Ted Cruz helped Texas fracking billionaires reap millions in COVID aid relief: report

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. // Credit: Gage Skidmore

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) lent a helping hand to two Texas fracking billionaires by asking for changes to rules that would allow them to acquire a $35 million COVID-19 relief loan aimed at helping struggling businesses stay afloat.

The report notes that Texas billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks were on a buying spree as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the country -- buying up bankrupt competitors and investing in others -- only to find they were prohibited from taking advantage of the government-backed loan program as one of their many companies struggled.

Read More Show less
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
Sign up