Introduction— Race and Digital Technology
The introduction to Race after the Internet by Nakamura and Chow-White challenges the idea that digital technology provides a neutral space for racial equality. For my post I will be focusing on the idea of news media and the persistent problem of exclusion of people of color through the racist immigration legislation seen in recent years, more specifically during President Obama’s term.
Nakamura and Chow-White say that “no matter how ‘digital’ we become, the continuing problem of social inequality along racial persists.” This challenges the idea that the digital world is a neutral place because not only is this technology another form of “white privilege” or privilege in general because it contains knowledge that is not accessible to minorities of color but it becomes a race itself. A race in which we learn from and a race we adopt due to popularity and mainstream pop culture.
For example the example that Nakamura and Chow-White use about President Obama and Henry Louis Gates sitting down with his arresting officer to talk about racial profiling over some beer shows how it has become easy to hide behind a keyboard and an unanimous avatar rather than to talk about race in a face to face setting. People are afraid or maybe ashamed to put their name to the comments and thoughts they have towards the topic of race.
Nakamura and Chow-White make a reference to Watkin’s, The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future (2009). In this Watkins says that “youth of color are rapidly adopting digital media technologies such as cellphones and games as part of their everyday lives, and in some cases use them more frequently than their white peers.” I’m not sure if this was meant to be seen in a bad light or a positive note but one could ask why they are constantly on their SNS’s. Today that is the number one source for youth to be informed on current hot topics such as politics and racists incidents involving anyone from police officers to a mother on the PTA group.
Article explaining SMS’s as a source of news information
The idea of a panoptic Web can be very blurry especially when almost anything on the Web can be manipulated. Wilson and Costanza-Chock said that, “the authors survey the persistent problem of exclusion of people of color from the news media both as newsmakers and as owners of media companies.” Take for example this fully white newscast on a South side incident in which a young black four year old boy according to them says something that was “scary indeed,” when in reality the little boy said he wanted to be a cop. It makes you wonder why a white cast would take a black boy’s words out of context when they are supposed to be reporting facts not reinforcing more stereotypical fears in their viewers.
The link to the video that was used in newscast report:
The Link to the actual video:
Having President Obama become our first black president and our first digital Commander in Chief not only opened up the door for hope in racial equality but it also opened up the closet door for an unnatural digital space in which race is a very controversial hot topic. It seems today that no one is holding back anymore and is more and more speaking their mind. Yeah we’ve always had those anonymous users but now people seem to not be afraid to put an actual face to nasty ignorant racial remarks.
Ann Coulter Intro to Donald Trump
President Obama talks Donald Trump