AMAZON’S CEO ON HIS “BREAK-THEN-FIX” APPROACH TO FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY

Because we are living in the Twilight Zone, herein lies the thoughts of Amazon’s CEO regarding the contribution of Amazon facial recognition technology to the actual or potential violations of civil or human rights. On the potential for the technology to endanger, threaten, or violate privacy and or civil rights. On the potential of Amazon’s facial recognition technology to disproportionately impact people of color, immigrants, and activists.

Amazon Rekognition has a 68% classification accuracy rate for women of color relative to 100% for white men
"Eventually, society will develop an 'immune response' to bad uses of
 technology."

- Jeff Bezos 

Source: CNN Amazon Will Keep Working With the DoD (Oct., 2018)

Welcome to the present.

PROMINENT TECH RESEARCHERS PEN OPEN LETTER TO AMAZON CITING RACIAL BIAS IN FACIAL REKOGNITION SOFTWARE

"Overall, we find [Amazon's] response to peer-reviewed research
 findings disappointing...We call on Amazon to stop selling Rekognition."

 Concerned Researchers.
Amazon Rekognition surveillance software has a low accuracy rate of 68% for women of color – relative to a 100% accuracy rate for white males

Prominent artificial intelligence researchers in tech, concerned about violations of the civil rights of American citizens and potential loss of liberties, have responded to Amazon’s defensive hostility in On Recent Research Auditing Commercial Facial Analysis Technology. Visit HERE to read the tech communities’ open letter to the tech giant.

CONCERNED RESEARCHERS

Ali Alkhatib, Stanford University

Noura Al Moubayed, Durham University

Miguel Alonso Jr, Florida International University

Anima Anandkumar, Caltech (formerly Principal Scientist at AWS)

Akilesh Badrinaaraayanan, MILA/University of Montreal

Esube Bekele, National Research Council fellow

Yoshua Bengio, MILA/University of Montreal

Alex Berg, UNC Chapel Hill

Miles Brundage, OpenAI; Oxford; Axon AI Ethics Board

Dan Calacci, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Pablo Samuel Castro, Google

Abir Das, IIT Kharagpur

Hal Daumé III, Microsoft Research and University of Maryland

Maria De-Arteaga, Carnegie Mellon University

Mostafa Dehghani, University of Amsterdam

Emily Denton, Google

Lucio Dery, Facebook AI Research

Priya Donti, Carnegie Mellon University

Hamid Eghbal-zadeh, Johannes Kepler University Linz

Paul Feigelfeld, IFK Vienna, Strelka Institute

Jessica Finocchiaro, University of Colorado Boulder

Andrea Frome, Google

Field Garthwaite, IRIS.TV

Timnit Gebru, Google

Sebastian Gehrmann, Harvard University

Georgia Gkioxari, Facebook AI Research

Alvin Grissom II, Ursinus College

Sergio Guadarrama, Google

Alex Hanna, Google

Bernease Herman, University of Washington

William Isaac, Deep Mind

Alexia Jolicoeur-Martineau, MILA/University of Montreal

Yannis Kalantidis, Facebook AI

Khimya Khetarpal, MILA/McGill University

Michael Kim, Stanford University

Morgan Klaus Scheuerman, University of Colorado Boulder

Hugo Larochelle, Google/MILA

Hugo Larochelle, Google/MILA

Erik Learned-Miller, UMass Amherst

Xing Han Lu, McGill University

Kristian Lum, Human Rights Data Analysis Group

Michael Madaio, Carnegie Mellon University

Tegan Maharaj, Mila/École Polytechnique

João Martins, Carnegie Mellon University

El Mahdi El Mhamdi, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Vincent Michalski, MILA/University of Montreal

