Please Stop The First Lady Bake-Off

There are a lot of things I hate about election season, but the competition of which potential First Lady has the best recipes is perhaps my least favorite. So I’m actually kind of glad that “Farfalle-gate” has broken, and it turns out that Cindy McCain’s favorite family recipes were pulled directly from the Food Network — and that she didn’t even offer them up herself, some unpaid intern found them and claimed they were McCain family traditions. The whole thing is BS, and it makes me happy that Cindy didn’t waste ten minutes of her life transcribing her recipe for rosemary chicken (although, of course, she should have just said the whole thing was crap and given Rachel Ray the proper credit).

I like food as much as the next person — actually, I probably like food a whole lot more than the next person — but I don’t really understand why Americans care which First Lady has the best cookie recipe. And I really don’t understand this:

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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.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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