The Invisible People II/”Oops I Did It Again”

A quote of unknown origin says: 

“Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a habit.” 

By measuring American history’s balance, one can plainly see that race relations’ current trajectory is no accident. The slippery slope is by design. Yet, the architects remain ambiguously in denial. “Nothing to see here as many go whistling by the graveyards of broken promises, compromises, and broken dreams. 

Dr. Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech is lauded and quoted by many who work to destroy his legacy. The dream is just a dream. In the 21st century, America has once again woken up to its ugly reality. “Oops, I did it again” is just not good enough for a so-called nation of liberty. 

Black and people of colors’ progress is the exception, and White backlash is the rule. “Oops, I did it again” did not explain all of the black lives lost at the hands of law enforcement over just the last 9 years alone, starting at Trevon Martin. “Oops, I did it again” did not imprison so many African Americans and other people of color.

32% of the US population is represented by African Americans and Hispanics, compared to 56% of the US incarcerated population being represented by African Americans and Hispanics.

  • In 2014, African Americans constituted 2.3 million, or 34%, of the total 6.8 million correctional population.
  • African Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites.
  • The imprisonment rate for African American women is 2x that of white women.
  • Nationwide, African American children represent 32% of children who are arrested, 42% of children who are detained, and 52% of children whose cases are judicially waived to criminal court. African American children represent 14% of the population. online source https://www.naacp.org/criminal-justice-fact-sheet/

“Oops, I did it again” is no response to this reality.  

The responsibility of intentionality must correspond to the crisis. Reconstruction led to Jim Crow, which led to the Civil Rights movement. The Civil Rights movement led to mass incarceration, the rolling back of voting rights, finally downright voter suppression, etc. 

Backlash takes many forms, but it all amounts to the dominant population staying ontop and others stay beneath. The technology divide touched upon last week is no mistake but presents an escalation of the problem.

Algorithms are the new cyber Bull Conners and George Wallaces standing in tomorrow’s entryways to health, prosperity, and education, saying “no color allowed.” 

“An algorithm widely used in US hospitals to allocate health care to patients has been systematically discriminating against black people, a sweeping analysis has found.

The study, published in Science on 24 October, concluded that the algorithm was less likely to refer black people than white people who were equally sick to programmes that aim to improve care for patients with complex medical needs. Hospitals and insurers use the algorithm and others like it to help manage care for about 200 million people in the United States each year.” online source Heidi Ledford https://www.nature.com/ 

“Oops, I did it again;” (“it was what the computer spit out; I had no idea.”) is just not sufficient. Machine learning is an Artificial Intelligence archetype in which masses of data are fed into a system that concludes in the various Algorithms it spits out. Be it known that nothing happens by osmoses. There is a reaction and the action behind these Algorithms is corrupted data procured by sinister agents of a racially biased community. 

One way to curb this new cyber and AI Jim Crow is to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge of the intelligent retrieval world by getting more people of color educated in these fields that feed these data behemoths. Technology is a New ominous type of Jim Crow. Americans on all sides of the Ethnic divide had better awaken to this fact before the American habit of racism overtakes us all.

Kevin Robinson Executive Director of Accord1

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