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Friday, August 25, 2006
Art Imitates Life: Survivor and Racism
As examples, there are Black radio stations, White radio stations and Latino radio stations. The same applies for television. Communities are very frequently divided along racial lines. When the communities aren't geographically, the groups will divide themselves socially.
Here at the University of Illinois we have "white" homecoming and "black" homecoming. There are black culture houses, Latino culture houses, and Asian culture houses. Even the dorms have managed to segregate themselves more-or-less on racial lines. Is it a sign of American racism? Hardly.
It is proof-positive that the race-based policies of the left have brought out the exact opposite of what they intended. These policies have enshrined that there are in fact, different groups of Americans that get different sets of rights. You have African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, Caucasians, yet no one seems to view themselves as simply "American".
Because the lines of division are so clear, the competition between the various groups for a better package of rights is intense. The rivalry between the black lobbyists and the Latino lobbyists is well known. Anyone who dares criticize a policy presented by one of these groups is immediately labeled a racist, bigot, or xenophobe. The politics of hate are most present here, by the people supposedly trying to bring about "unity".
The fact is, unity is inherently destroyed unless people view themselves as part of something bigger. If African-Americans view themselves as primarily African-Americans, or whites as whites, or Latinos as Latinos, then there can be no unified America. It is simply a fact of life when there is an "us" and a "them", there exists tension between them. Highlighting the division and granting rights based on it has only entrenched it that division, not eliminated it.
So why not have a race-based Survivor series? It's basically just a reflection of American society where instead of trying to be a unified people, the races compete against each other for more cookies. Art, in this case, really does imitate life.
John Bambenek is an academic professional for the University of Illinois and a columnist for the Daily Illini and blogs at Part-Time Pundit deep from the corn fields of Illinois. . He is the current owner of BlogSoldiers, a blog-only traffic exchange.
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posted by John C. A. Bambenek at 1:16 PM
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