Margaret Mitchell, Google

Melanie Mitchell, Portland State University and Santa Fe Institute

Ioannis Mitliagkas, MILA/University of Montreal

Bhaskar Mitra, Microsoft and University College London

Jamie Morgenstern, Georgia Institute of Technology

Bikalpa Neupane, Pennsylvania State University, UP

Ifeoma Nwogu, Rochester Institute of Technology

Vicente Ordonez-Roman, University of Virginia

Pedro O. Pinheiro

Vinodkumar Prabhakaran, Google

Parisa Rashidi, University of Florida

Anna Rohrbach, UC Berkeley

Daniel Roy, University of Toronto

Negar Rostamzadeh

Kate Saenko, Boston University

Niloufar Salehi, UC Berkeley

Anirban Santara, IIT Kharagpur (Google PhD Fellow)

Brigit Schroeder, Intel AI Lab

Laura Sevilla-Lara, University of Edinburgh

Shagun Sodhani, MILA/University of Montreal

Biplav Srivastava

Luke Stark, Microsoft Research Montreal

Rachel Thomas, fast.ai; University of San Francisco

Briana Vecchione, Cornell University

Toby Walsh, UNSW Sydney

Serena Yeung, Harvard University

Yassine Yousfi, Binghamton University

Richard Zemel, Vector & University of Toronto

THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING AT WHOLE FOODS MARKET – INT’L U.N. DAY EDITION

Today’s gift from Whole Foods Market is in the spirit of the U.N.’s International Day For the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – March 21st, as a Whole Foods Market employee in Philadelphia has filed a federal lawsuit against his employer of 21 years for just that.

Racism. The Whole Foods Market gift that keeps on giving.

Photo courtesy of Philly.com | Photographer Tricia Burrough | Lilac Blossom Photography

The long-suffering Whole Foods manager knows the inside story all too well, and so is taking his fight for equality to a federal courtroom. Having expressed his concerns to various Whole Foods management for more than a decade, the fed up employee finally filed a formal complaint with the EEOC last Spring. Recognizing that there is a company-wide pattern that demonstrates a serious systemic racial discrimination issue deeply imbedded within the Whole Foods corporate culture, the 45 year old college degree holder has brought the newly filed suit seeking unspecified damages for him and possibly for other Whole Foods team members who continue to suffer in similar circumstances at the company.

To read more about the case of Jaleel McFadden vs. Whole Foods Market please visit Philadelphia Magazine for a much more detailed article about this story.

Back to back federal lawsuits for workplace bias and racial discrimination at Whole Foods Market.

Similarly, just this past January, 2019 a U.S district judge has given the green light for a racial discrimination case filed by a former New York City Whole Foods employee, in the case of Thierno Diallo vs. Whole Foods. Diallo’s complaint highlights discriminatory and hostile treatment regularly experienced by him over the course of 3 years, only to be exacerbated by his call to a corporate whistleblower hotline reporting these conditions. He was shortly thereafter terminated for making prayer while on the clock with Whole Foods citing the reason for his termination as theft of time. However, in Diallo’s complaint he cites instances of other, more privileged team members similarly overstaying breaks but rather receiving promotions in spite of this. To read the U.S. District Court’s opinion and order on this matter, please view HERE. We wish both men all the luck in their fight for equality and fair treatment, and we 100% support their cause.

Happy International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination!!

TO WHOLE FOODS WITH LOVE, FROM THE MIDWEST – WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH EDITION

A retiree whom has lead an otherwise blameless life recounts her story of being chronically stalked while shopping at Whole Foods Market.

Happy Women’s History Month!!

I reside in northwest Indiana and was especially excited when Whole Foods opened approximately three years ago in Schererville, Indiana. As a retired senior Black woman with good income, who is honest to a fault, I found myself being obviously profiled and stalked throughout the store by an incompetent loss prevention specialist. Mind you, over three years I have spent thousands in this store. This individual made no attempt to conceal his motives [as he usually has] no cart or basket [with] a loud yellow earbud cord dangled from his ear. It took all of my resolve not to confront this upstart and ask why he was following me.

