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It's his world.. you're just living in it...

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Race Relationships - September 15

Pop Quiz! I am going to ask you 5 questions. You give me the answers. Ready?

1. What are the four faces on Mt. Rushmore?

2. Where is Sun City located and what major issue was it involved with in the 1980's?

3. Who is Chiang Kai-Shek and how is he connected to Taiwan?

4. Who is the current President of Puerto Rico?

5. What organization is Vincent K. McMahon the head of?

Each of the first four questions are connected to one of the four cultures represented by tribes in this season's Survivor. The last question was to see how much you knew about World Wrestling Entertainment. Chances are that the one that most of you guys got correct was the last question.

Now many of you, I'm sure, knew who was on Mt. Rushmore. If you are a Jeopardy fanatic, then you may have known all of them, as Sun City and Chiang Kai-Shek are staples (or should be staples) of recent cultural history.

I personally find it very funny that many advertisers are going to pull their product from this series of Survivor. Their reason? Oh no! It's all about races! Someone may be offended! People, please. There's a reason why I don't have an issue about this season of Survivor. The reason? As a nation, we are all too ignorant to really be racist.

When I went to the College of New Jersey, there were many minority functions that I was fortunate enough to have attended. A friend of mine, who also went to many of these functions, never thought that people were racist, and I agree with that sentiment. The problem is as a whole, we don't get enough information about other cultures to truly be racist.

You can certainly blame the news for it, as they have their cultural snippets at the last five seconds of the program, which by that point, we have already flipped channels to make sure we don't miss a minute of Jeopardy! or Entertainment Tonight. But it's too easy to blame the media for that. To boil it down, we aren't a learned country because we don't want to be. We certainly have enough information on the internet if we wanted to know about cultures, but we just don't. We know more about Paris Hilton's new CD and the WWE than we know about apartheid in South Africa, thanks to Sun City. And that is a shame.

So let's discuss this and Survivor. Why are we so worried about who is going to be offended? Why are we spending so much time worrying how people will react when they are bitching for 30 days on an island when we have our own racial issues in the United States - racial issues that are far and away more important than 20 people on an island - and racial issues that no one is doing anything about.

We are all experts when it comes on blaming someone for a situation. Yet, most of us are amateurs when it comes to dealing with it. I was going to give you the answers to all of the questions, but I decided that I would let you find the answers for yourself. Why? Because spending the energy to get the answers would be more than what most people spend on thinking about how to deal with race relations - an issue, that if we just spent some time to get to know our fellow man, would be just as insignificant historically as 20 people vying for
one million dollars.

E-mail Gordon Pepper about your thoughts on this at


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