Race and the Digital: Racial Formation and 21st Century Technologies

Invisible Population

Firstly, I want to mention that before reading these articles and discussing these topics in class, I never really thought about the digital divide that Native Americans and their tribes found themselves in. Actually, I seldom think about this population and how disadvantaged they've been ever since European colonization. It seems like, in my mind at least, they are only a part of that certain historical time period [a long time ago]. However, the reality is that they are still present and that they suffer sub-optimal conditions as a result of that colonization they suffered. It makes me feel unpleasant to know that I've not given them much thought, but I also know that I rarely think about this community because they are invisible in everyday life and even more so on the internet. Their reservations are physical spaces that are ostracized, that are compartmentalized, away from the grander scheme of society. I am very glad that I can take courses like this one that does not neglect this population and that actually brings them into academic discourse. This leads me to address your first question: "Can education be the answer to bridge the digital divide between 'the privileged and the underprivileged' (the privilege being those that have Internet access and the underprivileged those that do not)?" While I don't think there is only one way to bridge the digital divide, I think that education is definitely a part of the many things that can be done to bridge the divide. Through education we get knowledge, we gain consciousness and this is the first step that can lead to a multitude of other actions that can lead or (or enact) change.

Contents of this reply: