So as I scrolled down Reddit today I came across a post that caught my eye. The heading was “three black teenagers”. I’m not sure if most people to some extent have seen or heard of the video, but the video uploaded yesterday shows a black man doing a google images search. In the search bar he types three black teenagers. Google then promptly delivers its results. Once the images are visible, one can easily follow the narrative that google provided. Most of the young black children you see are pictured with grimaces and threatening glares, prison mugshot photos, pictures that suggests homosexuality between two young boys, a picture of a gorilla, young boys pointing hand guns and for further humiliation a picture of Donald Trump!
I try to approach all things with an objective demeanor and a commitment to learn and understand. So this didn’t upset me initially. I understand that search clicks and google algorithm software greatly contributed to these results. I know vaguely of crawlers and indexing and how billions of interconnected materials are stored on databases for search engines to gather results.
After I reconciled these truths I still remained disturbed. I kept imagining a scenario where a foreigner who knew nothing of America or black teenagers and found himself or herself doing an internet images search. These images the foreigner would see paints young black children with such a disgustingly broad brush and grossly misrepresent the idea of black teenage kids in this country.
The video in question continues after google provides its biased and incorrectly skewed pictures of what young black children represent. It continues with another search. This search however is a google images search of three white teenagers. The results from this was expected. The search results provided pictures of smiling students, proud teammates, friends at play, and most of the pictures shows the white teenagers exuding happiness and excitement and also invokes innocence. The divide between the two angers me and also scares me.
A world where young black teens don’t even have an opportunity to dismantle stereotypes by his or her works because google already provides what to expect. A world where young white kids are by default considered safe, stable, happy, and I would argue innocent solely based on their whiteness alone. It’s disheartening to srr and infuriating to live with. But I guess its ok because google gave us a fucking gorilla and Donald Trump… Sickening