In this instance I had an idea. I was Black. But after googling “Whole Foods, Racism” and finding this website, it might be safe to conclude that this is [widely] systemic and encouraged. A playbook for [the Whole Foods] loss prevention specialists. In [Indiana] hiring local racists in these positions provides them with enhanced incentives.

At this point I shall rethink my shopping options…[and while] brick and mortar retailers tank daily, thought should be given to the methods used to protect inventories as hard working, honest people of color are unfairly treated just because. [When shoppers turn to online retailers] where will all of the loss prevention racists go? Perhaps they had better really sharpen their tech skills.

Thank you for providing this platform. Keep the impacted public aware of this incredible social climate. Trumpism and emboldened racism won’t last forever.

– Anonymous

This account of racial profiling is abridged and has been edited for brevity

BRINGING BLACK HISTORY MONTH TO AN END, MEDIUM.COM ASKS A VERY VALID QUESTION ABOUT THE intrinsic RACIAL BIAS OF WHOLE FOODS MARKET

As Black History Month comes to an end, digital publication Medium explores the very, very real probability that Whole Foods Market is intrinsically and systemically racist to its core. A thoughtful piece born from the personal experience of its writer Alexa Kocinski, “Does Whole Foods Have A Problem With Black People” appears to echo the complaints of many minority former Whole Foods employees: that Whole Foods Market systematically denies minority employees the same opportunities as non-minority employees.

Notwithstanding the dozens of racial, gender, and disability discrimination lawsuits in which Whole Foods Market is currently a litigant, this first hand witness account of how Whole Foods uses a discriminatory process to select and/or to hold back women and people of color in its human resources operations is extremely disturbing.

It’s with that prologue that I need to recount what I just saw at a Whole Foods…The young woman seemed pretty enthused. I should note at this point that she was black, because that matters. After the handshake and a few initial questions, the man interviewing her, who was white, told her that the only positions available were for dishwashers. My eyes flickered at this and I felt the hairs on the back of my neck raise, not unlike my reaction to certain suspenseful scenes in thrillers. Of course, this was all happening pretty fast, but something in my gut told me to stop writing and pay full attention. The girl, without missing a beat, said she was absolutely interested. I heard her say that it “would be perfect for me right now.” The man hired her on the spot and mentioned the pay. “It’s $15 an hour. That’s pretty good for a dishwasher,” he said. Which, like, ugh. But okay. Maybe he was genuinely happy for her or proud of Bezos raising the pay bar or something.

After lying to the young lady and telling her that only a dishwasher position was available at that time, the hiring manager then gladly offered his next interviewee, a white gentleman, a cashier position.

Please do take the time to read this important and insightful article in its entirety here at Medium.com, giving the full context of this disgraceful and discriminatory account of what can only be described as employment racial discrimination at Whole Foods.

ENTITLED WHOLE FOODS SECURITY GUARD PUTS SHOPPER IN SLEEPER CHOKEHOLD, NEARLY CHOKES THE LIFE OUT OF HIM

In another chapter from You Can’t Make Any Of This Up, a former Whole Foods shopper and New York resident was put into a sleeper chokehold and assaulted to unconsciousness at the Harlem Whole Foods location.

Man shopping at Whole Foods put into chokehold and strangled for shopping while Black

The surveillance video clearly shows the security guard wrap his arms firmly around the neck of the native South American gentleman who had been shopping, and strangle him until his body went completely limp, falling to the concrete floor while shocked shoppers looked on with their families.

The choke hold move is the same maneuver that a police officer used on Staten Island resident Eric Garner for appearing to sell “loosie” cigarettes, causing his swift death.

The former Whole Foods customer has now filed a lawsuit against Whole Foods and against their in-store gangsters masquerading as security, Elite Investigations, for assault, battery, and intentional infliction of distress.  Since Elite Investigations is not a corrupt organization, they have been forthcoming with the identity of the “loss prevention officer” that nearly killed the Whole Foods customer. 

But wait, there’s more!  Because the kale apparently comes with a side of drama when you’re perusing fresh produce at Whole Foods and you happen to be a minority!

