Today, “Survivor: Cook Islands” premieres tonight at 8pm CT on CBS. The 20 contestants will be divided into four tribes by race, African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic and White.

Host Jeff Probst told CBS News’ The Early Show that it was designed as a unique social experiment.

The idea for this actually came from the criticism that ‘Survivor’ was not ethnically diverse enough,” he said. “Because, for whatever reason, we’ve always had a low number of minority applicants apply to the show. So we set out and said, ‘Let’s turn this criticism into creative for the show. I think it fits in perfectly with what ‘Survivor’ does — it is a social experiment. And this is adding another layer to that experiment, which is taking the show to a completely different level.”

Several advertisers from previous seasons have decided they are not planning to advertise this season. And it is good they got some advertising consequences for it.

I agree with the criticisms that this show has been getting because it will encourage the audience who identify themselves strongly with the group. They may call it a “social experiment” but it is nothing more than segregation with a touch of Social Darwinism, Survival of the Fittest.
It is interesting how they framed the show by using magic words as if it makes everything ok, such as “social experiment.” By using the word experiment only conjures up ideas that some social scientist somewhere is tracking data in order to prove some type of social science experiment hypothesis. More importantly is to what layers are they adding too? Not all whites see eye to eye. Or when it comes down to it, we are all racist against each group and subgroups? That is right, sub-groups. There is only one winner. So is superior within the racial/ethnic community – Mexicans? Pervuians? Puerto Ricans? Japanese? Chinese? etc etc

Television is a representation of the current state of things that are actually occurring. So, guess what. The outrage that is happen is because we do not like what see and those who see nothing wrong with it are in a state of denial of the current racial tension that are currently taking place. Don’t think so. Here are some comments from an Internet Board with Topic Discussion – Which race is superior?:

1. I’ve heard all the superior race crap from Nazi Muffins.
I hate Nazis, Klu Klux Klan and all other supremacists that quote the Bible to cover their perverted attempts to overcompensate for their lack of power, be it intellectual, financial, physical or sexual.

2. Ok, I see I’m going to have to explain my title of this thread.

It was in jest. I do not believe there is a superior race and this show will do nothing to prove that there is.

People like me(white) and my boss(black) are going to have fun ribbing each other about it, that’s all.

  1. (A response to #2) Yeah right! Whatever, this topic is not surprising at all on this website though!
  2. We all know the blacks are going home wit da money. Tis about time some negroes win some of deez reality TV shows!
  3. Which race is superior? – Jewish
  4. I would say the Arabs are the superior race. Nobody else in the world can eat sand and drink oil and still rule the nation.

That is not even a white supremacist forum, like Stormfront. No matter how much “ribbing” can occur between friends of different groups, at one point or another, each person will continue to test the waters just to see how far they can go in blurting out each groups stereotype. It will get to a point it no longer becomes funny because one will start to wonder if that is how one truly thinks about them or their racial/ethnic group, peppered with the old “You are not like them” meme. This show will only reinforce the different stereotypes between each group.

In the end, there is no win-win in this situation and we, the viewers, don’t go away with the cash prize. We all lose in this little social experiment. And so goes another layer of our humanity.

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