October 07, 2019

Rashida Tlaib Succumbs to the Group-Membership Fallacy
Representative Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) recently told the Detroit police department that non-blacks should be barred from working as analysts in the bureau’s facial-recognition unit. Why? Because “non-African Americans,” she insisted, “think African Americans all look the same.”Is that right? Here, Tlaib takes a nasty sentiment held by an archetypal racist in the antebellum South, superimposes it onto the country today as if nothing has changed in the intervening 200 years, and casts aspersions on groups on the basis of that error.Non-blacks, as a group, think that “African Americans all look the same”? I’m not sure that this was true in 1819, let alone today. Facial recognition “analysts need to be African American,” the freshman congresswoman demanded, to the visible dismay of the black police chief, “not people that are not.”How, in the world of Tlaib’s making, will we determine who gets counted as an “African American” for purposes of employment at the Detroit Police Department? DNA tests? Self-identification? The one-drop rule?Sure, the use of facial recognition software in criminal investigations is fraught. It raises a number of potential procedural issues given the software’s yet-uncertain accuracy. The human intermediaries employed by law enforcement to parse the software’s results are, no doubt, subject to their own biases. But even with that said, it’s unclear why people of a certain melanin count should be unilaterally barred from the profession. What would Tlaib have the police department do? Ignore federal non-discrimination law because she, a freshman congresswoman from Michigan, happens to have a low opinion of non-black facial-recognition analysts?Detroit police chief James Craig (who, as it happens, is black) rebuked Tlaib’s proposal, saying that he puts his “trust” in “people who are trained regardless of race and regardless of gender.” He later said: “The fact that she made that statement, what does that say to the members of this department who are analysts, who are trained, who are white? That they in some way can’t do their job professionally? That’s insulting.”Tlaib posted a response Wednesday, doubling down on her initial claim — to no one’s surprise. She invoked social science which purports to demonstrate that facial recognition rates are lower across races than among one’s own racial group. Since Detroit is a heavily black area, the logic goes, only black police officers should analyze the facial recognition data.Assuming, for argument’s sake, the studies she cites are accurate, Tlaib seems to suggest that race is a “bona-fide occupational qualification” for certain law-enforcement roles in Detroit — an available exemption to the non-discrimination principle set forth in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.But can membership in a racial group really be an occupational qualification for law enforcement in the same way being a woman is an occupational qualification for Hooters waitresses, or being Catholic is an occupational qualification for parochial school principals? Tlaib appears to suggest that group disparities on facial-recognition tests should bar members of those groups from participating in Detroit’s facial-recognition unit. Obviously, inter-group disparities should not be used to disqualify broad classes of people from jobs they might well be individually qualified for.There are certain things that might legitimately disqualify a person from holding this job. Demonstrated racial animus, for instance, would seem a fine reason to deem someone unfit. Like Spike Lee, for instance: “I give interracial couples a look,” the putative civil-rights hero told Esquire in 1992, “Daggers. They get uncomfortable when they see me on the street.”Indeed, it would seem reasonable to avoid hiring someone who shares Mr. Lee’s views for a job on the local police department’s face-recognition software unit, because it’s not clear that his biases won’t color the way he “looks” at the relevant surveillance footage and head-shot database. But it’s because of how he looks — the verb — not what he looks like.Perhaps Rashida Tlaib would prefer we lived in a world in which the hiring policies of the nation’s police bureaus were subject to whatever it is that she happens to “think” about the qualifications of various racial groups on random Mondays in September. Thankfully, we do not. But we now know how Rashida Tlaib presumes non-black people view their African-American neighbors.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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