From: Mike Bowen Message-Id: <> Subject: sbm 32 To: Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1993 12:26:00 -0400 (EDT)
speaking demographically i suppose i am somewhat of a rare bird in this forum. that may or may not be of concern to you but i beleive that it is clear that as this privileged domain of speech becomes populated with, say 20 million people, more than enough to clog your terminals and attention spans, you must remember that we are represented only as we speak. don't come away from this hearing saying that it is good for america until you hear each and every stripe of american say it is good for them. more than anything this is the opportunity for, say young black males whose lives are still a mystery to those mass consumers of hollywood films, to be heard in their own words and not the words of commercially processed symbology. so of that 20 million how many are actually me? i am of drum, afrex-l, s.c.a.a., and afam-l among others and my black history on the internet (yes it's here too) is from bnet@prep and BlackNetwork:All Areas:Xerox. that complexity is just the black part as i am of other fora as well.

such is not diversity for the sake of spice, as i'm sure such acronyms will be processed to spice rumors of great black presence in cyberspace. nonetheless in our small and arcane fashions we are indeed real and hope to be heard *as we speak*. even the word 'diversity' has become a holding tank for those who would not listen from the source in the first place. so until such time as you know and hear us on a consistant basis (and not surreptitiously), in our unsurveyed manifestations, do not presume despite your good intent to say exactly how effective a forum for communication this may be.

rabbi hillel said 'where there are no heroes, you be the hero' and it is for such reasons that i, in odd moments, take on the burden of discussing race and identity in cyberspace. (i also can't seem to find bell hook's e-net address, and i lost cornel west's phone number). nevertheless, the question of progress must be ultimately judged on the nature and scope of the implementation's adaptive equality. i sometimes get the feeling that (cf joan didion's recent article on lakewood, ca) this vast project is being planned with half-vast consideration as to how specific communities will benefit. no doubt we are creating an information-based economy and no doubt those of us with the high-speed modems get to test it out for it's suitability. if i don't try and be some kind of hero and cast my black shadow on this tabula rasa, how will we ever know if it will actually work at night?

i cannot toss my metaphors aside and cannot disregard the fact that this missive may require interpretation beyond what government task forces on electronic communication presume to undertake. perhaps we will find that our current crop, just don't get it. we clients are out here, can we be appropriately served? i want to be heard as i speak, with as much privilege as cyberpunks and other glamorized minorities, and that would hopefully be with none at all. if this communication is not flat (and who would dare flatten it, enamored as we are of frontiersmen (and their female cronies)) then it provides no progress for free speech. thus the responsibility for our representatives in government should be as it is for our sysops which is to simply insure the integrity of the medium by insuring that editors are not [sic] on my words to spin me into something politically different from that which i want to be.

this is direct representation; it is the task of coordination and reflection. we the people have plenty enough politics in ourselves, and given the opportunity will express it in our own words. we have no need for anchors or minority whips. remember, most of us think we are being lied to, that's why we have our own video cameras, our own mouths, our own e-mail accounts, our own bodies. we put them into the mix in realtime. with, as the poet said, no futher assistance from you.

the greatest evil which will be done begins when i am given great praise for my 'insight' by the government. these words do not belong to you. i simply want them to flow and today i publish myself this way in my electronic cirles. don't ask; listen.

there is no summary, the flow continues.

90016, 91350, 90305, 90254, 11217, 02115