New report details the craven way the GOP became dependent on Trump

Former President Donald Trump has been gone from the White House for four months. But his influence on the Republican Party hasn't disappeared, and most Republicans in Congress — apart from outspoken critics like Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — are terrified of the possibility of offending him. Reporters Meridith McGraw and Sam Stein, this week in an article for Politico, offer a major reason why so many Republicans are still embracing Trump: GOP fundraising.

"In the days immediately following the January 6 riots," McGraw and Stein explain, "the Republican National Committee went dark. Its fundraising e-mail account did not send a single message as the prospect sank in that the president it had long trumpeted — Donald Trump — was a pariah for inciting the rioters who ransacked the Capitol…. If the Committee's intent was to leave the impression that it was moving on from Trump, it was short-lived…. Since resuming its e-mail fundraising, the RNC account has sent 97 e-mails mentioning Trump, according to a Politico review."

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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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