Sunday, January 09, 2011

Technology, The New Racism?

With views like this, is there anything that is not seen as harmful to blacks and Hispanics?

When the personal computer revolution began decades ago, Latinos and blacks were much less likely to use one of the marvelous new machines. Then, when the Internet began to change life as we know it, these groups had less access to the Web and slower online connections placing them on the wrong side of the "digital divide."

Today, as mobile technology puts computers in our pockets, Latinos and blacks are more likely than the general population to access the Web by cellular phones, and they use their phones more often to do more things.

But now some see a new "digital divide" emerging with Latinos and blacks being challenged by more, not less, access to technology. It's tough to fill out a job application on a cell phone, for example. Researchers have noticed signs of segregation online that perpetuate divisions in the physical world. And blacks and Latinos may be using their increased Web access more for entertainment than empowerment.
Hat tip to NewsAlert.

10 comments:

KauaiMark said...

I guess filling out a job application in text shorthand doesn't impress as much as actual words.

Anonymous said...

If I read the article correctly, the authorities being quoted are very sad that blacks and Hispanics are not using the internet the way that these authorities would like. Probably, by downloading lots of content from ITunesU (which is really fantastic, by the way). Instead, these individuals stubbornly insist on doing what *THEY* want to do ... things like playing with Facebook and Twitter.

I *suspect* that many of these blacks and Hispanics are also playing Farmville, which would also distress the authorities.

Even worse, lots of white people spend time on Facebook and Twitter and Farmville, too! Oh no ... no group is using the internet the way that the experts with we would! We are all having fun instead of auditing college classes ...

Oh, I just noticed ... INCLUDING ME!!!

-Mark Roulo

allen (in Michigan) said...

I'm somewhat torn between admiration for the discipline necessary to write so much on a subject while carefully, determinedly avoiding mention of the fact that this "digital divide" exists, to the extent it does exist, due exclusively to choices made by the groups the author seeks to defend and disgust at the self-serving dishonesty of the piece.

No, wait. I can manage both points of view quite nicely.

PeggyU said...

Allen - You said it better than I could. I share your sentiment, though. At what point do these people bear responsibility for their own decisions and their own education?

maxutils said...

In the Beee today, there was another article that brought up the achievement gap between Black/Latino students and white students, as though it were somehow the education systems fault. This has always amazed me -- they get the same access to public education as everyone else, yet somehow they are disadvantaged. In the same article, it was noted that there is an achievement gap between Asian students and white students . . . yet, somehow, this is not seen to be a problem. Neither is the achievement gap between male and female students, which persists regardless of race. It's interesting how we determine what constitutes a 'problem.'

Ellen K said...

Funny how this article ignores that every single person I see walking down the street has a cell phone. And that is regardless of race or sex. Even my kids who claim poverty as a reason not to buy supplies or pay for lunch have cell phones much more sophisticated than the one I have had for four years. How do I know? They have them out every single day in class making numerous calls and texts to their friends. If they are so poor, who's paying for this?

MikeAT said...

Ellen K

Kinda like the "poverty stricken" Third Ward of Houston that I patrol. In an area of abject poverty in addition to very modern cell phones you see recent model cars, satellite TV antennas, wide screen TVs, video games, a moderate selection of alcohol.

I've often said I would rather be in poverty in the US than middle class overseas.

allen (in Michigan) said...

PeggyU, you're missing my point.

The digital divide is a phony issue construed out of thin air by lefties for purposes of continuing the crusade against injustice. It's a completely phony issue in that there's no effort by anyone in a position to be effective to deny blacks and Latinos access to computers or the Internet.

There are no "whites only" signs at the entrances to computer stores.

If blacks and Latinos, for reasons of their own, prefer not to buy computers then it's neither a tragedy nor a crime. It's a personal decision arrived at without coercion so what's the big deal?

The big deal is that lefties, progressives, liberals, like to arrogate to themselves all sorts of superior qualities among which is a variety of tolerance that can't just be practiced but has to be announced. Repeatedly and loudly.

PeggyU said...

Allen - I didn't miss your point; I just didn't say it well! What I meant was at what point will the government expect its "needy" to accept responsibility? You are certainly correct - they twist any information to fit their agenda, sometimes going through mind boggling contortions to do so. This is a good example of that. I am waiting to see how they will spin the Arizona shooting so as to further clamp down on gun ownership. You just know there will be some sort of legislation coming out of that.

Ellen K said...

After Katrina, a large family was invited to move to a mid sized Ohio town. There they were given a home, furniture and means to buy necessities. But when they went out and bought big screen tv's rather than coats for the kids, the groups that donated wondered what was up. The people from Katrina claimed they were just replacing what they had at home. The groups that donated claimed that they were spending on luxuries and expecting others to pick up the tab. I never heard what came of it all, but I see misplaced priorities all the time. When a kid wearing $100 jeans comes up and tells me he can't afford supplies and gets picked up by his parents driving a big SUV I have to honestly wonder who is being fooled here.