The seedy Georgia campaign reveals the right wing's animosity for the Black church: historian

Raphael Warnock

Despite their professed commitments to religious freedom, Republicans often find themselves attacking people whose faith doesn't conform to the dominant views in the white evangelical community. This tendency has been on display in the campaign against Rev. Raphael Warnock, who is trying to unseat incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler in one of two U.S. Senate runoffs in Georgia. Loeffler has attacked Warnock for his views expressed from the pulpit, and an article by historian Audrey Farley for The New Republic cites Warnock as an example of African-American Christians coming under fire from far-right Republicans.

"Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler has based her reelection campaign on maligning the Black liberation theology that informs the ministry of her opponent, the Rev., Raphael Warnock," Farley explains. "Loeffler would have voters believe Warnock is a 'dangerous radical,' because he preaches, like the Rev. Dr. James Cone and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. before him, that God desires the collective liberation of the oppressed and, further, that Christians have a moral responsibility to root out racism and other societal sins."

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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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