25 ways to say nothing at all

Repeat after me, bland=bad. Nice=evil. Just because he has good skin, cute children, and can dodge questions with the best of them, does not mean John Roberts will be a nice Supreme Court Chief Justice (not nice for people of color or women or gay people, anyway). Remember that most people voted for Bush not because of his politics but because he seemed like a nice guy, a straight-shooter so to speak, even if the only thing he was shooting off was his...oh never mind.

But let bygones (even huge election mistakes) be bygones and move on to the problem at hand, the next Supreme Court Chief Justice of the United States. Perhaps you haven't been watching very carefully (and by the little attention the hearings have been getting in the media, I'm not surprised if you haven't been), but really, for anyone looking for an excuse not to answer anything, it's worth taking lessons from John Roberts, the master.

Think Progress has developed this list of 25 ways John Roberts has refused to answer a question so far. Here are a few of my favorites, feel free to add.

15. “I think nominees have to draw the line where they’re comfortable.”

17. “I’d have to consider all those before reaching a conclusion in any of those particular areas.”

18. “And so that’s an area that I do not feel it appropriate for me to comment on.”

19. “Well, again — and of course, without getting into the particulars…”

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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