Racial microaggressions I have heard in the past

Racial microaggressions

I found this on the black leaders facebook network which I was invited to a while ago. I have had at least a couple of these thrown at me in the past. Usually with people who just met me. I do tend to look up thinking here we go again…

Most minorities face microaggressions. If you are woman, LGBTQ+, have a disability, are neurodiverse, etc.

Its tiresome and the people who say it just don’t think. But its certainly time to start making super clear its not alright by playing the question back on the other person.

Re-watching the Watchmen TV series

Spoiler alert!!!

If you have not seen the Watchmen the TV series, Do not watch the explainer above. Instead watch this one,

I can’t tell you how amazing the TV series is and its excellent follow up to the excellent film.

I’m watching it again because although its amazing, and I needed to watch it all again to understand it all. However I also wanted to watch it during the black lives matter protests for its extremely strong race in America storyline and references. This is how I found out about Tulsa in 1921.

Clearview AI GDPR request submitted

Clearview AI

There is so much to say about Clearview AI. If you never heard of them, well put it this way…

They have amassed a database of peoples faces by illegally scraping the likes of facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube, flickr, etc, etc… All the companies have sent legal cease and desists but Clearview don’t seem to really care too much. Recently they were hacked allowing exposing all those pictures and training data to attackers.

Because of this and my experience with the IBM Dif project, I wanted to know if I’m in the database and the best way to find out is to send a GDPR request. This all follows my GDPR request from Houseparty just recently,

I think they have gotten serious about the EU and the UK because I didn’t need to send my usual email. I filled in the form using my junk mail and used my Estonian digital ID for verification.

Look forward to seeing what comes back. I’m expecting quite a lot.

Of course IBM, Microsoft and Amazon have backed away (for now) from their facial recognition systems because the huge amount of bias of the datasets have against black people. We will see how long they will keep this line over the year and next year?

Update
In my inbox from for the two requests…

EU/UK/Switzerland Data Access Form Request
EU/UK/Switzerland Data Objection Form Request

This e-mail is to confirm that we have received your EU/UK/Switzerland Data (Access/Objection) Request. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Team Clearview

Changes due to #BlackLivesMatter

There is a lot happening around black lives matter and sometimes its worth celebrating some of small things as we move closer to a much more antiracist stance (don’t get me wrong I know its a long long way off, but hearing some news it feels closer than ever)

BLM supporter speaks out after carrying counter-protester to safety
When I saw the picture on twitter I was blown away, I read the story and then found the channel4 interview.

Reddit’s co-founder resigns, asks to be replaced by black candidate
This happened quite soon after the first set of protests and I was surprised. Reddit has had its problems in the past and this could be actually a genius move.

Removing slave and master from openZFS, GitHub abandons ‘master’ and ‘slave’ and theres been moves to remove terms like whitelist.
I remember the first time I learned to build a PC being faced with the IDE/UDMA bus with master and slave devices. It bugged me but just lived with it. Its about time it was changed because it can easily be called something else. Its only legacy which has kept it as it is.

Content warning

A number of movies and TV shows have faced up to their bias and racist prejudice. This of course has upset people but they will likely return with a content warning.

List of companies supporting black lives matter (at least on social media channels)
A nice list with a archive which will be very useful to look back in 6, 12, 18, 36 months time.

A friend (thatgirlvim) shared with me this fundraiser for a research study into Diverse & Equal Black Tech

Finally another  good friend floated this lecture series to me recently. Modernity + Coloniality A free online summer course on coloniality and decoloniality. Looks really good but I’m not so keen on the open zoom, after my experience of zoombombing.

My Houseparty GDPR data dump

During the start of the Covid19 lockdown, I was convinced by friends to try houseparty and decided it was pretty crappy so stopped using it as mentioned in a previous blog.

After many emails I finally got my personal GDPR data copy. From Hotel Charlie!

I can’t tell you how much hassle its been… even when they sent me a horribly long link (we are talking about 300 characters long) to the zip file, it would expire a few hours later on their Amazon S3 bucket.

<Error>
<Code>ExpiredToken</Code>
<Message>The provided token has expired.</Message>
<Token-...{very large token}...</Token>
</Error>

Finally once I got it… It was a zip file with a index.html and 5 different folders.

