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Word Count: 1,900
Technology Divide Among Minorities New advances in technology like the Internet were supposed to lead the path of a new era of fairness for everybody in this country As the great equalizer or leveler the Web would give every American access to more education business public services and economic power than ever before But at the same time there is evidence that advances in technology may be also aggravating existing patterns of inequalities among minorities in this country These minorities like Blacks and Hispanics which are entering the information age way behind many white communities in America could suffer the most The racial division in access to technology is real and cannot simply be attributed to income or race This is a symptom of much deeper social economic and educational gaps that emerged long before the Internet With historically inferior technology access in under-served neighborhood schools and at home Minorities have been discouraged from pursuing careers in computer education training and professions in technology Currently African-Americans and Hispanics often dont have the backgrounds and experience considered by many to be necessary for the Internet era Just 72 percent of engineering and computer science degrees went to Blacks and 59 percent to Hispanics in 1998 according to the National Science Foundation And only 23 percent of African-American and 26 2 percent of Hispanics households are online compared with 39 percent for white Americans African-American and Latinos compose 22 percent of the Silicon Valley area population but only 4 percent of employees are African-American and just 8 percent are Latinos and many of them work in service and support positions only according to Forrester Research Inc These gaps in access to technology reflect the fact that without more manager and executives from minorities working in tech-companies which can help to bring technology access to the less fortunate people the Web could end up reinforcing the divisions within our society instead
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