It’s a good a time to scrap the methadone clinic system

Patients receive methadone treatment in Dien Bien. Photo: @USAIDVietnam

The rapid onset of the coronavirus and subsequent shutdowns have got those of us on methadone feeling pretty scared right now. Although the government (and my clinic doctor) insist that clinics will remain open—and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has instituted relaxed guidelines for distributing take-home doses—lots of us are still checking to see if we still have that old dealer’s number, wondering if the local dope spot is still around, and starting to ask ourselves tough questions about whether, and for how long, we would be willing to hold out without our daily dose of methadone. I know because that’s what I’m doing.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

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:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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