Note the updates at the end: In short, my resignation is now in full effect.
A moderator is a person trusted by both Stack Exchange, and the community as a whole, to objectively and fairly deal with the exceptions that may arise in the regular running of the site.
We are trusted with access to private data, and have tools and resources that allow us to work beyond the roles that regular users work at. In many ways we represent the users, and in many other ways, we represent SE as an organization.
We also make mistakes. We are human, and as much as we try, our biases, cultures, and mood influences how we interact with others.
A moderator has a relationship with Stack Exchange. This relationship is partially a formal agreement, but mostly it is a mutual trust relationship. SE trusts us to manage the site in a fair and inclusive way, and we trust SE to support us with tools and resources, protect us from bad situations, and to help us evolve in the bigger picture of the larger SE community and the world as a whole.
In light of recent events in the broader Stack Exchange site, it's become clear that the tolerance for mistakes is diminished. I understand that Stack Exchange needs to be an inclusive, "nice" place to be, and I hope that all my interactions with people have been inclusive, and "nice". I have tried really hard to make that happen. I sincerely hope that Stack Exchange succeeds in their goals to be more inclusive.
I grew up in South Africa, with its racist past (and, frankly, present). I have close friends and family who openly (and not so openly) identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, including transgender and transitional friends (I have marched with them in Pride Parades, it's so much fun!). I may have a privileged life, but I have close friends and family who have been marginalized, excluded, degraded, and worse as a result of their unique situations. I am sure I have, and will make mistakes, and these friends have occasionally "educated" me on nuances and issues that they experience and I misunderstand, but I try really hard to not repeat mistakes, perpetuate bad stereotypes, etc.
Further, in the near future, I anticipate an increased volatility in the site as new and existing policies are refined, and implemented. These new policies are going to create significant "sensitive" debates, and emotions will be high, and mistakes will be very easy to make as things are too easy to misinterpret. It's too easy to offend people (intentionally or otherwise), and I don't want to have to police these debates to "correct" bad behaviour, nor do I want to make mistakes of my own in ongoing dialog.
Having said all that, I am vulnerable in that I no longer trust that the SE staff will tolerate even small mistakes. I look at the consequences of a mistake now and it scares me. If what happened, and is happening, to Monica were to happen to me, I would lose my reputation, it would have negative impacts on my relationships with friends and family, it would impact my career, and future job prospects.
In my opinion, Stack Exchange has not protected Monica at all. In fact, Stack Exchange has actively targeted, marginalized, and "branded" Monica (on the site and with the media). I no longer trust Stack Exchange to "have my back".
I cannot risk that consequence over a voluntary position, even though I am passionate about Code Review as a site, and a process. The potential down-side is just too great.
As such, I am resigning my position as a moderator, effective as soon as I reasonably can make it.
I will discuss with the other moderators whether there can be a transitional process if they need the coverage, or whether an election is needed, etc. I don't want to leave this community in the lurch, but I suspect that the SE staff are going to be overwhelmed in the near future with elections on multiple sites, etc.
I don't know what's going to happen from here.
Thanks all for the years of friendships and community I have experienced here. I suspect that I will still be around after my diamond is removed. I won't be a stranger.
Stack exchange has published an apology that addresses some of the concerns I have that affect the relationship between moderators (myself) and SE the company.
I appreciate that they have taken this step, and I see it as a step in the right direction. I sure hope there is more to come.
Having said that, a significant number of moderators collaborated on, and signed a statement/letter to Stack Exchange expressing our concerns and hopes of what would change in the future (I collaborated a little, and signed it).
I believe that the path forward is going to be a process, and not a sudden change. Even if it were an apparent sudden change, I would not trust things to stay that way until some time has passed, and there's significant evidence to support those changes.
So, the apology from SE does not affect my decision to resign. I am resigning for sure.... but, it gives me hope for the future.
I will stick around, do my "thing", and pay attention.
One thing I have learned is that time heals many wounds, and in a few years time, things will be different, and attitudes will change.
I hope that SE follows through on its promises, expressed clearly, or implied, and that the Code Review moderators will continue to keep this wonderful site ticking along.
Who knows, in some election down the line, I may just be throwing my name back in the hat.... but that won't happen for a while.
Update 2 (Oct 10, 2019):
With Mat's return to the team, I can step away with confidence that that the impact to the community is minimized. Thanks Mat. With this update, my resignation is effective immediately.