RS1: Race in the States

The Racial Digital Divide Just Won’t Go Away

I read a journal article from JSTOR: The Racial Digital Divide Just Won’t Go Away, posted by the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. In this brief article it states that the “resources of the World Wide Web – cannot be overemphasized” and that “those who are unable to use the internet are likely to remain on society’s lower rungs, [and] will find it a struggle merely to function in the complex information age that is now at hand.” This emphasized that the authors belief that the internet is a necessity to everyone in order to function in society. The author then states “that a persistent racial gap remains in access to technological resources” and “Blacks remain far behind whites in computer and Internet access in the home and at work.” With 61% of whites having access to a computer at home and 37.3% of blacks having a computer at home, and 59% of whites having a computer at work and 43.5% of blacks having access to a computer at work. This huge gap can be seen as a large disadvantage to the black community since the internet can “be a great aid in writing papers and reports and completing other homework assignments, also the Internet can save time researching colleges online and, in many cases, filling their college applications electronically.” With much of the black community having limited access to computers in the work and home environment, “there is one area in which blacks have caught up with whites – the usage of a computer in school. The census report finds that in September 2001, 83.6% of black children ages 3 to 17 used a computer while in school. This is very close to the rate of computer usage for non-Hispanic whites, which stood at 86.2%.” Showing that the government has indeed placed a good amount of resources in to the schools to lower the digital divide in public areas. Even with the access at school, the author argues that the “great advantage [the] students with home computers and internet connection, [is] the easy availability of information, the educational currency of the twenty first century,” which the black community is lacking in.

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