PROJECTS > Digital Mural Project

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Last one to cross the Digital Divide is a rotten egg!
Digital Mural by Los Cybrids
rené garcía-john jota leaños-mónica praba pilar
Galería de la Raza 10' x 24' 2001

The ‘Digital Divide’ sales pitch claims that access to computers and the Internet precedes wealth, but the unfortunate truth is that individuals do not become wealthy by buying computers. One must already have access to wealth. Whether people in communities of color aquire more or less of these products reflects consumption patterns much more than empowerment. Saying that the ‘Digital Divide’ is closing because minorities have greater access to computers is like saying minorities have a stake in the film industry because they go to the movies. You are not Bill Gates because you buy a personal computer.

We in communities of color must be very wary of the promises that the high technology industry is peddling. Rather than buying into this techno-mythology, we must ask questions about the real digital divide that is NOT being bridged. Why aren’t people of color getting the high paying high-end technology jobs instead of lower paying entry level work? Why aren’t people of color the owners of high technology companies, instead of employees? Why don’t people of color find themselves reflected on the Internet? Who is producing the content? Who is creating it? Does the Internet reflect our world? What are we being taught about technology in OUR schools – how to type, or how to write programs?

We are led to play follow the leader in this game of computing. Everyday we are breathlessly told that the last one to have a computer will be “left behind” and lose the possibility of participating in the “new global e-conomy”. Stand back and take a look at all the money being transferred from our wallets to Bill Gates, watch people of color filling low paying computer manufacturing jobs all over the world, watch toxic computer waste filling landfills in our communities. Who is getting wealthy and who is the real rotten egg?