, 18 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
Are you at @harvardiop @JFKJrForum or watching the livestream of The Politics of Difference: Race, Technology, and Inclusion? Join us in the conversation here too! iop.harvard.edu/forum/politics…
We began with an acknowledgement from @EricaVioletLee of the broad legacies and damage of slavery and colonialism, and the land where @harvard sits as being the traditional land of the Massachusett.
Moderator @bostonjoan began by asking the panel about the politics of inclusion and exclusion in institutions and industry, and where they see potential for power shift.
“People are ready and willing to hold a mirror up to these ideals that we give lip service to - to say you can’t just put it on your website and invoke these ideas when your everyday practices run counter to them and are actually hypocritical” @ruha9 @JFKJrForum
.@KhalilGMuhammad “the relationship of morality stands in stark contrast to institutions that are run by monied interests...the degree that inclusion runs against formal change, I don’t want to reduce it to money, but it does play a big role in this.”
“Harnessing what we all leave behind, the traces of our lives” via data has become much easier, @KhalilGMuhammad notes, but predictive science to harness people & society is nothing new. His research looks at how crime statistics were used to oppress groups in early 20th C.
.@bostonjoan: “So, are we doomed, or not?” @LatoyaPeterson “Don’t ask a technologist that.”
.@LatoyaPeterson was a founder of the race & culture blog @racialicious. It got a lot of attention “in ways none of us really anticipated” partly because of lack of coverage in mainstream media & early phases of white supremacy online.
Now @GlowUpGames, @LatoyaPeterson thinks a lot about how tech would look if it was designed by those most impacted by it, rather than “building from inside the bubble.”
“What all of our work is troubling is the innovation aspect of racism. That it’s often forward looking.” @ruha9 writes about this in The New Jim Code - “old school discrimination” in new tech “where the people being discriminated against don’t even know.”
“The lie of black inferiority might be the greatest disinformation campaign of the last 400 years,” says @KhalilGMuhammad, citing the work of the #1619Project to combat this.
“Every time you introduce a different voice into the room that says ‘wait why are you doing it that way, and do you see this other thing?’” People who were in the institutions before say “wait, what, there’s a different story??” @bostonjoan
The narrative of “us vs them” exists everywhere - in housing, in criminal justice, and in gaming and tech, says @LatoyaPeterson. Narrative change is about confronting that dynamic.
“Do you see technology as merely reactive to our society, good or bad or can it be a driver of social change for the better?” asks a @harvard student. “I think it’s always both” replies @LatoyaPeterson
“Even though we have a technological monopoly happening, there are people creating culture and creating and being part of different circuits of power...so go out and experiment with tech, and look at it critically...” @BostonJoan says in closing.
.@ruha9 encourages people to seek out those who are creating good change in tech and online. “Connect up with orgs and people that are already doing this work in many spaces.”
“Venture capitalists aren’t going to make you rich off your anti-racist feminist app to root out the white supremacist men in your life. You have to make a choice about this kind of work & figure out how to measure success that’s not based on an economic metric.” @KhalilGMuhammad
.@LatoyaPeterson’s take away for the audience is to always ask “what is it that I’m not seeing?” when you encounter a new technology, community, or space. “Who am I not seeing here? What is being hidden from me? How does this work?”
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