This is Your Brain on Whiteness: The Invisible Psychology of White American Ignorance Explained

Earlier this week, outlaw motorcycle clubs engaged in a daylight gun battle in Waco, Texas. This combat involved hundreds of people. The mall where the riot occurred was left resembling a war zone, with hundreds of spent bullet cartridges strewn about, broken bodies everywhere, and police and other local municipal services overwhelmed. By the end of melee, nine outlaws were dead, 18 wounded, and at least 165 people were arrested; 120 guns were recovered at the crime scene.

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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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