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"Other Places And Other Options" Essay Comparing Henry Louis Gates "One Internet, Two Nations" And Matthew Symonds "Government And The Internet: Haves And Have Nots"

943 words - 4 pages

Authors like Henry Lewis Gates Jr. and Matthew Symonds write essays, such as "One Internet, Two Nations" and "Government and the Internet: Haves and Have-Nots", about people who cannot afford to gain access to the Internet. They state that this is causing a digital divide in the world today. Gates turns this word digital divide into a racial word saying that there is a division between black and white people. Then you have people like me who believe that it is not the price of the Internet that is the problem, it is the people who do not have it. You cannot blame the Internet for something it cannot help. The world is still recovering from September eleventh and there will be people who still do not have jobs and cannot afford the Internet right now. Then you have to think about the people who are out there working and can afford it and to make Internet free will probably make some of those people lose their jobs because the Internet companies will not be able to stay in business.The problem is the people that these authors are stating are "disenfranchised" because they cannot access the Internet. When one says, "disenfranchise a person" you have to really think about what that word means, to take away a person's rights. Now the Internet is available in public libraries, cafes, most schools, and almost everybody in the world has access. When authors like Henry Lewis Gates Jr. say one third of the world does not have any access whatsoever to the Internet I am urged to see proof of what he is stating.Saying that people (or African Americans in Gates' case) who do not have access to the Internet are disenfranchised is just one of the extremely mind-boggling comments that Henry Lewis Gates Jr. states in his essay, "One Internet, Two Nations". Gates is not even saying that all people will be disenfranchised from not having the Internet, he is mainly saying that "today, blacks are failing to gain access to the new tools of literacy: the digital 'knowledge economy'"(499). Gates is trying to turn this into a racial battle when there is not even one to be made, "Today we stand at the brink of becoming two societies, one largely white and plugged in and the other black and unplugged"(500). Stating that the amount of African American people that have the Internet is less than the number of white people that have the Internet, and trying to state that this is mainly due to their income, is creating an unnecessary battle between races. This is where that idea of a digital divide is coming from. It means that the Internet is causing a division in our society between people who have the Internet and...

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