Friday, June 8, 2007

Closing the Digital Divide

I read something encouraging the other day...It was a story that said the digital divide between African Americans and whites is closing. With the growth of broadband and DSL connections, black folks are spending more time on the Web and in front of their computers.

That is a good thing. Clearly, we are moving toward a more digital, Internet-based economy. The cool thing about the Internet is that it is a means of leveling the playing field and enabling ordinary people to market their goods and services and get their word out to the masses. These things cost very little or no money at all.

The fear had been that while this growth on the Internet was taking place, black people would be left behind and not take advantage of the tremendous opportunities to start business, gather information, etc. I don't have the stats in front of me, but the story pointed out that the growth in the number of black people spending time online outpaced all other ethnic groups. We still lag behind in overall time spent surfing the Web, but the growth rate is there.

That is a good thing.

Your thoughts?

And who are you rooting for Barack? or Hillary? Tell me why.


Blogger narbolo said...

Thank you!

I believe those numbers are from the increasing black middle-class, and the access our youth have to computers through schools and libraries. Quite simply, anyone born within the last 15 years has no clue what life is like without the internet, whether their access is at home or someplace public such as free WiFi.

But for me your topic brings to light another issue. Those of us who are not up to speed.

I have been debating with some of the brothers I know who have totally resisted the use of computers for a number of years, going back into the 90's. I can't keep count of the number of times I've heard a black man say "I just can't get into computers", as if there is something wrong with doing so.

Alot of our people, men in particular, have fallen for the notion that computers are something for geeky white guys.

And that's what they want.

I've been talking about this for a while and if you don't know what I'm speaking of, let me tell you about Technological Racism.

You see, they can't discriminate like they used to so they have to use other methods these days. One of the best kept secrets on the ways to keep our people inferior, low class, and out of touch is to take advantage of our lack of access to computer technology. Today if you don't even have a fundamental set of computer skills you are basically unemployable.

That even goes for most of the manual labor jobs that are available today. You must have a basic running knowledge of computers to perform simple tasks in a world that is becoming more and more automated. Let's face it, all walks of life are starting to catch up with the digital age.

So for those of us who resist the sign of the times... don't complain when you don't qualify for a position because it requires some computer skills.

It's their plan.

Just another thing they use to hold you back.

And one last note,
Hillary Clinton will never get a vote of mine.

June 12, 2007 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger R. said...

I agree with so much that you are saying. As long as we discount the whole online experience as something THEY do, we're, once again, shooting ourselves in the proverbial foot.

You're right! The ability to minimally use a computer is required these days to even run a cash register. So what job can you obtain without basic computer skills?

I didn't realize it at the time, but I was inoculating my daughter against the dread disease of computer-phobia when I sat her in front of a computer at the age of 18 months. She learned the joy of the immediate feedback that a computer sometimes provides and rode that wave through high school and college -- even though she graduated as a Music major. At least she's employable while she figures out how to do what she loves and make a living.

We MUST do everything we can to reverse this negative trend. All is does is limit the ability of people to make a living in today's economy. Literally everything!

Regarding Hilary vs Barack, that's a hard one. I think that Barack could actually pull this off -- and I don't want to be sitting on the sidelines if he does. But if middle-America plays its recently very successful spoiler game, we might not get either of them, but the more "acceptable" alternative of a John Edwards type. Life's a little complicated -- but being politically active is the only way to have the right to complain when you really want to.

July 23, 2007 at 7:29 PM  

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