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Date:   Wed, 8 Jul 2020 01:54:07 +0200
From:   Tibor Raschko <>
To:     Arvind Sankar <>
        Greg Kroah-Hartman <>,
        Mark Brown <>,
Subject: Re: [Tech-board-discuss] [PATCH] CodingStyle: Inclusive Terminology

> Blacklist most definitely has a negative connotation in technical use.
> You blacklist devices that don't work properly, you blacklist drivers
> that don't work for your hardware, you blacklist domains that are
> sending spam or trying to mount network attacks on your servers. Things
> on the blacklist are "bad" in one way or the other, that's the reason
> they're on it.

Of course, we put "bad" things on a blacklist. But in computing, only technical
things, not black people. What I meant with "blacklist has no negative
connotation" was that when we use the word "blacklist", nobody actually thinks
about people or skin color. Blocking bad IP addresses or faulty devices is
surely non-offensive.

If you argue that instead of this, what we really care about is "black" things
generally meaning something "bad", then forbidding "blacklist" will not get us
any closer to our goal. This is because we have a hundred other "black" phrases
in our language: black economy, black sheep, black market, to blacken, a
blackleg, a blackguard, a black mark ... only a couple of examples from the top
of my head.

My point is we will never get rid of the bad connotations in "black". "Black" is
always going to assume and remain something "unwanted", even after 2020. This is
why I think this whole campaign of removing "blacklist" is utterly ridiculous
and ineffective.

The real problem is that a group of people have been marked and
labeled with such a negative word. If we want to remove the negative association
from black people, we should stop calling them black. That'd be productive in
the long run, since afro-americans then wouldn't be associated with something
"bad" anymore.

But all the supporters of the campaign keep calling them something ba" by
calling them black, and hope to make a difference by banning 2 or 3 totally
unrelated phrases out of probably 50. The whole campaign is pointless and rides
on emotion and media attention instead of rational thinking.

I support avoiding references to master, slave, and to slavery in general.
I oppose avoiding blacklist.

Raschko T.

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