So my old friends at the fascist website Campus Reform are after me again for making the utterly uncontroversial point that when facial recognition technology is throwing innocent Black people in prison, it reflects much larger problems of how racism influences our technology and science in an inherently racist society. Here’s the “offending” tweet:
Science, statistics, and technology are all inherently racist because they are developed by racists who live in a racist society, whether they identify as racists or not. https://t.co/M36hFwuODA
— Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 29, 2020
This is…utterly uncontroversial? Or it should be anyway. We see this over and over and over again, from how the medical profession ignores pain in Black patients no matter their social status, how Black people are wary of the vaccine because of traditionally poor treatment by the scientific community, how all sorts of forms of technology end up exacerbating discrimination, etc.
But here’s what is super special:
University of Rhode Island Assistant Director of Communications Dave Lavallee told Campus Reform that “Mr. Loomis’ recent social media posts on science, statistics and technology are entirely his own opinions, and in no way represent the positions or values of the University of Rhode Island.”
“His recent tweet runs completely counter to URI’s first Cornerstone Value, which says, ‘We pursue knowledge with honesty, integrity and courage,” said Lavalee.“
In making such remarks, Mr.Loomis calls into question the work of thousands of researchers and scientists across the country and particularly the outstanding work done by our talented and diverse researchers at URI. While Mr. Loomis has a First Amendment right to make such comments as a private citizen, he does not have the right to make such unsubstantiated claims in the context of his university position or role.”
I guess this is how my administration responds to the need for anti-racism in American life and on campus, by openly throwing professors who talk about racism and technology under the fascist bus. Great job URI.