All-villain team: The 62 who voted against the bipartisan hate crimes bill are the worst of the worst GOPers in the House

Rep. Jim Jordan, image via Screengrab.

The "COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act" signed into law Thursday by President Joe Biden has been hailed as a rare breakthrough in the partisan gridlock that poisons American politics.

That's a fair assessment, given that the law was passed by whopping margins of 94-1 in the Senate and 364-62 in the House of Representatives. The big story was the bipartisan goodwill -- however fleeting -- that accompanied a measure that will, among other things, provide long-overdue greater protections to members of the AAPI community.

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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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