Beverly Hills Chihuahua?

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez writes:

First, before you read any further, go watch the trailer for Disney's movie, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Then, come back so we can talk about it.

You like that? Hmmm?

At a time when writers and producers of material about human Latinos face unprecedented resistance to our material, Hollywood had absolutely no problem green-lighting "Beverly Hills Chihuahua." It will be released in September, which is (coincidentally? methinks not) Hispanic History Month in the United States. Note: The brown male dog hooks up with the whitest female dog ever, and asks, slyly, "Jealous?" Also note, he is "50 percent warrior, 50 percent lover."

Nah, no stereotypes there.

At a time when new information about the incredible complexity of ancient Mayan civilization, writing, language and mathematics is being uncovered, at a time of unprecedented attacks upon those of Mexican descent in this country, at a time when history books are finally starting to admit that many tens of millions more indigenous people were killed in the Americas than previously admitted - this, THIS is what we get from our film industry.

A film industry with a long history of very cozy relationships with government propagandists.

If I hadn't sat in so many meetings where studio execs made comments that would make Jim Crow laws seem enlightened, I wouldn't believe it. But believe it I do. George Lopez and Salma Hayek on board to voice the characters.

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.

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