Speaking of Multiculturalism...

I read an online article yesterday about the upcoming season of "Survivor," in which the four initial teams will be divided by race. There will be a black team, a white team, an Asian team and a Latino team. The show's producers say that they are doing it because they got complaints that the show didn't have enough "diversity." This will put an end to those complaints.

Now, I haven't watched the show since its original incarnation in 2000. Once was enough for me; I didn't feel like watching the same script played out by different actors, even if it was on a slightly different set. Still, this is an interesting wrinkle on how to divvy up the contestants. I know that during at least one of the show's 12 "seasons" (they grow two crops a year; reality television is fertile ground) they initially divided the contestants up by sex.

There was a discussion about this on ESPN Radio last night while I was driving in to work, and both of the guys were aghast, thinking it a horrible idea. "Not politically correct," they observed. It will, however, make people talk around the water cooler. Controversy draws attention.

I guess the question is whether any one particular ethnic group would have an advantage in any of the particular types of competition. My guess would be "probably not," because these will be individual members of those groups, who may or may not have the stereotypical strengths and weaknesses that their groups are thought to possess. In the end, the advantage usually accrues to those who are young, fit and have some kind of useful skill. One should not forget the aphorism about "age and treachery," however.