[S1E4] Liberty And Justice For All
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This nation has a long history of exploiting Black Americans in the name of medicine. A practice which began with the Founding Fathers using individual enslaved persons for gruesome experimentation evolved into state-sanctioned injustices such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, among others. Award-winning historian Dr. Deirdre Cooper-Owens details a chronology of medical malpractice and racist misconceptions about health while highlighting lesser-known stories of medical innovations by African Americans.
Black American experiences during Jim Crow were deeply affected by the ever-present threat of lynching and other forms of racist violence. Historian Kidada Williams amplifies perspectives from Black families, telling stories of lynching victims obscured by white newspapers. She and Kellie Carter Jackson urge educators to confront the role of this violence in American history, how major institutions stood idly by and how Black Americans fought for justice.
Join us this summer in Mississippi and Alabama for low-cost, weeklong, place-based, immersive learning experiences that support educators' capacities to implement social justice education. Applications are open now until April 16.
1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Despite his child like behavior at times, Robin was a natural tactical thinker, often coming up with plans for the Team on the fly, and figuring out complex situations faster than many of his teammates. He was also very pragmatic and preferred to think ahead. During the Team's brief scuffle with Guardian, Robin took the liberty to activate the elevator to escape instead of fighting alongside his Team, had no qualms about Miss Martian delving into his mind to retrieve his memories, and took a break from running from Red Torpedo and Red Inferno to download the Cave's blueprints.
Since the accident, Dick has lived with Bruce Wayne. Bruce, because he did not want young Dick to grow up the way he himself did, driven by a desire for vengeance, trained him into Robin. They eventually brought Zucco to justice together. Bruce set up a trust fund for Dick.
The Team was sent to destroy the central control system being used by the Injustice League to attack a number of cities worldwide with giant plants. They successfully destroyed the control plant, and the subsequent arrival of the Justice League was enough to force their enemies to surrender.
In January, upset with being kept in the dark about the true purpose of the Injustice League, Joker staged an attack on the United Nations. Batman's entire team stepped in to stop him, disabling the Joker venom bombs and giving chase when he fled. A masked girl attacked the Joker with her sword. Batgirl pushed away the Joker and took the hit, suffering an injury to her backbone. Nightwing called A-33 for a medevac as he tried to comfort Batgirl.
As a young man, Soldier Boy helped good triumph over evil in World War II. With his superhero team Payback by his side, he fought for liberty and justice for all until his disappearance during a botched military operation in Nicaragua, with the cover story being that he heroically sacrificed his own life to save America from a nuclear power plant meltdown in 1984.
Welcome back to Freedom Unfinished. So far on this podcast, we've discussed the threat to civil liberties when technologies outpace the law. Today in our final episode, we'll shift our focus a bit. First, we'll go backward in time to the mid 20th century to learn about a worst case scenario with a story of what can go wrong when scientific innovation and exploration are divorced from democratic norms like transparency, accountability, and basic justice. Then we will switch gears and talk about the present in the future and about how technology can be used to expand civil rights and civil liberties. We know technology isn't neutral and that it is neither inherently good or evil, so we'll talk to people who are using law and policy reform together to enable data and technologies to shine a light on the powerful and to fight for a better world. I'm here with my colleague, Kade Crockford, who leads the Technology for Liberty program at the ACLU Massachusetts.
MK Ultra is an important case study and what can go wrong when scientific inquiry is totally divorced from transparency and justice. When a small group of people make decisions they view as utilitarian, but are actually deeply harmful. MK Ultra can also teach us about human beings. Dr. Stephen Kinser is a distinguished veteran journalist and most recently the author of Poisoner in Chief, the definitive biography of the man at the center of the CIA's mind control experiments, Sidney Gottlieb. Sidney Gottlieb was not a simple man.
Okay. We've spent most of this podcast talking about the challenges that society faces at the hands of technology and the risks to liberty and civil rights, particularly for marginalized communities, but it's important to recognize that the impact technology isn't all doom and gloom.
As much as technology can and does worsen existing inequalities and create new problems for privacy and democracy. It can also be used by people fighting for justice and liberation to make our world more free and more equitable for all of us.
Of course, it wasn't always like that. And in fact, it wasn't until the last 10 years or so that we've seen how something like big data, which at this point feels ubiquitous and self-evident could have a meaningful impact in the service of liberty and justice.
Well, so we at the ACLU joined with public defenders and private lawyers to try to write the injustices that had been perpetrated against people who had been convicted of these crimes. And in doing that work, which included filing lawsuits, we sort of saw a tale of two kinds of data issues. One was that the data we were given to work with, it was so terrible that the record keeping was so poor that no one was able to easily generate even a list of the cases that Annie Ducan had worked on. So figuring out how to help people, who to notify, all of that was very difficult because the data was so poor.
Which clearly they were not the most serious cases, but still overturning that many cases was a pretty serious win for data science in the service of justice. How many convictions did the ACLU of Massachusetts overturn here
Yeah, I mean, there's a funny thing about the role that science plays in law. We build this whole system that sends people, human beings to prison based on the work of scientists. And when something goes wrong in that system, everyone is quick to blame the science. And sometimes it's true. Sometimes this has happened here, the chemists were misbehaving, or there's a forensic trick that people are using to say that someone is guilty. And that turns out it's just that it's not reliable and people are going to prison based on bad science. But a lot of times it's equally true that it's bad law that's causing the injustice. That we create legal systems that allow people to be sent to prison in bulk based on the work of a chemist or that allow people to be sent to prison in bulk based on a forensic theory that doesn't hold up. And all too often when something goes wrong with the science, we require the wrongfully convicted people to fix it, and that's not really the fault of science. That's the fault of the legal system that we do that.
Finally, we heard about ways that we can use technology, law, and people power to limit the bad impacts of technology, while also using data and technology to advance liberty. Notably, by giving power to ordinary people to do things like using our cell phones to video record the police when they violate people's rights or to highlight racial disparities in the criminal system or in access to COVID testing and vaccines.
It's been a heck of a journey and it's made me realize that the best way to ensure that technology advances liberty rather than to undermine it is to ensure that people, all of us understand the threats to our democracy and liberty posed by unfettered data capitalism. Information is power. So if the people understand the promise and the peril of new technology, then the people working together can both embrace the promise less than the danger of technology to our democracy and liberty and the digital age.
Technology is neither inherently good nor inherently evil. When and how it's deployed and by whom makes a huge difference. The key is to change the law to ensure we can shape the digital economy in ways that enhance rather than limit liberty, justice, and equality. When we as a society fail to regulate how technology is built and deployed, we leave it to the unfettered forces of capitalism, which shape technological developments in ways that exacerbate rather than undermine existing inequalities in our society. Racial and gender disparities are magnified. Discrimination becomes encoded into our systems in new and newly dangerous ways. To build a future in which we can believe we have to design for equity and fairness. Law also plays a central role in ensuring that technologies are not deployed in secret or in ways that discriminate or hurt certain people for the benefit of others. Far too often decisions about government deployment of new technology are made without consulting the people who will use it and the people who will be most affected by it.
Olivia is the grieving mother of the late Hannah Baker, ex-wife of Andrew Baker and former co-owner of Baker's Drug Store. In the second season, she files a case against Liberty High School to get justice for her daughter's death. 59ce067264