Deporting the Hand That Feeds Us: How Anti-Immigrant Laws Are Causing a Farm Labor Shortage

While researching her 2012 book The American Way of Eating, journalist Tracie McMillan decided to try her hand at picking grapes, sorting peaches and cutting garlic. The experience resulted in heatstroke, tendinitis and long-term damage to her right arm. In only one job – sorting peaches – was she paid minimum wage. That was also the only job where her employer was aware she was an undercover journalist. She left two jobs rather quickly, but stuck with the garlic job for six weeks until she literally could not use her right arm for anything and she became worried she might permanently damage it.

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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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