Machine-learning model fed web content makes racist and sexist associations

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Human biases exposed by Implicit Association Tests can be replicated in machine learning using GloVe word embedding, according to a new study where GloVe was trained on "a corpus of text from the Web." Read the rest

Republican party more or less doomed to Trumpism, white supremacy, self-loathing

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The Republican Party spent decades telling its base to hate and mistrust the mainstream media. But now conservative outlets are lurching to the far right, taking the base with it and leaving the party and its brand of conservatism stranded in political no-mans land.

As [former George W. Bush speechwriter David] Frum predicted and we’ve witnessed over the years, there is not much the Republican Congressional leadership can do to satisfy these folks in the right wing media because their ratings rely on fomenting anger and threats to “blow shit up!” I suspect this is precisely why Paul Ryan resisted taking on the role of House Speaker after John Boehner was ejected from his leadership position. He knows that he is now the target and this won’t end well.

Four years ago, I wrote "this is American conservatism's immune system going into anaphylactic shock. Fun to watch, while it lasts!"

It's not fun anymore. Read the rest

Maine Gov. LePaige: people of color are the enemy

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Paul LePage, the Republican governor of Maine, told reporters that people of color are the enemy in his state. Read the rest

Leslie Jones hack investigated by federal agents

Leslie Jones [Reuters]

The Apple iCloud account of comedian and actor Leslie Jones was recently hacked, with nude photographs posted concurrently with racist threat messages. The incident is being investigated by federal agents with the Department of Homeland Security, according to reports. Read the rest

Hijab-wearing Muslim woman racially profiled as 'terrorist' sues Chicago police

Itemad “Angel” Al Matar
A young Muslim woman is suing Chicago police who decided she was a "lone wolf" terrorist because she wore a hijab, or headscarf, and was walking briskly out of a city subway station on the Fourth of July last year while wearing a backpack.

Read the rest

Important man's African-American colleague wins Olympic medal

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At the Olympic games in Rio, The Mercury News reports that top U.S. swimmer "Michael Phelps shares historic night with African-American."

The subject of The Mercury News's unspecific racial disinterest is in fact Stanford junior Simone Manuel, who not only has a name and is neither Phelps' sister or wife, but is the gold medal winner in the 100-meter freestyle event.

The Mercury News later apologized for its "insensitve headline." Read the rest

Muslim-American woman kicked out of Family Dollar store for wearing hijab and niqab

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Sarah Safi of Gary, Indiana was kicked out of a Family Dollar store by an assistant store manager who cited the woman's traditional Muslim dress, a niqab and hijab, as being threatening. Ms. Safi, 32, recorded part of the manager's tirade on video.

Read the rest

2 Muslim women kicked off American Airlines flight in Miami

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Two Muslim-American women were kicked off an American Airlines flight this week, basically for flying while Muslim.

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British Muslim detained for reading a book about Syria while on a plane

Faizah Shaheen, via her Twitter profile.

A British woman of Muslim descent was detained and questioned by police under terror laws after a flight crew member noticed she was reading a book about Syrian art while flying to Turkey.

The Thomson Airways attendant reported her for “suspicious behavior,” which amounted to reading a book.

Read the rest

Miss Teen USA to keep crown despite use of racial slurs

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Miss Teen USA is shrugging off its champion's repeated use of a racial slur on Twitter, disclaiming it as having occurred years before Texan teen Karlie Hay's participation in the tournament.

Hay, crowned Saturday in Vegas, will continue to receive support for "her continued growth," the organization told People Magazine.

The Miss USA Pageant was recently acquired by WME/IMG after the company cut a deal with the pageant's co-owner Donald Trump last year, Variety reports.

In an Instagram post, Hay implied that the racist language was a result of her "personal struggles."

"I admit that I have used language publicly in the past which I am not proud of and that there is no excuse for," Hay captioned a group photo of herself with the other Miss Teen USA contestants.

"Through hard work, education and thanks in large part to the sisterhood that I have come to know through pageants, I am proud to say that I am today a better person."

If the old timey spelling of the word (contra "nigga") deprives her of the worthless-anyway excuse that it's merely the reclaimed vernacular of youngsters of all races, it seemed not to matter much to the organization, though it did say the slur "in no way reflects the values of the Miss Universe Organization."

Here are the values of the Miss Universe Organization, reflected in the finalists' stage:

Via @XLNB, who anticipates the excuses:

Read the rest

Culturally insensitive 1979 TV commercial for Faygo's Redpop, starring Jamie Farr of M*A*S*H

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Almost 40 years later and we're still treating indigenous peoples like this. (r/ObscureMedia, thanks UPSO!)

