HIGHTOWER: When the People Lead

There's a wise bumper sticker that proclaims: "When the people lead, the leaders will follow."Well, America's corporate and governmental leaders recently tried to lead us down a rabbit path of deceit, but "we the people" balked ... and, instead, the leaders had to turn around and follow the people.The issue was whether or not a simple label was going to have any integrity. For decades, any product that had a "Made in the USA" label on it meant just that: the product was made in America. Period. The proponents of today's Alice-in-Wonderland global economy, however, wanted the Federal Trade Commission to proclaim that "Made in the USA" could also mean "Not Made in the USA." In their globaloney world, the USA label could have been applied to, say, a bicycle that was made entirely of foreign parts ... yet assembled in the USA.Multinational corporations wanted to have it both ways, making their products with cheap labor abroad while marketing them here as "American." Sure enough, with the support of the Clinton Administration, the FTC obliged them last May by proposing its diluted standard.That would have been that, except for one thing: You. As one opponent of this devious and deceitful deal put it: "When I see that label, it's like seeing the flag -- it's patriotism." Alerted by radio shows like mine, folks not only got agitated about this scam ... they got to agitating.Suddenly Congress, which had not opposed the FTC proposal, found its phone lines being melted by you outraged citizens. When our lawmakers realized that "We the People" were on the march, they rushed to get in front of the parade, with a majority of them sponsoring a resolution against changing the label. The result is that the FTC commissioners have now voted unanimously to reject their own proposal to tamper with the meaning of "Made in the USA."This is Jim Hightower saying ... It proves that people power still works ... when we apply enough of it.Source:"FTC drops plan to ease standard of 'Made in U.S.A.' by Robert Hershey Jr. New York Times: Dec.2, 1997. 'Made in USA': A standard undaunted in a global war" by Eric Schmitt. New York Times: Dec. 6, 1997.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

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