The Hot Topic of Legal Discrimination


Race and Africa are outsiders, and the outsider today is burdened by race, struggle, and the human condition.

Why is Africa the outsider? There is poverty in Africa and that is without question, but the intellectual capacity of Africans rivals the intellectual capacity from Western and European countries.

It is a hot topic. Blackness hints at multi-ethnic labour struggles and dehumanisation. The black intellectual searches for belonging, radical justice, for identity rights, humaneness, and inclusivity. When none of these are forthcoming it can seem as if one is being fenced in by jarring borders not of one’s own making. What is the purpose of free will, stamina, and discipline then? Legal discrimination still exists. To curb this the forces that have been put in place are resources that are made available to the larger public but how helpful are they. The struggle for equality is a class concept. The interplay of the landscape is singular, locked, bureaucratic and structural. We have gained affirmative action and black empowerment but fallen short in free education, school creation, satellite projects in sub-economic communities plagued by the element of narcissism in gun-related violence, gangsterism, criminal behaviour, substance abuse and addiction.

The narrative still is that we co-exist in frighteningly marginalised sub-economic communities. Here the timeline of slavery needs to be looked at as we question our equality and the deeper underlying human condition which makes up our psychological framework, genetic makeup, and terror. With the onslaught of the digital era what are we fighting for but our basic human rights that specifically exist surrounding user empowerment. Legal discrimination will remain a hot topic for some time to come but a new empowerment is being brought to book. “User empowerment”. Laws around electronic surveillance and data privacy has not been exposed on a wide scale in Africa yet, but it will and should be in the next decade or in the next five years. In a recent TimesLive article it was said that African software developers are using Artificial Intelligence to fight inequality. Human like tasks can now be performed by machines and with both animal and human efficiency and consistency.

In both Africa and the United States our personal struggle for freedom, liberation, emancipation from oppression and humiliation and in the leading up to the redemption of our identity came the onset of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States in 1954. Activists and leaders such as Martin Luther King Junior, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin embarked upon using the landscape of suffering, the violence and brutality inflicted upon African Americans to illuminate the fears of the African nation around the world. While in South Africa apartheid was being spearheaded by a certain white Afrikanerdom and Liberals and used to tear down the walls of social justice and personal freedoms with racial bigotry and discrimination. Now as we enter a digitised world, although legal discrimination still exists to a certain degree words such as “the dark web’s intellengentsia” are being legitimised and a movement and campaign is always shifting to a new phase.

In building fences around Artificial Intelligence and race beware Artificial Intelligence and an increasing digitised world. Artificial Intelligence should be regulated. A stronger stance should be taken. Technology companies are the most powerful companies in the world. We are all leaving a monumental digital paper trail and footprint behind. We should all ask ourselves this. Who has access to this kind of information? Who has access to our most personal information? Regulations around Artificial Intelligence should be stepped up and governments around the world should introduce these regulations. It should preferably be a government department. The more aware we become of Artificial Intelligence the more cognisant we should become as individuals about data security and data rights. As we build fences around legal discrimination we must look towards a future where we are empowered by the information and the resources that we have at our disposal.

Equality has a role to play in that empowerment. The position of Africans is bleak when it comes to the moral question of legal discrimination and equality. Struggle exists. Social conditioning exists. The human condition is marked by intellectual, political, and material barriers to progress. It is up to the powers that be to decide which strategies and research methodologies to use when it comes to Artificial Intelligence. Data rights is a human right. We live in a world where we cannot do without social media networking, the use of a cell phone, a charger and would not be able to live off the grid without a search engine, apps, Wi Fi, and a viable Internet connection. Perhaps it is only in the meta verse that racial discrimination will be lifted. “In the last decade” as was reported in Forbes, “a trend has emerged. Data privacy.” What is data privacy? Data privacy should be regarded as a human rights principle. The individual must understand the legalities surrounding their personal information.

Confidentiality, privacy, and informed consent should require a human rights advocate when it regards data security. Data sharing raises important ethical questions. Governments should become more aware of the fact that we are on a dangerous trajectory if Artificial Intelligence is not regulated. Africa has been active on the mobile phone front with users taking advantage of its usefulness and accessibility. There’s no question regarding my belief that by following protocol and with scientific reforms in place that Africa can take the lead of establishing hubs of research methodologies when it comes to Artificial Intelligence. Instead of waiting for the world to come to us an understanding by Africans and for Africans must be gathered when it comes to the collection, storage, and dissemination of data topics. When it comes to legal discrimination, what must be done, how short or how long must the response time be from the authorities handling these kinds of cases? The question remains.

What will the digital era teach humanity about human and android relationships and Artificial Intelligence and discrimination, and the capacity that we have for intellectualism and intelligence?

Abigail George
Abigail George
Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominated shortlisted and longlisted poet Abigail George is a recipient of four writing grants from the National Arts Council, the Centre for Book and ECPACC. She briefly studied film, writes for The Poet, is an editor at MMAP and Contributing Writer at African Writer. She is a blogger, essayist, writer of several short stories, novellas and has ventured out to write for film with two projects in development . She was recently interviewed for Sentinel, and the BBC.


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