University Revolts Against the ‘Racism’ of Facial Recognition – RedState


You’ve heard of the old Jim Crow laws; how about the new?


The modern form of America’s past pernicious discrimination policies is called “jim code.”


This news comes from University of Michigan. They are determined to crack this code with an explosion of wakefulness.


The College Fix reports that UMich will be hiring three instructors.


At issue: “professorships in racial justice and technology.”


UM announces the endeavor courtesy of its Center for Ethics, Society, and Computing (ESC), which is “dedicated to intervening when digital media and computing technologies reproduce inequality, exclusion, corruption, deception, racism, or sexism.”


“We are invested,” ESC’s webpage points out, “in the social, cultural, and political dimensions of digital technologies. We intervene in the structures of power, inequality. We work with educators, workers, industrial practitioners, and policymakers.”




And now, the Center’s “partnered with three schools at the University of Michigan to coordinate a new cluster of tenure-track faculty hiring across the University of Michigan on the topic of Racial Justice in Technology.”


Here are the openings.



  • Professor of Racial Justice in Science & Technology Policy

  • Design Professor for Anti-Racism

  • Professor for Anti-Racist Data Justice


Is there “structural racism” in America?


Progressively, politicians and entities offer a “Yes.”


Curiously — so far as I can tell — no one has actually identified a specific mechanism so it may be forthrightly removed.


U of M however confirms structural enemies and wants to combat them with binary code



This faculty cluster in Racial Justice & Technology coalesces an emerging interdisciplinary field of research that centers structural racism produced and reproduced by information technology, design, and technology policies.



Facial recognition software is at the heart of this fight.


This school will explain the evil workings of the jim Code:



The new technology of computation, such as artificial intelligence (AI), data science, and digital fabrication is being promoted as a way to increase efficiency, control, objectivity, and effectiveness. Facial recognition cameras can be used to identify criminals, according to tech companies. Others sell algorithms purported to be anti-racist: they claim to improve hiring decisions and “level the playing field” for people of color. Governments are using “data-driven” tools to allocate social services. Automation is a key component of the automotive and agricultural sectors’ plans to address labor shortages.



UM asserts there is “growing concern” that such systems “reproduce and accelerate racist exclusions, violence, and exploitation via what is variously referred to as ‘surveillance capitalism,’ ‘algorithmic inequality,’ and ‘the new jim code.’”


It’s surprising the word of choice wasn’t “inequity.”


In any case, the university has set the standard for waking up.


In September, I reported on the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy’s launch of the Center for Racial Justice.



Regarding race, the Center’s Racial Justice Student Initiative Fund “provides financial support for student-led racial justice initiatives that advance a more critical understanding of the social and political conditions that impact Black, Native and Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian American and Pacific Islander peoples.”



Also, courses allow socially-conscious beginners to master the course.



The Masterclass in Activism is a widely advertised event series in which the center’s director will be in conversation with noted activists and thought leaders who have made significant marks on the policy landscape. Two speakers will be featured each semester by the center, and they invite you to take part in the masterclass series.



UMich expelled a Pulitzer finalist earlier this month after he was accused of showing a 1965 movie.


It turned out that Shakespeare was too much for students to take — a white man wearing dark makeup made for a space insufficiently safe.


What is the status of the school’s triumvirate on racial injustice?


The Fix reports it was told progress isn’t publicly released.


However, per spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald:



“The Anti-Racism Hiring Initiative is a three-year initiative aimed at enhancing the university’s capacity to develop cutting-edge scholarship focused on dismantling systemic racism. The positions are tenure-track faculty positions.”



Learn more about TCF



The initiative “will ultimately add at least 20 new tenured or tenure-track faculty members with scholarly expertise in racial inequality and structural racism to schools and colleges across campus,” according to a post from The University Record, a UMich administration-ran publication that provides news to faculty and staff.



As alluded above, it seems to me social justice efforts would be better spent first finding systemic racism — that is, detecting an exact embedded racist gear in the machine — and then uninstalling it.


Wouldn’t proving structural racism’s existence be Step 1 in making it no longer exist?


Alternatively, The Powers That Be seem to be intent.


However it happens — between government, industry, entertainment, and education — something seems clear.


Systemic racism, to semi-quote an 80’s song: One way or another, we’re (maybe) gonna find ya. We’re (possibly) gonna getcha getcha getcha.


Though, with respect to that band — and considering white privilege — we’ll preferably accomplish it without help from a blondie.


University of Michigan is on the case — times three.


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-ALEX

You can find more of my work here:


Collegiate Eyes: Teaching Science and Mathematics Through the Prism of Colonialism, White Supremacy


Woke Boys School Tackles Toxic Masculinity, Threatens Expulsion for ‘Misplaced’ Jokes


Ron DeSantis Signs the Columbus Day Declaration, Taking a Radical Stand


All my RedState works Click here


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