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I am not at ease with open source asking money for american associations. Are you?

etienneburdet profile image Etienne Burdet ・2 min read

Today, I was asked if I wanted to give money for american associations supporting justice for african americans on https://webpack.js.org/ and this very DEV. And I must say that that I had a strange feeling about it.

Don't get me wrong here: I am 100% behind the cause (feel strange to have to state that, but I am not taking a chance).

No, my problem is, I never saw any such emails or banners when families are randomly blown away by drones in Pakistan or when the Filipino police slaughtered people in the streets…or anything else outside of the US. Yet there are open sources contributors, users and readers from these countries. So what message is sent here? The open source community has been doing great toward internationalisation and superbly inclusive code of conduct. But all of a suden, I felt I was told that some nationalities were weighting more than others.

So what are your feelings about it?
Do you feel that it is too american centric and we might be losing audience and contributors? (like I do)
That, sure it could be more equal, but doing good in the US is better than doing good nowhere?
That well, if opensource main maintainers and community leaders are americans, then it is only normal that their voices are more heard?
That it is just to not the place anyways, whatever the cause and country?
Anything else?

I am sincerely curious to know.

🙏 Please, be sure to double check your answers and wording. It is a topic that has a quite more consequences than semis in JS. But I think it is a matter to be discussed 🙏

Discussion

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I would think it's a matter of information.
Me, for example, I don't get much news about what happens outside of my country, which I am solely to blame for by disinterest/inactivity.
My news-world consists mostly of my own country, and by extension the US, due to it's widely-spread representation on the internet and my favorite news pages. So if I ever felt the need to display any banners, or motivate people to fund organizations of a cause I believe in, I would probably steer them toward organizations in my country too.

I don't think anyone is trying to do anyone harm by exclusion, it's probably just the things that concern them in particular or appear in their news-bubble/are within their reach.

 

Totally agree that there is no intentional harm—better say it too much :)

 

My personal view being : I have a hard time blaming maintainers and leaders for acting on subject that matters for them and there is nothing about going political when you think you have to. But still, it is not a healthy base to build an international community and some people—potentially great contributors— might feel second class citizen with moves like this.

I would have preferred if they used personal accounts/identities, not project ones for that.