Why Did It Take 44 Years, 7 Months and 18 Days?
I want to make it clear that this is not a political blog or website, rarely will I voice my own political opinions here as I have a personal blog for voicing such things. However, in light of the world changing events that will happen today with the election of the first black President of the United States and the undeniable fact that social media / government 2.0 was a huge big part of what facilitated Barack Hussein Obama II‘s election to the office of the presidency, I believe that there are two important questions that really need to be asked.
As I listened to a speech entitled “Beyond Vietnam” given by Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4rd 1967 which was included in yesterday’s Democracy Now Podcast, I reflected deeply on the content, delivery and tone of the speech thinking over and over again this question:
1. Why did it take almost half of a century for us to elect the first African American President?
The way I gauge the starting date of when it became realistically feasible for us to actually have an African American President elected is by the date of the signing of the Civil Right’s Act of 1964 on July 2nd of 1964. Since the signing of that legal document this many years, months, days, hours and minutes have passed:
- 44 years, 7 months, and 18 days
- 535 months
- 16,304 days
- 391,296 hours
- 23,477,760 minutes
Just take a few minutes to think about the magnitude of these numbers and contemplate about how long that really is! It is nearly half a century, almost four and a half decades. For some people that is the better part of a lifetime, a generation.
Over Two Decades For America To Get A CTO?
Let me rewind here for a moment to tell you how I arrived at this question in the first place, so that I can tie it back into social media and government 2.0 in order to ask the second important question. A few months ago when I told my wife that there was a bunch of speculation flying around about who would be appointed America’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) her response shifted my perspective on the subject. She said simply:
You mean we do not already have one?
My wife is not really into politics (neither am I), does not regularly follow government news and is Japanese in nationality so the question makes sense. It makes too much sense. How is it even believable that a nation which is so culturally into technology, computers, gaming, gadgets, IT and has been pioneering much of the tech industry for so long has no CTO?
2. Why has it taken over two decades for America (or it’s elected officials) to appoint the United State’s first Chief Technology Officer?
Look at this computer history timeline and you can see that the PC was invented in 1981 and windows in 1985. The temporal reality sets in right? It has taken us 25 years or a quarter of a century to get a Chief Technology Officer? Why? Is it that we have been preaching the American dream to the world for too long without actually following it culturally or technological?
When everybody else was so hyped up and crazed on election day about Barack winning, my wife and I were staring blankly at each other over coffee saying:
Really it took us until 2009? Shouldn’t we be sad and upset (perhaps ashamed) that it took us this long?
I am not trying to be negative or detract in any way from this huge milestone in our history as a nation. But I have heard no local or mainstream media outlet bring up this point or even question our performance as a Nation at all. Yes we should savor today and rejoice that a new era is beginning. But should we not also reflect after this great day, what could have we done better so that we can move forward into the future of the American Dream?
What do you think?
- What took us so long as a people to change our actual society and our societal values to match these laws which were declared so long ago?
- What factors do you think played into these political, technological, societal, cultural, geographical aspects of our history?
- Why is it only now that we are only reaching the cusp of reflecting our ideals and technology driven culture?
- When do you think we will get our first Female, Asian or Native American President?
- What will it take to accelerate the rate of change as it pertains to our government and government 2.0?
- Given that it has taken this long to get a CTO what are your thoughts on how long it will take to do government 2.0 effectively or achieve large organizational user adoption?