Sammy Jones stated:

"I have to ask again, why are we even in this position?
What does any of this have to do with recorded sound?"

I would reply that the entire history of recorded sound hinges on one fact:
who gets to press the record button?

Leo J. Gillis
*Head of Special Collections and Archives*
Interlochen Center for the Arts
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P:  231-276-4384
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Arts Camp | Arts Academy | College of Creative Arts | Presents | Public

On Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 6:04 PM Sarah Bryan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I don't read Sammy's concerns about maintaining an appearance of
> journalistic objectivity as racist. That seems to me to be the "you're
> either with us or you're against us" attitude that has sadly characterized
> public discourse from both sides of the political spectrum for the last
> generation. What's more, if I'm not mistaken, he works for a journalistic
> entity that has unabashedly -- and in my opinion, rightly -- made clear
> that its own organizational values are anti-racism, anti-police brutality,
> and anti-Trump. It's clearly important to him that his personal beliefs
> remain separate from the conversation, and I think his wording shows
> caution and hewing to professional objectivity, and not anything
> approaching racism; we can't extrapolate anything about his own beliefs
> from what he wrote.
> However, I do disagree with Sammy that the topics that ARSC has made public
> statements about are "political," or that because they're the subject of
> current lawsuits it's inappropriate to prejudge them in the public arena.
> Issues like systemic racism and police brutality transcend the label of
> "political." They're issues of human rights, which is a realm of clear
> right and wrong, even if it takes months and years (generations, centuries)
> for the government and courts to reflect what's right in the laws. And as
> we all know from the legal history of the United States, legality is not
> always a competent arbiter of right and wrong. (Dred Scott, anyone?) Just
> because George Floyd's murder is the subject of pending legal action
> doesn't mean that the morality of what happened to him is in question; we
> saw what happened, we can all judge for ourselves, and when evil is that
> obvious, we don't need to wait for a legal decision in order to make our
> positions as citizens known.
> Organizations like ARSC are fully within their rights -- and, I believe,
> within the bounds of what *is* right -- to speak out in favor of human
> rights, if their  leadership decides to do so. The organization is not
> obligated to maintain an appearance of objectivity because one or more
> members work in fields in which absolute neutrality is a virtue. It's the
> individual members' obligation to decide whether the organization speaks
> for them, and if they find that it doesn't, what they should do about it.
> And remember, ARSC takes public stances on issues of copyright law; if
> copyright law is important enough that we take a side, regardless of
> pending litigation, surely human rights is too? And for those who think
> that racism and the proverbial arc of justice have nothing to do with
> recorded sound history...good lord.  A look at just about any issue of the
> ARSC Journal should make clear that that argument is ridiculous.
> Sarah Bryan
> **************************
> Sarah Bryan
> **************************