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🔗 Chris Lattner on Rafael Avila de Espindola leaving the LLVM project

When it comes to Rafael, I have worked with Rafael over the internet for many years and have met him several times. Rafael is a very capable engineer who has contributed to LLVM in many ways, and I respect his work. At the same time, Rafael and the LLVM Community have divergent philosophies and neither is willing to compromise on those positions. As such, I think that Rafael's decision (which reflects significant personal sacrifice for him) is a strong display of personal conviction, and while I do not agree with the basis of this decision, I can recognize and respect his determination to follow his own beliefs. I will truly miss working with Rafael in the future, but parting ways is the best thing for both sides.

In closing, this situation strikes very close to home and is frustrating to me in multiple ways. Many people on the internet want to chime in on a complex situation without knowing any of the backstory, and without understanding what is going on. Instead, they look for confirmation of their own beliefs and to demonize people who disagree with them. This is a sad reflection of the state of social discourse in the world.

It is deeply troubling to see how so many people react so forcibly when they are exposed to an opinion that runs counter to their own. Their minds immediately snap to hyperbolic examples of why their reasoning is perfect and anyone who challenges them is not only wrong but a despicable human being.

Rafael Avila de Espindola was very vocal about how diversity and inclusion was being handled within the LLVM project. You have every right to disagree with him but you should disagree with what he is saying and not with what you "think" he is saying. He didn't write anything supporting the idea that minorities or women should be prevented from contributing to LLVM.

A good friend and colleague of Rafael's, Chris Latter, expressed disappointment about his leaving the LLVM project. Chris pointed out the importance of fostering an inclusive community but praised Rafael for standing by his principals and choosing to leave the project because they had fundamental disagreements.

It took just over an hour for the white supremacist comparison to be made and less than an hour after that it was suggested if you respect Rafael's opinion then you must respect everyone whose opinions you disagree with.

If you look at all the responses to that tweet you'll see no constructive criticism and just ad hominem attacks. I touched on this in my response to the Obama/Trump flip voters article but I miss when contentious topics could actually be debated instead of devolving into emotional flame wars.