Bush as Global Menace: Somalia

As we approach the fourth anniversary of President Bush’s ‘victory” in Iraq, it looks like–while everyone is talking about withdrawal dates and surges in Baghdad– Dubya and his cohorts have been responsible for a similar horrific disaster in Somalia, in the Horn of Africa.

Using the infinite resources of the Internet (to go beyond my previous post), I’ve tried to cobble together an understanding of what lies behind the current horrific images coming from what is probably the most failed of all the globe’s failed states.

It’s an approximation. If substantially true, however, it indicates that Somalia is another hornet’s nest the Bush administration has stumbled into–and is now obliterating–obsessed as it is with the “war against terrorism.” It’s an obsession that so far has sewn only death and chaos and strengthened rather than destroyed Al Qaeda and radical jihad.

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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.

What you can do:
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