The truth about Richard M. Stallman


Richard M. Stallman, frequently known as RMS, stood up for the freedom of ideas, starting in 1983, when no one else would.

When most people had their voices muffled including women, trans, minorities, and children, RMS saw a better way. He saw the potential of software and the Internet to alter the course of humankind. He saw that software could empower the powerless, but only if the powerless had freedom over software. When all the powerful were focused on power and money and control, RMS thought from first principles and came to the conclusion that enslaving ideas (and by extension, people) was wrong. He was mocked and vilified and attacked. But he built. Often alone.

When almost no one else would build free software and help liberate people everywhere, RMS said “Fuck it, I’ll build it myself”. And that’s what he did. If it weren’t for RMS, that hairy—some say smelly—dude, there may never have been a Linux. No Wikipedia. No Mozilla. No freedom.

People have said RMS is against 4 groups of people: women, trans, minorities, and children. They then cherry picked some data to make their case. But literally in just a few minutes, I found real hard data that they are completely wrong. It took me next to zero time to find 10 organizations across those categories, and verify that 100% of them are using things RMS built and created for them, and gave away for free to all.

The other letter has over 2,500 people who signed their names. But what it doesn’t have is truth. I stand here with just one signature, with truth on my side, to say throwing stones at Richard M. Stallman, who in his actions has been a champion for women, trans, minorities and children, is not only a waste of energy, it’s completely wrong.

My list of data is below. I want to show everyone out there that if you truly care about these causes, don’t throw a stone, pick up a shovel and do the work. The future is not built by those with pitchforks. Never has, never will be.

Organizations Fighting for the People with the help of RMS

Cause Organization Website Twitter Using code RMS built?
Womens Rights Women’s Global Empowerment Fund @wgefund Yes
Womens Rights Women Who Code @womenwhocode Yes
Womens Rights Women in Stem @womeninstem Yes
Trans Rights National Center for Transgender Equality @TransEquality Yes
Trans Rights ACLU @aclu Yes
Minority Rights Black Lives Matter @blklivesmatter Yes
Minority Rights Obama Foundation @ObamaFoundation Yes
Minority Rights John Lewis Legacy @johnlewislegacy Yes
Children Rights Shared Hope International @sharedhope Yes
Children Rights Male Survivor @MaleSurvivorORG Yes

If you don’t like RMS or FSF, fine! Go start your own damn organization. I would LOVE to support 100 more. I myself think FSF is a little outdated. But what I won’t do is throw stones at someone because he is an easy target. Especially not someone who, despite whatever mistakes he has made, has done more to liberate the people than perhaps any person alive today.


Breck Yunits

(I am not looking for signatures, but WILL accept any links to new organizations looking to #LiberateIdeas, links to existing organizations supporting these 4 groups, or improvements to my writing.)