DURST: What They Say/What They Mean

You'd have to have large quantities of moss growing on the north side of your butt not to realize game shows are noisily making a conspicuous comeback these days.

Of course, not even the slimiest TV producer on the lowest rung of the Aaron Spelling dynastic empire would try to replicate the silly, boring little game we've played with our leaders for years. You know, the one where pollsters tell them what they think we, the public, want to hear. Then every last trace of breath gets sucked out of the research and its mouthed back to us with faces pinched so tight the wrinkles at the side of their mouths could be used as menu standers.

And the trend has caught on in the rest of American life. Now, everybody mouths merely what's expected of them, rather than what lurks in their heart of hearts. But that's why I get paid the big bucks: to read between the lines of the deceits. To pour lemon juice on the invisible ink of invention. To steam open the envelope containing the Navajo codes of social distortion separating what they say from what they mean.

So listen up, my friends, and all will be revealed.

What They Say: I'm the Environmental President.

What They Mean: Not the whole environment. Mostly just the plots of land right under the headquarters of Texas's seven major energy conglomerates.

WTS: The Confederate flag is not a symbol of racism, its a token of our heritage.

WTM: Screw you non-whitey.

WTS: We expect to take the same professionalism we showed in Australia and apply it to Salt Lake City next winter.

WTM: Yesterday's Olympics Tomorrow.

WTS: We are simply attempting to provide the best and most economical service possible to our valued energy consumers.

WTM: Ha-ha-ha-ha! Cha ching! Cha ching! Ha-ha-ha-ha!

WTS: The declining economy and falling stock market is the single most compelling reason for the country to receive the benefits of my tax cut right now.

WTM: Don't hear much about my whole scheme to tie social security to the stock market anymore, does you?

WTS: Honey, should we take the Landcruiser or the Suburban to the "Save the Blind Albino Unwed Spotted Owl" fundraiser?

WTM: We want to have our raspberry reduction tiramisu and eat it too.

WTS: Leading scientific indicators on what constitutes a dangerous level of arsenic in tapwater are unclear.

WTM: More is gooder, right?

WTS: The semi-dimpled, half-hanging, quarter-pregnant chads deserved another look.

WTM: If only I hadn't invented the Internet, everything would be different. Pass the double stuffed Oreos.

WTS: Ronald Reagan has decided to give up his office space in Century City due to the fact he hasn't needed it for quite a while.

WTM: Ronald Reagan has decided to give up his office space in Century City due to the fact he hasn't known what Century City is for quite a while.

WTS: George W looks so serene.

WTM: So do coma victims.

WTS: This hotel is totally committed to maintaining an Earth friendly policy.

WTM: We don't want to wash your towels.

WTS: What this country needs to get back on track is programs like those originated by our forefathers.

WTM: Faith-based executions.

WTS: After intense study of the genome project, scientists discovered humans only have 450 more genes than your typical mustard plant.

WTM: There have always been Arkansas trailer courts and there always will be.

WTS: The Navy crew returns from their tortuous Chinese captivity as true American heroes.

WTM: These people have missed two entire episodes of "Survivor." Fortunately their long nightmare is over.

WTS: Strom Thurmond barely speaks, appears bewildered most of the time and votes exactly how his staff directs him.

WTM: Business as usual.

Will Durst says what he means and means what he says, and when he says it means a lot to him, it does.

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.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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