Why Is Bernie Sanders So Silent On Hate Toward Muslims?

This week, America witnessed a series of events that highlight how much of the country feels about Muslims. Teenager Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school that school officials ridiculously believed was a bomb. Then, we saw a GOP debate where no candidates condemned the arrest, with speakers spending more time conflating the teenager with terrorists overseas than calling school officials and the police to account. Finally, we witnessed a horrifying moment when a GOP voter asked frontrunner Donald Trump how he would get rid of Muslims he claimed were building military camps and had even recruited the president of the United States. Trump actually promised to look into these absurd claims.

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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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