Read the rest

Bill O'Reilly: Slaves who built White House were "well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government"

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In response to Michelle Obama's speech on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, former history teacher Bill O'Reilly told his viewers that the slaves who built the White House were well-fed and had decent lodgings. He didn't mention the other not-so-great parts about being a slave, which include being the property of another person.

O'Reilly said:

Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802. However, the feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labor. So, Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well. Got it all? There will be a quiz.

From Think Progress:

Liam Hogan, a historian whose work focuses on slavery, noted on Twitter that O’Reilly’s comments are reminiscent of “how chattel slavery was defended by slave owners and pro-slavery interests.” To cite just one example, a U.S. history primer put together by the Independence Hall Association notes that “defenders of slavery argued that by comparison with the poor of Europe and the workers in the Northern states, that slaves were better cared for. They said that their owners would protect and assist them when they were sick and aged, unlike those who, once fired from their work, were left to fend helplessly for themselves.” The reality, Hogan added, is that slavery were “treated like livestock.”

Read the rest

American Airlines backs stewardess who announced she was "watching" Muslim passenger in Seat 25-A, then kicked him off flight

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A Muslim man was booted from a flight after an attendant publicly announced his name and seat number and warned him she was “watching” him. Welcome to American (real ones) Airlines.

Mohamed Ahmed Radwan had boarded a plane in Charlotte, North Carolina and the flight attendant went to the tannoy and said: “Mohamed Ahmed, Seat 25-A: I will be watching you.” The employee made no other announcements about any other passenger. Mr Radwan asked the employee why she had made the announcements. She reportedly responded that he was being “too sensitive” [and] was told he must leave the plane as he had made the first air stewardess “uncomfortable”.

The company's response: "We thoroughly reviewed these allegations and concluded that no discrimination occurred."

The same way bad police use "felt threatened" as an excuse for beatings and killings, bad airlines have settled on "felt uncomfortable" as their lawyer-approved all-bases-covered method of booting Muslims from flights. Read the rest

Paul Ryan selfie with congressional interns

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This photo of congressional interns taken by House Speaker Paul Ryan struck me as lacking in diversity, but I eventually found a ginger.

Edit: Dupe! Read the rest

NYPD captain taped complaining about the lack of black men targeted

A protestor is detained by NYPD officer as people take part in a protest for the killing of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile during a march along Manhattan's streets in New York July 7, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Muñoz

NYPD officer Michael Birch recorded a meeting with a superior officer who complained to him he wasn't stopping enough black men. Gawker posted the tapes and transcripts, given to them by Birch after a judge dismissed the officer's complaint against the force.

In January, Birch filed a federal lawsuit against the city and several individual NYPD officials, alleging that he was retaliated against for speaking out about what he calls an illegal quota system. A judge dismissed his complaint, and he filed an appeal with a higher court last month.

Read the rest

Ieshia Evans named as woman in 'legendary' protest photo

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Ieshia Evans was arrested for "obstructing traffic" by heavily armored Baton Rouge police officers on July 9. Jonathan Bachman's photograph of the event tells so many stories.

Revealed in the margins is the impossibility of 'traffic' when a formation of riot police fills the street. In the center, Evans stands like a pillar in front of officers we know are advancing upon her, but who appear to be falling away. Police uniforms so overbearingly militarized it's a wonder they can move at all.

They can remove their armor at the end of the day. She can't remove hers.

The BBC describes the image, all of two days old, as legendary.

In an atmosphere of heightened racial tension, and amid growing debate over the seeming militarisation of American police, one photo has stood out. ... The photograph was taken outside the Baton Rouge police headquarters, where most of Saturday's protest was focused. ... AP reported that the woman in the photograph was grabbed by officers after refusing to move off the public highway.

Heavy.com reports that it was her first protest and spent the night in jail.

On Facebook, she thanked people for the well wishes and wrote: “I just need you people to know. I appreciate the well wishes and love, but this is the work of God. I am a vessel! Glory to the most high! I’m glad I’m alive and safe. And that there were no casualties that I have witnessed first hand.”

Evans was arrested in the same protest as DeRay Mckesson, whom The New York Times calls “one of the best known voices for the Black Lives Matter movement.” The Times says Mckesson spent 16 hours in jail in Baton Rouge before he was released on Sunday.

Read the rest

Which photos of Alton Sterling did the media use?

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There's something different about Fox News's coverage of Alton Sterling, killed by Baton Rouge cops who held him down and shot him in the back.

Can't quite put my finger on it. Read the rest

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