Feingold calls BS on gay-hating placebo politics

Senate Republicans, with no ideas on how to revive their sagging party's hopes for November, have opted for legislating socially divisive issues like reproductive rights and abortion over the summer. They held a closed-door session to draft up a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and Russ Feingold called BS. He left after voicing his distate for the choice of holding the meeting without the public in attendance, telling Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter he didn't need any lectures. "See ya," he said.

Here's the language of the draft: "Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman."

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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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