Rand Paul’s Twisted Race Lies: His New Views on Civil Rights Are as Phony as the Old Ones

If you Google “Rand Paul Civil Rights Act,” the first prompt that comes up is “unconstitutional,” so it was definitely heartening to see his apparent about-face on the act’s 50th anniversary, whenhe attended a local commemoration at the Shelbyville, Kentucky, home of Dr. Maurice F. Rabb, a prominent civil rights activist in the 1940s and ’50s. “Every major civil rights activist that came to the South stayed with my parents,” Chris Rabb said. “They were not allowed to stay in hotels.”

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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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