also be looked at with an intersectional lens with a bias towards “minorities”? My concern is that simply criticizing the opinions of someone deemed a “minority” could be seen by the COC team as insulting them or intentionally making them uncomfortable.
This could also lead to a situation whereby people are afraid to criticise the contributions of “minorities” for fear of making them uncomfortable and being reported to the COC team. This could lead to poor quality code being accepted into the code base for Godot because of the fear of offending someone.
The second part of this that concerns me is the “...either publicly or privately” line. This is worded as though you can be banned from participation in the Godot community for things that you say or do outside the community. If you say something that the COC team sees as disparaging towards someone who is a “minority” on a platform not controlled or moderated by Godot and in a context not related to Godot you can be banned from participating in the Godot community. This forces Godot contributors to abide by a moral framework, both inside and outside of the context of the Godot Project that many of us in the community see as having a very far left political bias.
For example, this document could be interpreted as such that if someone who is a Christian, a Muslim, a conservative or even a scientist states that there are only two genders on twitter, facebook, their own private website or in a private conversation, the COC team could say that that is discrimination against those that identify as "Non-Binary" and then use that as grounds to ban them from contributing to Godot. Or even worse yet, they could get fired if they work for Godot in an official capacity. So this line about not discriminating against any religious or political belief system is in direct conflict with the line about gender identity. Whose getting banned in this case? Are transgenders getting banned? or are we cancelling all of the Christians, Muslims, conservatives and biology scientists?
Which I would argue is the point of it. They are attempting to force their political ideology on the Godot community, not just when interacting within the community but outside of it as well. You don't have to believe in it. But you do have to obey it. This subverts the standard norm of treating each person as an individual.
This is not just happening in the Godot community it is happening in a bunch of FOSS projects. I would urge my readers to research Coraline Ada Ehmke. Coraline is a self described far left social justice warrior and transgender activist that was fired from Github because of her poor conduct there. She is responsible for the creation of Post Meritocracy and Contributor Covenant. She wrote a guide for how FOSS projects ought to word their COC documents. The people involved with both of these organisations have been known to smear anyone that disagrees with them as racists, homophobes, etc. Even the great Linus Torvalds was called all manner of names by Coraline and her cohorts until he agreed to change the Linux COC to fit her leftist agenda. Godot's COC seems to be a direct copy paste of their recommended social justice approved COC.
They claim to be about equality and diversity but Coraline’s own blog tells a different story. She equates people criticising her code commits to harassment. She constantly berates her former employer as not being diverse enough and not doing enough to promote an inclusive environment for “marginalised people” even though they went out of their way to accommodate her and people like her, often to the detriment of others. She was on a team with two other transgender people, three women of color and one man. And somehow Github still had a "diversity issue" and a "culture of toxic white males".
There’s an entire thread on reddit about how unbearable she is to work with. She also claims she was fired from Github for complaining about a survey that didn’t list all the genders she would like it to list but in reality she was fired for her poor behaviour.
Now I'm not claiming that Coraline wrote this COC, I don't think she did. I think the Godot team wrote it because they are scared that if they don't then people like Coraline will write means things about them on the internet like they did with Linus Torvalds.
But this much is clear, COCs like this are not about being inclusive, they are not about being hospitable to people from different backgrounds, races or genders. The people that subscribe to this ideology only want one thing, power. And I say they already have enough.
I have also rewrote the Godot COC as an apolitical document that treats everybody the same, ensures that nobody harasses anybody and does not give unnecessary power to people who have abused it time and time again. If you are interested you can read it here
I've already showed it to Juan, but he says that he will not budge and wants to reword the one that they have so it sounds a little better, but I think that if the community agrees with me that this COC is more appropriate, then maybe we can change his mind.
Also Epstein didn't kill himself.
As always, thanks for reading!