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Is There Equality In Cyberspace Essay

967 words - 4 pages

Is There Equality in Cyberspace? In the essay "One Internet, Two Nations," Henry Lewis Gates, Jr. explains how the "digital divide" (500), the separation of society into two distinct categories is a current problem and could "in effect, disenfranchise a third of the nation" (500). In his essay he stresses the importance of information technology and the dire results that will occur from not having access to a computer. I think that Gates gives sufficient evidence in the form of studies and examples. He fairly judges the situation of African Americans and computers by giving points for why they might not be interested in computers and why they should be. Paula Span, the ...view middle of the document...

Gates, however, states that African-Americans are to be blamed for not keeping up with technological advancement more so that personal computers are not too expensive. He backs up his statement by giving the results of a study done by the Commerce Department, which found that: Among families earning $15,000 to $35,00 annually, more that 33 percent of whites own computers, compared with only 19 percent of African-Americans-a gap that has widened 64 percent over the past five years despite declining computer prices (500).Gates does note that African-Americans have little interest in the Internet because there is not much content that appeals to them and also there is a "lack of minority-oriented educational software" (501). However, he suggests that having increased African-American oriented web sites "can only go so far"(501). Gates believes that the problem is behavioral and that blacks are the one's that can best address it.Another author, Mathew Symonds, addresses the issues of "digital divide between rich and poor, white and non-white, well educated and undereducated" (515). He states that between rich and poor people, rich people are more likely to have Internet access than poor people because of the issues of fear that computers are too expensive. He says that "Internet-ready rcs can be bought for little more that $300" (514) which he says costs less than a television set, which is found in most American homes. Between white and non-white, Symonds does note that, "a child in low income family is more likely to have Internet access than a child in a comparable black family" (515). Symonds, like Gates, stresses the importance of...

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