Supporters of Mitt Romney Are Pushing Ultra-Conservative Christian Agendas in Africa That Criminalize Gays and Threaten Women's Health

On Friday, Andy Kroll at Mother Jones reported on Jay Sekulow and Jordan Sekulow, the father-son team leading the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), high-profile social conservatives and advisors and supporters of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, working to overcome the candidate’s enthusiasm gap within the right-wing evangelical community. The article highlights findings from my recent Colonizing African Values report, exposing that ACLJ is leading the drive to enshrine U.S. Christian Right principles in African law through its offices in Zimbabwe and Kenya, including barring abortion even when the woman’s life is at risk, and ensuring gay sex (a “pervasion” equated with bestiality) is criminalized. These appalling actions abroad have too long gone without condemnation.

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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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