The assassination of Jimmy Carter continues …

In Saturday's Washington Post, Deborah Lipstadt, the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, took aim at Jimmy Carter and his recent book, Palestine: Peace Not Aparthied.

The column was a perfect example of how to baselessly smear an ideological opponent without engaging -- in any way -- that opponent's argument; it was a case study.

Its title -- drawing a not-terribly-subtle parallel between the former president who put human rights squarely in the middle of U.S. foreign policy and Adolph Hitler, a genocidal maniac -- was: "Jimmy Carter's Jewish Problem."

Lipstadt accuses Carter of giving "inadvertent comfort" to Holocaust deniers -- the subject of much of Lipstadt's scholarship and two of the three books she's authored. Carter, she wrote, has responded to "criticism" -- "witch-hunt" would be a more appropriate description -- by "reflexively" offering up "innuendo about Jewish control of the media and government." She adds, "When David Duke spouts it, I yawn. When Jimmy Carter does, I shudder."

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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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