Google Has a Sense of Humor

It’s extremely interesting to see the biases of technology. Technology has become so depended upon by mankind that we have created it into an individual of seismic proportions. I was researching different keywords today in search of a topic for my upcoming presentation. I happened to type “happy children” into the search box of google and was met with a plethora of images of white children grinning from ear to ear. In my mind, I instantly wondered why Google so blatantly gave the impression that Black children can’t be happy. So as to make sure that it wasn’t just a one time situation, I searched random topics like “hair” and “people” and to no surprise I was met with yet another slue of photographs of white men and women. While looking at this, I was taken back to a discussion I’d had in my college writing class about the beauty myth which directly influenced the screening of Chris Rock’s documentary Good Hair. Naomi Wolf talks about the beauty myth mostly in relation to women and how society says that you can only be considered beautiful if you have long, straight hair or blemish-free skin. The beauty myth traps women in a cage of ideals; a contraption designed to imprison the mind and control the self esteem.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin are both co-founders of Google and just so happen to be white men. Author Simi Linton mentions in one of her pieces that the standard in society usually revolves around the able-bodied, white man meaning that it is exactly these people who have programmed technology to see that as the norm as well. The idea of the beauty myth collides with this topic because there we have allowed our humane biases to run over into what, in my opinion, should be a neutral mechanism. To immediately be met with one race as the example for everything proves that the hand of white supremacy and the “white is right” complex dips into more than the minds and hearts of man but into the tools we use to go about our daily lives.

In addition to my past searches, I tried one last thing. I typed in “successful people” to see what would come up as the example of success. Granted, I expected to see more white people but it still came as a huge disappointment that we as Black people are not seen as worthy candidates of success. Society deems us unworthy of happiness, beauty, knowledge and humanity.

Even though i have some insight on why the “white is right” complex is indirectly enforced as law, it still seems that this among other things should be different…but I guess change starts with the individual.


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