Survival For The Black And Poor Communities Will Depend On Understanding Robotics And Technology

05/31/2017 01:12 pm ET Updated Jun 06, 2017
What it’s actually like to be a Black employee at a tech company
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What it’s actually like to be a Black employee at a tech company

As the social landscape of American and global society is changing over the course of the next fifty years, ultimately the survival of the poor and oppressed in communities will depend largely on those who can learn technology, navigate through it and use it as a means for social elevation. During the past ten years, many social scientists and experts who have studied trends, and have spent many hours in research of the subject of the workplace labor shift, now understand the fact that the poor and uneducated have shown increasing misalignment with no upward mobility. For those who live inside of impoverished communities, the growing divide and lack of social opportunity and increasing hardship should be enough to strive for change.

Pooling resources and understanding of systems to achieve a common goal is a universal concept that makes a lot of sense. The concept has been espoused by many, practiced by some, and makes sence. According to the Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint -written by Elijah Muhammad who rose from poverty to become the charismatic leader of the black nationalist group Nation of Islam, and mentor of Malcolm X. Is Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint critical for survival today. Why? Analysts say the wealthy elites and politically powerful have forgotten about Black America, and the poor in the United States and Globally.

The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad early (pic)
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The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad early (pic)
Since our being brought in chains to the shores of America, our brain power, labor, skills, talent and wealth have been taken, given and spent toward building and adding to the civilization of another people.’  From ‘Message to the Blackman in America’ by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad

A real time example of workplace upward shift is Amazon. A recent study proved when consumers order from Amazon.com Inc., particularly using its streamlined Prime service, they receive several automated messages of the shipment status. Often within 48 hours, the package arrives. Part of Amazon’s secret sauce to make this happen is robots. The online retailer’s Seattle operation aggressively uses robots for order fulfillment. The company operates a growing fleet of 30,000 robots. According to a Deutsche Bank study, Amazon’s Kiva robots have saved it considerable time and space, as well as $22 million for each fulfillment center that uses the Kiva robots so far.

Part of Amazon’s secret sauce to make this happen is robots. (above)
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Part of Amazon’s secret sauce to make this happen is robots. (above)

Robots are assisting in loading everything from corrugated cartons to soiled hospital linens. Half of supply chain managers expect to benefit from increasing logistics automation within the decade.Time and cost reductions are always at the top of any operations manager’s mind. These savings are even more desirable in today’s go-go supply chain, where time to market is critical for companies that compete globally for market share.

In a recent article by Reveal, The Center for Investigative Reporting showed, that when companies hire temp workers by race, black applicants lose out-whether it was a preference for Latino workers or for whites only, the people on the losing end usually were black, according to former employees at branches in six states. In the study-when Automation (a computer based temp agency out of Alabama) would send out black workers – to the employers who would accept them, they said. Sometimes, they were channeled into inferior positions. And if there wasn’t an opening at willing companies that day, black workers would be out of luck. As tension mounts over racial injustice in America, Reveal found a pattern endemic to the temp industry of racist, sexist and otherwise discriminatory hiring. The issue of misaliment of an uneducated poor and black workforce has been the topic of many and think tanks and social forums.

For example: last fall at the Black Enterprise’s TechConneXt Tech Summit, two black robotics engineers discussed artificial intelligence and robotics. Both weighed in on whether robots are harmful to human beings, and especially to the livelihood of people of color one portion of the panel focused on the anxious perceptions people harbor about robots and their threat of replacing human labor as well as their potential danger.

The majority of the experts stressed that many jobs will become Obsolete, adamant that these machines would replace some jobs. “There is already a robot chef,”  one panelist told the audience. Indeed, a good example given was how German company Moley Robotics created a robot chef that can create a meal from scratch by mimicking the movements of a human chef. It was also mentioned that many fast-food enterprises are looking at robots as a way of automating business operations and cutting costs.

Panlist Trebi-Ollennu quelled some fears about job loss after an audience member asked about robot labor’s impact on blacks and other minorities, who are already at a disadvantage in the job market.

In her essay “Race as Technology,” Beth Coleman provides a foundation for the social imaginary that moves race and gender away from the “biological and genetic systems that have historically dominated its definition and toward human agency and understadning of the future swing toward a certain Afrofuturism.

<a rel="nofollow" href="http://blackdemographics.com/economics/employment/" target="_blank">Sixty-four percent</a> of workers
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Sixty-four percent of workers are in white-collar positions. Fifty percent of black men hold similar positions.

For the record African-American Technicians was the only group that had a consistent and steady growth from 1966 to 2013, starting at 4.07 percent and ending at 13.25 percent. Interestingly, growth in this category was at its lowest between 2008 and 2013 but ecomonimist estimate trends well into 2020 for this group.

Afrofuturism is a term described as having to do with reclaiming the lost identities or lost perspectives that have been subverted or overlooked. When Mark Dery first coined the term, he says Afrofuturism as “giving rise to a troubling Antinomy. “ This means that the seeming contradiction of a past being snuffed out and the writing of a future see its possibilities in Robotics mean that there will be more “high-skill” jobs available, another expert said, named Trebi-Ollennu. Ollennu mentioned that it is important that classrooms provide adequate skills young people will need to work in a high-tech future world. (glg)

 

Gregg L. Greer a Public Speaker, Minister, Social Activist, Economist, and the Editor of the One World internet journal. Greer is the Founder of Freedom First International-if you are interested in interviews from his and others of the brightest minds today, you can email him at  oneworldtoday@gmail.com His website is www.gregglgreer.com

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