Kevin McCarthy is totally flailing: He 'doesn't have the backbone to lead'

Rep. Kevin McCarthy

Office of the House Republican Leader (2019), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Kevin McCarthy has "leader" in his title, but the House minority leader is showing what a failure he is on that front. McCarthy has been flailing as Rep. Liz Cheney, currently the third-ranking House Republican, has outraged Trumpists with her insistence that the results of elections should be honored and insurrection is bad. McCarthy has joined the anti-Cheney camp, but clumsily, constantly playing catch-up rather than leading, and members of his own caucus are noticing.

McCarthy first went public with his opposition to Cheney in a probably fake "hot mic" moment on Fox News, then swiftly got behind Rep. Elise Stefanik's leadership bid. Stefanik is less conservative but more loyal to Trump and more opportunistic than Cheney. McCarthy followed that up with a laughably weak letter in which he argued for purging Cheney from leadership while claiming Republicans as "a big tent party" where "unlike the left, we embrace free thought and debate." (And, as a side point, made a hilarious reference to his "first small business," which was a deli counter in the corner of his uncle's frozen yogurt shop, and which he ran for a year before leaving to go to college.)

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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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