In a Blog posted about this month’s earlier 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech, “Time To Break The Silence”, I characterized the current absence of national leaders’ attention to the ubiquitous problems of homelessness and the school dropout to prison pipe line as “institutionalized immorality”.
I asked then, and I ask now: How is it possible that African Americans comprising 13.3% of our population constitute nearly 50% of male persons incarcerated in our country? That 1 out 3 African American male children born to day is likely to spend some part of his future life in jail, compared to 1 out of 17 white male children born at the same time?
So, read in today’s business news that “Intel Buys Mobileye in $15.3 Billion Bid to Lead Self-Driving Car Market; and, another headline: “No Longer A Dream: Silicon Valley Takes On The Flying Car” “More than a dozen start-ups backed by deep-pocketed industry figures like Larry Page, a Google founder — along with big aerospace firms like Airbus, the ride-hailing company Uber and even the government of Dubai — are taking on the dream of the flying car.”
In my earlier Blog, I wrote and now repeat again:
“Here in Silicon Valley, a trillion-dollar platform of wealth, Uber and Lyft can compete for riders with their technology and apps that readily connects the address of a passenger who wants to be transported to “x”, “y” or “z” place. But, no such “App” has yet been developed that locates a homeless person and transports him or her to a designated place of shelter, food and medical care.
Why is this? Is it because it is beyond the capacity of the technology and resources in Silicon Valley? No, it because of the paralytic virus of institutionalized immorality.”
Today’s headlines about Silicon Valley’s apparent pre-eminent interest in self-driving and self-flying cars tells us a lot about Silicon Valley’s priorities. There is no amount of “Chief Diversity Officers” and occasional minority and women hires that can obscure the Valley’s Institutionalize Immorality and inaction to address just some of those social and economic issues recited above.
Someone reading this, is saying, the issues that concern us are NOT the responsibility of tech companies in Silicon Valley. Really?
In my earlier Blog, I wrote:
“Where is today’s Rabbi Joachim Prinz, who, as President of the American Jewish Congress, at the August 28th, 1963 March On Washington For Jobs and Freedom, summoned the conscience of our nation about civil rights when he said:
“When I was the rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin under the Hitler regime, I learned many things. The most important thing that I learned under those tragic circumstances was that bigotry and hatred are not ‘. the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.
A great people which had created a great civilization had become a nation of silent onlookers. They remained silent in the face of hate, in the face of brutality and in the face of mass murder.
America must not become a nation of onlookers. America must not remain silent”.
“It’s time “to break the silence” about the omnipresence of “institutionalized immorality”.
Anyone from any Tech company who wants “to break the silence” is welcome to accompany us on our weekly Wednesday or Thursday visits to the County’s Juvenile Detention Center.