November 12, 2008

Props to Tyra, Props to all Veterans

Tyra Banks' show yesterday, on Veteran's Day, deserves a proverbial gold star.  Or, if I am permitted to say so, she deserves all the r.e.s.p.e.c.t. we can collectively muster for her.

What Tyra did was demonstrate how racial distrust and animosity is so easily engendered in humans without any substantive basis for it other than differences in mere physical appearance.  She invited four Afro-American girls, including one young lady from the audience, to discuss their feelings about other Afro-American girls who had different skin colorations (from a darker skin to a lighter skin or vice versa).  It was readily apparent that if a girl felt different in some way from the norm, then the girl experienced a sense of alienation and animosity to other girls of her own race, or racial group.  No caucasians were involved in this experiencing of alienation and animosity. 

Tyra repeated this demonstration, in several different ways, with girls from other racial groups.  A Korean girl felt distrust and animosity towards Chinese girls, while a Chinese girl felt distrust and animosity towards Korean girls.  Two girls, a causasian and a middle eastern girl, were placed behind a screen and information was given as to their likes, dislikes, appearance and style.  The majority of the audience guessed incorrectly that the caucasian girl was a black girl, and that the middle eastern girl was an hispanic or italian girl, based on stereotyping based on clothing and other surface appearances.

Tyra did a super job as the emcee, and unless you were completely asleep at the wheel, you came to realize very quickly that stereotyping based on surface appearances is unfounded and irrational.  In other words, you are CRAZY if you judge another person by the color of their skin, or by the racial group (or subgroup) to which they belong.

Yesterday was Veteran's Day, a day we salute those who have actively taken up arms to defend American values.  Well, here's a twenty-one gun salute to all veterans, and also to Tyra Banks, for defending, and when necessary, elucidating, Amercian values.  May the virtue of equality between persons soon become a recognized universal value.

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