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This is shocking.

The decision by CBS to segregate this year’s tribes on Survivor according to their ethnicity is now going over well with, well, almost everyone.

The most vocal critics of the move so far are groups of New York City officials and civil rights advocates. They’ve blasted the announcement, claiming the producers’ decision to pit blacks, whites, Asians and Hispanics against each other during the early rounds of the show would only promote divisiveness among competitors and viewers alike.

Todd Herzog Image
(Getty Images)

“This idea is so ill-conceived that it would be funny – but for the fact that racism does still sometimes rear its ugly head,” city councilman John Liu said at a press conference Friday. “This show has the potential to set back our nation’s race relations by 50 years.”

How do you realy feel, Mr. Liu? Safe to say you won’t be watching Survivor: Cook Island, huh? He stopped short of blaming Mel Gibson for everything, but did continue:

“No where else do we tolerate racial segregation and we certainly won’t stand for it in this battle-of-the-races scheme to prop up sagging television ratings.”

Ratings for Survivor, however, haven’t really been sagging. Jeff Probst and company claim this decision was simply a response to criticism the show has received for lacking diversity.

So why not go in the opposite direction entirely, apparently?!? Let’s rev up those racial engines. The move seems akin to telling Ashlee Simpson she’s thin … and watching her go on an all-McDonald’s diet to get healthy.

Liu claimed the show’s divisive premise would do nothing but promote the spread of negative stereotypes based on the actions of the different tribes, something that – just two days after the announcement – is already an issue.

After all, listen to Rush Limbaugh (please, we don’t want to have to do it). On his radio show this week, the conservative host hid his feelings on the topic less well than Jon Stewart hides his disdain for President Bush on The Daily Show.

Hispanics, Limbaugh said, “have shown a remarkable ability to cross borders” and “will do things other people won’t do.” Asians, moreover, are “the best at espionage, keeping secrets.” Blacks “lack buoyancy” and are “more likely to drown,” while the white man’s burden will weigh down the last team with “guilt over the fact that they run things.”

It’s incredibly easy hard to argue with any of those points. The racism excitement begins on Survivor: Cook Islands on September 14!