Do less blacks than their fellow white Americans use the web? According to the Pew Study on Internet Usage , the answer is yes, but this study is also quick to point out that it’s not merely color, it’s a mixture of things. However, according to Leonce Gaiter , author of Is the Web too Cool for Blacks, “the web mocksour fundamental beliefs, our core desires. (p 643)” Gaiter flatly states that the majority of white Americans have an ignorance for black culture. He does not take the time to address the other legitimate reasons accounting for the black deficiency, but continues to rattle on about prejudice and racism, not even stopping to document proper sources.
Have morals and values changed in America and left blacks behind? According to Gaiter, the web can’t help us achieve our 50’s and 60’s ideals (p 643).” Blacks still want the traditional “American Dream.” Well, what is the “traditional” American Dream? Perhaps, the dream is to have a nice car and house, and a good job. But in contrast to Gaiter, I believe that these are the same things we want today. Nothing has changed except for the fact that entrepreneurs have emerged with the growth of the Web. People are finding ways to make money from avenues they never dreamed of. The “American Dream” as we know it has not vanished or been left behind, it has simply been revised to include family time and personal goals.
Although racism has decreased in society today, it still is a threat to getting people on the Web. Nowadays, blacks are not the only one being discriminated against-it’s all minorities. In studies conducted, of the online community, only 23% are non-white. Because of this, non-whites are uncomfortable with the fact that they may converse with those who under normal circumstances would show prejudice against them. President Clinton stated that his goal was to have a computer in every home by the end of his term. But how many people will want to access the web if it is considered “white?” Gaiter stated that the web is considered “white” and therefore people stay away to avoid trouble, even if they are offered the opportunity.
The only problem that Leonce Gaiter did not fully address is economics. With the amount of people on government assistance growing everyday, economics poses as a big problem. Studies have shown that of the majority of those who do not use the web at least 35% were at an economic disadvantage. How can this problem of economics be solved? One of the key answers is going to be to lower the price of computers and to make Web access cheap and accessible, so that everyone will have the opportunity to advance technologically. If this problem is taken care of, more blacks and other minorities will take advantage of the web. Everyone deserves the change to see what the web has to offer. When people can get past their differences and see the potential this has to offer, life will explode with possibilities!