  • room_visits / room_visits.html
  • profiles /profile.html
  • photos / 216A9AAE57194410901F8BA7981E63AB (a png file)
  • interactions / interactions.html
  • friends / friends.html

All the .html files are horrible tables for example here is interactions.html

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <title>Room Visits</title>
</head>
<style>
table {
    border-collapse: collapse;
}
table, th, td {
    border: 1px solid black;
}
</style>
<body>
<table border="1">
    <tr>
        <td>Room ID</td>
        <td>Room Visit Start Date</td>
        <td>Room Visit End Date</td>
        <td>Users</td>
    </tr>
    
    <tr>
        <td>e021116-bae-44d6-cc17-9121fbeaccc13</td>
        <td>
    2020-06-45T21:23:11Z
</td>
        <td>
    2020-06-11T21:16:41Z
</td>
        <td>
            <ul>
            
            </ul>
        </td>
    </tr>
    
</table>

</body>
</html>

The data isn’t that interesting but I think thats because I wasn’t using the app just my Chromium browser. I also only friended one person, so its all pretty slim on data.

Not that interesting but I’m very sure theres lots they have on me, however I requested my account is deleted. There is no way to delete your account if you are using the browser and the Android app from within the system. You have to request deletion!

My next GDPR request is for Clearview AI!

Make no mistake this is worldwide system of racism

Lots of people are focused on whats happening in America, but its super important to remember we are facing a worldwide system of racism. From judges to the police. It happens everywhere including the UK and doesn’t always manifest in death.

More Police brutality in America

I found Trevor Noah was right on the money this week. Especially in the wake of the reaction to the Bristol police’s decision not to stop people pulling down the statue last week.

Warning there are some more shocking scenes of the police throwing their weight around, no one dies (this time).

I also haven’t posted this intense interactive piece on my blog. Its the last 8min 46secs of George Floyd’s life without video or sound. If you haven’t seen the videos including the NYTimes one which I posted about a while ago, this will give you a sense of the last moments of a black mans life, under the knee of the police.

Chief constable Andy Bennett was so right

 

Sorry but Chief Constable Andy Bennett was absolutely right to leave the protestors last week alone as they torn down the statute of Edward Colston.

Any kind of confrontation would have ended up in something far worst. Can you even imagine the police standing in the way of protesters defending a slave owner!

No, Andy Bennett showed incredible cultural intelligence. No matter what anyone else says.

“To arrest suspects would likely to lead to injuries to suspects, injuries to officers, and people who were not involved in damaging property being thrown into a very violent confrontation with the police that could have had serious ramifications for the city of Bristol and beyond,” Mr Marsh said.

“Can you imagine scenes of police in Bristol fighting with protesters who were damaging the statue of a man who is reputed to have gathered much of his fortune through the slave trade?

“I think there would have been very serious implications and whilst I certainly do not condone crime or damage of any sort, I fully support the actions of my officers.

Black lives matters is passing that reflection point into action?

BLM protester uses the knee which killed George Floyd while also giving the black power salute
Powerful pose, using the knee restraint which killed George Floyd while also giving the black power salute

During the Bristol Black lives matter protests on Sunday, Colston’s statute ended up in the docks. I did say there will be larger questions hung around the necks of other slave trade statutes around the UK and maybe elsewhere including America.

A lot of the discussion have been bubbling under but it feels like things are actually changing? Ok so far Robert Milligan: Slave trader statue removed from outside London museum is the only one. But questions are being asked

Cecil Rhodes: Protesters demand Oxford statue removal

The Scottish streets and monuments built on the slave trade

Slave owner statue debate ‘long overdue’ says Sturgeon

Winston Churchill: Hero or villain?

Updated

Bill Thompson made an excellent point to me via another person he knows.

Those statutes were never permanently fixed to the base. Almost like someone knew their day would come one day. So much of what we see seems unmovable but they are built on poor foundations.

Its an analogy which can apply to many different things including the system of racism or the massive tech corps currently in play.

I used to be racist

https://i1.wp.com/www.evangelicalsforsocialaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/v6rxbn.jpg?w=840

I can’t tell you how amazing it was to read a facebook post from a friend. It started with those words…

I used to be a racist…

Obviously I won’t say who, as something like this is something them may be ok with sharing with close friends but not the general public. People will judge although they should likely look in the mirror first.

This person outlined how they were not what you typically think of as a racist but rather someone who would have said 10 years ago all lives matter. They had spent most of their earlier years blind to the reality of inequality of women, different races,, people with disabilities, etc.

With a small number of people, I was named as having a significant impact on their world view. So much so, they were very happy to post black lives matter on their facebook timeline and call for the eradication of racism now. Personally this was incredible to see and read completely out of the blue.

I was blown away by this, and it gives me real hope this time we can together make enough of a dent in systematic racism.  That is what we are fighting not police, not the judges, we are fighting a system of privilege which spans centuries.

