The other day, Racialicious and Resist Racism had tributes to Derrick Bell, the late lawyer and critical race theorist. A gorram awful post at The Grio thanked Steve Jobs for his “empowering of black America, since, ya know, a few black people use the iPhone and ya know, all these black people continue to entertain us through music, without challenging the system, keeping the status quo safe. It was quite pathetic.
It seems quite funny to me at least that we can praise Steve Jobs for changing the world by improving technology, while he stayed safe up in the North West, making patron saints of civil rights leaders, just so that their faces can be plastered on the walls of that unholy temple we call an Apple Store. I am not questioning Steve Jobs work as a cultural transformer. My question is, what type of change should we in society be appreciating?
At the Associate Baptist Press, Alan Bean highlighted the life of the late Fred Shuttlesworth (who also died the same day), and how he helped conquer Jim Crow. Is the rise of Apple Computers more important morally than ending legalized segregation? Or does it just serve as an opiate, desensitizing us to today’s oppressions?
Worth a thought.