July 30, 2008, - 11:37 am

Attn, Sharpton & Jackson: Sistaz Ain’t Got No “Digital Divide”

By Debbie Schlussel
For years, race merchants Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have been whining about an alleged “digital divide”. They’ve claimed that Blacks are deliberately discriminated against by internet technology and alleged “barriers” like the cost of computers and internet service. That’s despite the gazillion Black blogs and websites.
Now, there’s more evidence that not only aren’t Blacks on the short end of an alleged “digital divide,” but in the case of Black women, they are ahead of everyone else in terms of the amount of time spent on technology usage:

Black women are more likely than other female consumers to spend time embracing technology, and they view cell phones and the Internet as tools of empowerment and self-expression, a study finds.


Compared to other women, five times as many black women – 36 percent – use cell phones for three or more hours a day, according to research released Thursday by Time Inc.’s Essence magazine. Black women also spend more extended time using iPods, computers, high-definition TVs and DVD players.
The findings defy an image of technology consumers focused on young men, said Carmen Bryant, director of consumer research for Essence.
“All women use technology to gain control in their lives,” Bryant said. But, she said, African-American women also use technology as “a way to empower themselves to move forward.”
“They like to show their mastery of technology,” she said. “They are going to use it to help them stay active and achieving.” . . .
The survey found 42 percent of black women reported spending $100 to $499 or more on cell phones compared to 26 percent of other women.
Black women also embrace new mobile technology, with 21 percent of them using cell phone Web browsers to make purchases compared to 8 percent of other women.
That’s in line with other findings about gadget mastery: nearly two-thirds of black women said they learn every feature of a new tech product.
Bryant said that helps explain why their cell phone use is so much higher, since they go beyond the calling or texting functions and use built-in Web browsers, cameras and digital organizers.
Black women also are more likely to use the Web for product research, and they are more than twice as likely to use e-mail or instant messaging to share good deals with friends and family. . . .
The Essence study included an online survey of 800 black women and 400 non-black women ages 18 to 54. Participants had a minimum household income of $20,000 and were cell phone or Internet users.
The survey, conducted last April but only released now, has an error margin of 3.4 percentage points for the African-American women and 4.8 percentage points for “general market” women.

More results from the study:

African-American Women…………. General Market Women
36%……………….7%………………Say they use their cell phones for three or more hours a day.
8 %………………..1%………………Use their iPods for three or more hours a day.
42%………………26%……………..Report spending $100-$499 or more on cell phones.
21%……………….8%……………..Order products using the Web browser on their cell phone
43%………………20%……………..Reported contacting friends or family by e-mailing or IM if they saw a good deal for them.

So, will this news end the endless whining and shakedown attempts by Sharpton and Jackson? Don’t bet on it. They and facts are like oil and water. They don’t mix.

8 Responses

Like the House’s apology for slavery and Jim Crow yesterday? How they go to getting an apology from you, Debbie and from me? Whatever did we do or our ancestors did to merit our having to apologize for something that was never done in our name? They damned well aren’t to collect reparations from us!

NormanF on July 30, 2008 at 12:12 pm

All anyone has to do to know the truth is get out of the house. Just like everyone else on the planet, black men, women, and kids are on the stupid cell phone.
P.S. I wouldn’t have a cell phone if it was given to me and I’m white. Who is everyone talking to all the time? People are like zombies now walking around constantly jabbering.
Who wants people to be able to contact you 24/7 and bug you just because they can? Not me. I love my peace away from the phone.
Black, white, whatever……you guys can keep ’em.

Jeff_W on July 30, 2008 at 12:24 pm

Jeff W, I don’t see how you can sit there and assume everyone using a cell phone is like zombies. The reason I have Sprint cell phone service is to have a phone of my own that I pay for every month, where I can keep in contact with the important people in my life.
I don’t always use it when I’m outdoors, mostly indoors. And when I do use my phone, it’s not that often. I only have few people to talk to, and conversations last only like 10 minutes.
I don’t have those stupid ringtones or any of those other pointless features. My phone is simply for making and recieving phone calls, with a good old ring-a-ding-ding. That’s it.
So it just amazes me when people like you just assume every cell phone owner is stupid and zombies. No one bugs me, as I’ve already explained.
And as for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, they can lick the dirt off my feet.

Squirrel3D on July 30, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Hi Debbie,
Great stuff. I appreciate the research that you do as it helps me to whack the dopes around the office in the forehead. Jeff W – you’re entitled to your opinion but, we all know what “certain” opinions are like. I use my cell for business. It helps me to pay the bills. I call that a good investment. When I’m home, off, vacation, etc., I’m smart enough to TURN IT OFF! As to the “Justice Brothas”, those master race-baiting huckster, extortionists – Debbie, I was wondering if you could put this data in a letter on some white linen paper and have it FedEx’d to each of them as an educational tool?

FreeAmerican on July 30, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Yet another reason for the justice bros to shut up and sit the f–k down. Cry me a river race baiters.

samurai on July 30, 2008 at 1:11 pm

First of all, Squirrel3D, I didn’t say people with cell phones are stupid.
Second, I know it’s not EVERY SINGLE PERSON who is zombie like. But, it’s my opinion and I think anyone who is in public for 10 minutes will agree that 99% of people rambling around with that stupid cell phone glued to their ear do indeed act like zombies. And, think like zombies, too.
Really, you can’t hardly talk to anyone any more because people are…..talking on the stupid phone!
Don’t even get me started on the dummies talking on the phone while driving!
Here’s how you can ALWAYS tell when someone is yakking on the phone and driving. They slow down, speed up, slow down….
You guys have a blast with your cell phones. Me, I’m living in the moment, enjoying where I am at instead of engaging in useless chit chat. Plus, I’m not wasting an extra $50 a month when everything I and anyone else wants to talk about can wait till I get home 99% of the time.
Just because you have a hammer doesn’t mean everything is a nail.

Jeff_W on July 30, 2008 at 4:13 pm

you should here these bufons talking on their cellies on the metro in LA. Nothing but the N word and talking about baby daddies – pure comedy.

tate on July 30, 2008 at 6:58 pm

I am sorry to say this but blacks are their own worst enemy. If you cannot read, and the dropout statistics seem to support that, then how can you adopt and understand the latest technology. A bunch of black women using the n word, cursing out their baby daddy’s on their cell phones does not mean anything. Bill Cosby was right, having droopy pants and talking ghetto talk goes nowhere. I think blacks are a failed race of people.

Chuck W on July 31, 2008 at 4:33 pm

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