Whole Foods will likely deny any of this ever happened as they have mastered the art of  avoiding accountability for discrimination and bias.  Unapologetically.

HISPANIC MAN RACIALLY PROFILED BY WHOLE FOODS IN FLORIDA, LAWYERS UP

A hispanic man in Coral Gables, Florida, lawyers up after being singled out and told to leave a Whole Foods Market for shopping while brown.

Click Image For Video

The Whole Foods manager allegedly had a police officer tell the Spanish speaking man that Whole Foods is “only for customers”, meaning his patronage was not welcome there as he was instructed to swiftly exit the premises.

The man’s lawyer expresses that he was targeted, humiliated, and “because of Whole Foods’ racial profiling, [her client] was submitted to a walk of shame,” simply for shopping while brown at a retailer that is widely known for this.

If you are a victim of racial profiling at Whole Foods in Florida, please contact attorney Jasmine Rand with your account of discriminatory treatment by Whole Foods management and Whole Foods security.

Contact:
Attorney Jasmine Rand
Rand Law, LLC
email: jasminerand (at) gmail.com

BLACK MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER RACIALLY PROFILED AT WHOLE FOODS, RECORDS THE INCIDENT ON HIS PHONE

Another Whole Foods supermarket security guard was just following the Whole Foods Market corporate security procedures, making sure he monitored and surveilled the Black one.  MAKING SURE he paid.  Because Black.

“Whole Foods I will never in life purchase anything from you…My cousin…he stops at Whole Foods, ‘Let me get some oatmeal, eat me some breakfast’.  In the process of eating his breakfast, he’s talking on the phone, and Whole Foods security walks up on him talkin’ about, ‘So you just going to eat that in here and not pay for it?’  What the f*** would make you think he didn’t pay for it?  Security didn’t walk up to anybody else!”    – Anonymous

EXISTING WHILE BLACK: HUFFINGTON POST EXPLORES THE PHENOMENON

 

Friends at Huffington Post have published a piece that explores the reality of individuals of color who are unfairly treated suspiciously while doing seemingly mundane things, like EXISTING.

While this concept is very foreign to others, simply because they are free of the emotional burden created by the pattern of being treated like a criminal as a person of color is, Huffington Post comments:

“What does it feel like when every move you make is policed?”

 

[People of color] don’t have the privilege to simply exist in peace…Whether we’ve been pulled over and mistaken for a suspect [or] followed in stores…many of us have had to go above and beyond to prove that we have the right to occupy common spaces. Many of us have had to prove that we are not criminals, knowing that failing to do so could be fatal.

HuffPost asked black readers to share their stories of being subjected to racial profiling and discrimination.They [recalled] how maddening it is to live with the constant anxiety of possibly having their presence — and innocence — questioned.”  via Huffington Post

 

 

To answer the question “What does it feel like when every move you make is policed?, please send your story of racial profiling to whileblack [at] huffpost.com.

 

WHOLE FOODS SECURITY AND THEIR SELECTIVE CUSTOMER ALIENATION PLAN

 

Whole Foods Market and their mafia surveillance operations seem to be quite successful in alienating selected customers. When shoppers are clearly not wanted there, Whole Foods security goes to great lengths to make sure they never come back.  Women shopping alone especially are targeted and routinely made to feel uncomfortable, Whole Foods Market’s winning formula in the practice of selective discrimination and alienation.

 

WHOLE FOODS MARKET MINUS THE MERIT

 

Where is the merit in racial profiling?  For you to go out of your way to make someone else feel uncomfortable…shopping?  Buying groceries? You want to follow me around the store?  It’s so psychologically damaging.  I don’t think they know the severity of the problems that they are creating.  If someone was doing this to their son they would cross a hot desert to figure out a solution.”

– Anonymous

 

(interview, ‘Whole Foods: Successfully Avoiding Liability For Racial Bias’ )

 

WHOLE FOODS MARKET AND THEIR RECURRING RACISM ISSUE – GLENDALE EDITION

 

I would like to thank Whole Foods Mafia readers for your support, for your trust, and for taking the time to reach out with your stories.

