New acting director of Trump's Bureau of Land Management has a history of climate denial and racism

William Perry Pendley, Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management

In July, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt appointed William Perry Pendley to the position of acting director of the Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Pendley’s views on public lands were already known. Shortly after he was named acting director, The Washington Post reported on Pendley’s anti-federal land history of saying things like, “The Founding Fathers intended all lands owned by the federal government to be sold.” Grrrreeeaaaaat! A new report from CNN adds to Pendley’s long and illustrious history of being a climate denier, an Islamophobe, and a crazy anti-immigrant racist.

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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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