Are Black Folks Listening to Obama?


During the President's State of the Union address this week, Obama stressed the importance of education and TECHNOLOGICAL innovation.  As he has done numerous times in prior speeches, he stressed the importance of a Smart Grid, additional research funding for technological innovation, and universal broadband availability.  

I have found, even among IT professionals, very few black folks that have read the President's National Broadband Plan.  This plan outlines an economic development strategy for America that focuses on Energy Management, Health Care, Smart Grid and Education.  Physical infrastructure (fiber, wireless, 4G, etc.), increased broadband access in underserved areas (yes, much of this is us), and policy are all part of the three-legged stool.  It seems to me that we are just walking past the stool and viewing it like a museum.

Does it even resonate with us that billions of economic stimulus dollars have been targeted for technology infrastructure development, Health Information Technology, and digital literacy training?  As a black man working actively working in the broadband and Smart Grid arenas, I can tell you that the ship set sail, and we are standing at the dock with luggage.  It pains me to be among less than 50 black folk at conferences of over 10,000.  I literally see more Korean vendors at Smart Grid conferences than I do black folks. I see deals get done, policy staged, and partnerships brokered constantly.  Yet, black technology professionals still give me the deer-in-headlights look when I mention Smart Grid, broadband, interoperable communications, etc. 

Since we are the technology leaders of America, we have to do more.  Official positions relative to policy, case studies, advocacy, strategic partnership development to name just a few.  The National Broadband plan essentially establishes a strategy for America's transition into the new economic reality.  Is it an accident that Cisco, IBM, and Google are spending astronomical amounts of money in the Healthcare and Smart Grid areas? Colleges are changing the curriculum. Laws and policies have been changed. Even climate change and environmental justice are linked to all of this, but that is another discussion.

Obama even stated during his speech that the job market of our parents is dead and gone! Was anyone listening?  We have to get moving yesterday. I cannot stress the urgency enough.  Please note that this is stated in a spirit of love and passion - not judgment.

Please read the National Broadband plan at

Replies to this Topic

Todd, top of the New Year to you, your family and thank you very much for connecting more dots with our audiences.

For the most part, one would hope everyone listens to leaders of the Free World, and the President of the United States, regardless of party affiliation or whomever he or she may be.

Your key point is spot-on.  Very few people actually are reading Technology Plans (bdpatoday | NOV 2008 Edition) and our National Broadband Plan which help set the stage for a new agenda, funding, or related economic growth opportunities BDPA Chapters may leverage with local communities.

Last June (2010), Washington's [BDPA-DC] Chapter President did have a chance to meet with the FCC Chairman and LISTA's team to address related concerns.  Moreover, online subscribers to BDPA's bdpatoday Groupsite, may already have read the following editions linked below re FCC, STEM, Net Neutrality or related legislative matters and are abreast of industry trends participating BDPA Chapters currently are supporting and embracing. 

In Washington, our communications and legislative teams will continue to do their part in direct support of NBDPA members, subscribers, and our emerging smartphone viewership. 

Your February 2011 digital print edition is available  -- keep us informed of how we can improve our services or render industry content more legible for targeted audiences.  Send thoughts to: 

Best Regards,

Publisher, bdpatoday

June 2010 edition

Our Summer [June] 2010 print edition featured the FCC Chairman as part of our cover story along with the following articles:

♦ LISTA | Annual Tech Latino 2030 Legislative Forum Convenes

♦ Epic Crisis in the Gulf: Department of Energy uses social media to capture ideas

♦ DISA Vice Director to keynote local BDPA Chapter Community Awards Luncheon

♦ BDPA Members prepare for Regional and National Conferences

I really appreciate the information.  At the core of the matter is for BDPA to assemble critical mass and strategically address these issues.  It is encouraging to see that we have begun to address some issues.

I also met with some of the architechts of the National Broadband Plan twice last year in DC.  There were many potential linkages to BDPA.

I am willing to lend my expertise, connections, and experience in any way that can be beneficial to BDPA.  Maybe we should consider the formal establishment of focus groups to address such matters. Thank you.

@Todd -- I just wanted you to know that I'm hearing you.    May I have permission to re-post your message on my blog?

peace, Wayne


Yes, you can post it.  We need to have some discourse and immediate action.  I believe that failure to act will result in most of us becoming part of the permanent underclass.


Thanks Wayne

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