In other news, another day, another disenfranchised Whole Foods customer for whom the experience of racism is very clear.

 

Read Gale M.‘s review of Whole Foods Market on Yelp

WHOLE FOODS MARKET: SUCCESSFULLY AVOIDING LIABILITY FOR RACIAL BIAS

 

The documentary “Whole Foods Market: Successfully Avoiding Liability For Racial Bias” is in pre-production now. Our team is telling the real life stories of those affected by race based profiling.

If you have an engaging story to tell please do not hesitate to reach out to mystory@wholefoodsmafia.com.

An on-camera interview is not necessary and is not a prerequisite for involvement.

Let your voice be heard!

 

 

NEW YORK MAN FILES LEGAL COMPLAINT AGAINST ELITE INVESTIGATIONS LTD WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE

 

A New York resident has brought a legal complaint against the company that provides store security for chain supermarket Whole Foods, Elite Investigations LTD, with the New York Office of the Attorney General.  As the head of the Department of Law, the New York State Attorney General, or “The People’s Lawyer”, serves all New Yorkers in matters of civil rights and consumer law. One of the many functions of the Attorney General’s office is to enforce the civil rights of every New York citizen, regardless of race, color, heritage, religion, or sexual orientation, as the goal of its Social Justice bureau is to combat unlawful discrimination faced by many vulnerable New Yorkers.

Elite Investigations LTD provides “undercover loss prevention officers” at various New York and New Jersey Whole Foods locations.

The courageous New Yorker, who wishes to remain anonymous as the alleged complaint is being reviewed, vows to be a voice in the people’s fight against corporate corruption, race-based profiling, discrimination, and systematic, classist, racism.

We are all wishing him good luck!

 

PROMINENT CIVIL RIGHTS LAW FIRM FILES RACIAL DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT AGAINST WHOLE FOODS WITH THE NEW YORK CITY COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

A prominent law firm specializing in civil rights law and litigation has filed a racial discrimination case against chain grocer Whole Foods Market for the companies’ rampant discriminatory harassment of minority shoppers. According to the complaint, Whole Foods practices a systematic discrimination of patrons who are minorities and/or people of color. When shoppers complain of discriminatory treatment and racial profiling by the Whole Foods loss prevention agents and store employees, the retailer is accused of spinning lies to protect its artisanal brand image and of ignoring customer concerns in an effort to discourage minority customers from shopping at the retailer altogether.

The New York City Commission on Human Rights is an influential city agency that enforces New York City Human Rights Laws, one of the most powerful civil rights laws in the nation. The law prohibits retaliation, discriminatory harassment, and bias based profiling. Individuals are encouraged to bring specific incidents to the agencies’ attention, as potential patterns of discrimination by retailers are investigated thoroughly.

If you have recently, or within the past year, been a victim of discrimination and racial profiling at any  Whole Foods location within the 5 boroughs, please contact the Law Enforcement Bureau of the New York City Commission on Human Rights and submit your detailed account of discrimination via the formal complaint process. Every single voice counts!

Report Discrimination Here

Learn More About The NYCCHR Here

Or please feel free to contact 718-722-3131 for more information on how to file a complaint against retail racial discrimination and racial profiling.

WHOLE FOODS A**HOLES DON’T BELIEVE MAN IS DISABLED, SO THEY DEMAND THAT HE WALK

 

Another day in the universe of Breitbart family & friend Whole Foods, whose talented staff decide on their own who is and who isn’t disabled.  A profiled African-American shopper was dressed in sweats and sneakers while shopping so surely he must have been faking his disability!  Being the awful people that they are at Whole Foods, he was told that he needed to stand up from his motorized shopping cart and prove his disability to Whole Foods staff (as shown on the cell phone footage).

Because Cerebral Palsy is something that people are going around trying to claim now apparently.

I give up.