The Houseparty is over, time for the GDPR to kick in the front door?

houseparty gdpr request email

I requested my GDPR personal data from Houseparty/Epic games over a 2 months ago when I signed up under my spam email and slight social pressure from friends. I read the privacy policy and almost spat out my tea.

However I found I could use houseparty in a clean browser (chromium) – app.houseparty.com. as there was absolutely no way I was going to install the app on my pixel phone. After trying to play a game with friend I found the video worked but not the actual game.

As we moved on to using boardgamearena.com. I decided I wanted to delete my account and got interested to know how much data they had collected about me in my short time in houseparty.

Outcomes my GDPR request, I send it to data-requests@lifeonair.com and nothing. I resend it to support@houseparty.com and get my response. Back and forth then finally…

Houseparty Support

May 08, 2020, 20:46 +0100

Hello Ian,

Thank you for your response.

I’m glad that you’ve reached us regarding your request. We received your data request. Our team is working on pulling the data, and you will receive your data within 30 days.

Please feel free to contact us if you need any further assistance.

Regards,
Romeo Tango

As you see can see the date of May 8th was 34 days ago and yes I get Covid19 but I’m not expecting the much data back. Unless there is a ton coming my way?

Either way I’m annoyed at being messed around at the start and also them not taking it seriously. I’m still not convinced Romeo Tango is real to be honest.

ICO submission

So enough, I’ll let the ICO deal with it all.

 

Reading/Listening to White Fragility again

I had a re-read/listen to Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility again as its been a while since I heard it the first time, I also felt the context and timing was well worth a re-listen.

There is a lot of hate for this book but honestly its one of the books I highly recommend along side Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race.

 

Why Im no longer talking with white people about race bookWhy Im no longer talking with white people about race book

Screenshots from my Likebook reader

Theres a few lectures and podcasts for those who don’t have the e/book or audiobook.

Bristol was divided about Colston, not anymore?

BLM protester uses the knee which killed George Floyd while also giving the black power salute
Powerful pose, using the knee restraint which killed George Floyd while also giving the black power salute

I don’t quite know how I feel about the Edward Colston statue which was torn down, dragged to Bristol docks and throw in today.

I’m slightly torn… only slightly

I am very proud to come from Bristol and for to be massively supported (5,000 people!) in a city with 15% people of colour. The protest looked from what I could see of the coverage. I have been aware of the Colston statue while growing up but the worst that ever happened was he ended up with a traffic cone on his head.

Bristol have been debating if it should be taken down for a while and theres been attempts to show the historic horror of the slave trade in the UK.

I’m with the protestors. But I also think about the democratic process and encouraging people to take things into their own hands. This is also what the establishment always wanted, a way to condemn the black lives matter movement on top of the public health risk. Priti Patel is just the start of the torrent of negative press coming. I also imagine other protests in other cities might consider similar?

Positive things to come from this…

“I believe that one candidate for his replacement would be Paul Stephenson. He led the 1963 Bristol Bus Boycott, started because Bristol Post announced in 1961 that black workers were refused work despite a worker shortage due to a resolution from the Transport and General Workers’ Union. The Boycott influenced the creation of the Race Relations Act.

  • Its clear this time black lives matter is going to have some serious legacy with lots of good people and companies standing alongside.
  • The calls to reform history education to include much more about the UK’s role in the slave trade, have been ignited once again.

Are you culpable or a true ally?

Been back and forth about why black lives matter isn’t something you can sit on the fence with. I personally hate binary choices but its clear the middle ground is a problem. Its a problem because silence works in the favor of the system of oppression against the minority. Exactly why the #metoo movement was/is so important.

There’s been a lot of anger at the police and honestly I was crying my eyes out seeing not only Floyd’s murder but other black people’s death at the hands of police officers. I have had enough bad experiences to be weary of the police (Recently I even did the work for them before they would come and help!). I do think all the police involved in the call to the Floyds murder are culpable/responsible for his murder. Not just the one with his knee blocking his airway. But its not just the police, thats just chipping away at the surface.

Think about the courts which hand out police officer short sentences for killing black lives

Its the system of oppression/systematic racism. A system which is built on white privilege and maintains that state no matter what (shootings, throwing as many black people in prison, whatever it takes). Its even the smaller things like the gig-economy, sharing economy , waiting for a meeting, etc.  There is so much to understand and learn if we are going to change it. I say we, because… The only way to change the system is with unity from all.

This is why its been really interesting to see the amount of white people who have also joined the movement. I’m sure they realised this isn’t just a black problem. The system of oppression affects all, the more true alies the better.

I can’t believe it but Cosmo magazine actually has a really good guide to share with parents and friends who don’t understand the problem. While Vogue has a detailed ally guide.