Right-Wingers to Hollywood: We Want More Racist Stereotypes! [VIDEO]

The latest wing-nut lament is that Hollywood simply refuses to indulge in racial stereotyping, or at least not enough of it given that we're engaged in a multi-front War on Scary Brown People Terror.

Roy at Alicublog has been cataloguing the madness, here and here. The target of opportunity for this latest battle in the right's KulturKampf is the new Die Hard movie, which, according to the plenty-plaint, fails to reinforce the central assumptions about the Islamic world that have guided our response, and the right's night-sweats, since 9/11: that all towelheads are the same, and, of course, all (or at least most) are terrorists.

According to a profoundly stupid offering by Reihan Salam writing at Slate, the problem is that Hollywood is just unwilling to portray Muslims as bad guys!

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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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