Tuesday, September 12, 2006

yes, THEY believe in equality!

So today I accidentally watched segments of "the View". It was on (Mrs. News watches it from time to time), I was here at the computer in the same room, and out of frightened curiousity from time-to-time I glanced towards the TV.

Guest: Jeff Probst, host of "Survivor". Topic: "Survivor" (big shock there)

This year, in case you didn't know, the Survivors are going to be separated according to their race.

Now Survivor has done separations before (the men vs. women season a couple years ago comes to mind) And separations of a certain sort are not uncommon to the reality TV genre (Trump separated contestants according to education completed a couple years ago). But this season on Survivor is going to be a little different.

Probst has been on "the circuit" lately, essentially defending the decision to do the show this way. Undoubtedly he has encountered a lot of the following criticism, launched at him from host Joy Behar, to the effect of (my take on her words, NOT a direct quote) "all these years we've fought so hard for integration, and now we'll have segregation right there on the TV."

Probst, to his credit, was very calm. Saying that he understands the root of such criticisms, he asked people not to judge the show before they'd seen it. And that seems pretty fair to me.

My least favorite question, also launched towards Probst from Behar (and again, not a perfect quote): so if you're like Halle Berry, with a black parent and a white parent, who do you root for? The clear implication was that viewers should be "rooting" for the race that they belong to/identify with (this implication was enforced with the follow-on questions).

I practically launched myself into the TV. WHY CAN'T HALLE BERRY ROOT FOR WHOEVER SHE DAMN PLEASES? Why does it have to be the white team or the black team? Why can't it be the the Asian team or the Hispanic team? What if she actually knows somebody on the show--is it okay for her to root for them?

Or how about this: let's leave open the possibility that somebody might actually look at the PERSONALITIES on the show and then root accordingly?

If it had been Elizabeth Hasselbeck that made that comment, she would have been shredded. And rightfully so.

People: prejudice is what makes segregation tough to stomach. If you look at a show and see 4 black folks separated from 4 white folks, who are separated from 4 hispanic folks, who are likewise separated from 4 Asians folks, and none of those groups is being treated any differently from the rest, why does it have to be sinister?

Doesn't that assessment reflect more on the viewer than on the viewed?

Prejudice isn't a poison in the pigment --or lack thereof --of your skin. It is a poison of the mind. When ANYBODY assumes that race is the controlling factor to another's decision matrix, they are showing prejudice. In this case, Behar displayed without pause a prejudice that supposedly her fellow liberals are champions of opposing. And the fact that Rosie (who doesn't keep her liberal opinions to herself in any forum) held silent while the question was aired and answered means that she didn't get the prejudice that was just put on display either. That's quite a glaring omission from one of the leading mouths of the left, isn't it?

PLEASE NOTE: the above article is not a defense of "separate but equal", which rightfully was struck down in Brown v Board of Education. The truth is, separate facilities cannot be equal (or are, in the exact words of the decision, "inherently unequal"). But that decision applied to "the field of public education", not television shows.

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