Cole goes on to explain how the low level of diversity seen among the Apache SpamAssassin Project’s developers is a significant hurdle that must be addressed. He elaborates on the issue: “None of us has the time and skills to make a focused recruiting effort to get a more diverse set of contributors or even just more contributors. Changing a few labels in the code is something we CAN do.”
From an ethical perspective - this formal acknowledgement of an instance of racial insensitivity in its messaging is something the project CAN and SHOULD do, regardless of the current political environment. McGrail explains:
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "It's never the wrong time to do the right thing." Apache SpamAssassin and numerous other open-source community projects clearly recognize this, and are doing what they can to correct previous generations’ wrongs - as opposed to reinforcing, legitimizing, and perpetuating them. The tide is turning in our social culture. Change needs to come from the majority; however “the majority” is made up of individuals, organizations and communities, whose actions additively have the potential to create significant, positive societal shifts.
The recently heightened awareness of systemic racism and white privilege in our society provides a great opportunity for the open-source community to demonstrate leadership and morality in the midst of the turbulent times we’re currently living in. Guardian Digital CEO and LinuxSecurity Founder Dave Wreski reflects on the matter:
From the software and technology the company uses to the services it provides, Guardian Digital is committed to ensuring that every customer knows that he or she is valued and respected. Wreski elaborates: “I truly admire the initiative and leadership that Apache SpamAssassin and an expanding group of open-source community projects are demonstrating in their response to this global issue and, now more than ever, I am extremely proud to be a member of the open-source community.”
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