Home / Art Imitates Life: Survivor and Racism

Art Imitates Life: Survivor and Racism

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Amid all the furor about the show Survivor beginning next season with teams organized along racial lines, one thing has been lost. While Survivor is just a TV show (a.k.a. not real life), in reality society in the United States is divided along these same lines without so much as a peep of criticism. New York City officials want to extend their power over what other people watch on TV, but refuse to police their own boroughs for racial equity.

As examples, there are Black radio stations, White radio stations and Latino radio stations. The same applies to television. Communities are very frequently divided along racial lines. When the communities aren't geographically divided, 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 about 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 groups. 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.

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About John Doe

A political activist and security expert.
  • Vic

    Dude, you nailed it on the head. Everyone is into “celebrating diversity” and accentuating it, and there are so many hyphenated-Americans, but when “Survivor” calls attention to it, it’s BAAAAAD.

    Besides, I’m betting that the much publicized grouping lasts no more than two episodes, and then they’ll mix it up, just like the did last year with the young/old/men/women teams.


  • Heloise

    I was going to write a piece on this issue. I have watched season after season of Survivor. And I have had to cover my eyes when I see a black contestant. Why? Because what the whites do to them makes me cringe. I also wanted to say to all blacks who are considering that show–STAY away! I think it is a good idea especially if you see how black women are treated on every reality show I’ve ever watched…like crap.

    Also, I am from Chicago and now my town has been getting to be too ethnic even for my taste. It’s too much. I have written a book but I am getting calls and requests from both black and white radio stations, mostly white and whites who want to review my book. I am not saying that there is absolute racism in the country…it has improved just as John McWhorter argues in his books (that get him in trouble).

    I guess it is just people taking each other as they meet them. I wish it were so.