Time to take a pass on political correctness. Dreamz, a twenty something who sleazed his way to the final three on "Survivor Fiji," epitomizes much of what's wrong—from this blogger's 58 year-old rural Oregon white guy perspective—with black inner-city culture.
Dreamz, whose real name is Andria "Dre" Herd, loved to talk about the tough times he had growing up in the projects. OK. That's no excuse for being an irritating, lying, egotistical jerk.
Lots of people have difficult childhoods. I did, for sure. I wasn't homeless, like Dreamz was for a while, but I grew up in a broken home without much money and had to deal with an alcoholic mother.
I got through it. Dreamz is still using his past as raw meat for his Pity Patties, which he served to other contestants on almost every episode.
Last night was the finale of Survivor Fiji. My favorite contestant, Yau-Man, won the traditional challenge where a new car goes to the winner. It was a mucho-macho Ford truck that supposedly was worth $60,000. Didn't exactly look like the slight, cerebral Yau-Man's sort of drive.
Dreamz really wanted to win the challenge. He let everyone know that he was the only one who didn't already own a car. He pleaded for the other contestants to give him the car if someone else won it.
Yau-Man didn't go that far. But he offered Dreamz a deal: he'd give him the truck if Dreamz would agree to give Yau-Man the immunity necklace—if Dreamz was one of the final four survivors and earned immunity in the final challenge.
Dreamz was thrilled. He gladly accepted the offer. He promised Yau-Man that immunity would be his, if Dreamz got to the final four and won the immunity challenge.
Then he reneged. Dreamz did indeed get to the final four. And he did beat out Yau-Man on a hanging-by-your-hands test of endurance.
But when it came time for him to decide whether to keep the immunity necklace or to keep his promise, Dreamz took the greedy, sleazy, self-centered path. He told the host, Jeff Probst, "I'm holding on to the necklace."
This was after he'd said that he was looking forward to keeping his promise, so his son could see how a man acts honorably and keeps his word.
When I heard that, I was moved. I thought, "This is going to be cool—a black guy is going to show that you can overcome a rough childhood in the projects and come out with some strong moral fiber." Dreamz is a cheerleading coach. I was ready to cheer him on when he handed Yau-Man the immunity necklace, even though this likely meant he was going to be voted off the island.
What a letdown. All that got handed off (to viewers) was a confusing mess of rationalizations about how "this is just a game and lying is how it's played."
I'm with the vast majority of last night's viewers who were disappointed that Dreamz didn't keep his promise. Here's the deal, Dre, my conscience-impaired young man.
It's one thing to lie, connive, and deceive in an attempt to win the million dollar "Sole Survivor" prize. That's part of an effort to get money that isn't in anyone else's pocket yet.
It's a whole other thing when Yau-Man has won a $60,000 truck that actually belongs to him. That isn't a potential prize; it's a real prize. Dreamz promised that if he won the final-four immunity challenge, he'd give Yau-Man the necklace in exchange for the truck.
A real truck. An expensive truck. A lot different from the usual sorts of deals that are brokered, and broken, all the time on "Survivor" as alliances form and fall apart.
Dreamz tried to argue that how he played the game of Survivor doesn't bear any resemblance to how he acts in "real" life. That's bullshit. Yes, Survivor is a game. So is life. Many other contestants have chosen honor and honesty over deceptiveness and lies.
Dreamz didn't. He even lacked the minimal self-awareness to recognize that after he broke his word to Yau-Man there wasn't any chance, not a shred, that he'd end up winning the million dollar prize. Dreamz was toast in the jury's eyes the moment the immunity necklace remained around his neck.
So he ended up a big loser. He lost his honor. He lost the respect of millions of viewers. Maybe including his son. What did he gain? Nothing. He would have had his beloved Ford truck whether or not he kept his promise. The eventual winner, Earl, got all nine votes from the jury—the first unanimous winner in Survivor history.
That's because Dreamz and the other finalist, Cassandra, were utterly undeserving of being the Sole Survivor. Even Earl was, compared to Yau-Man, who definitely would have won if Dreamz hadn't played his sleaze card.
What bothers me the most, as I said at the beginning of this post, is how Dreamz solidified stereotypes about young, athletic, uneducated, underprivileged inner-city black men. Lots of people think that all they care about is hip-hop, partying, hanging out, looking good, and talking trash.
Dreamz did nothing to burst the bubble of that stereotype. He got to the final three of Survivor via a simple strategy: go along with the crowd when it was convenient; break your word and lie whenever things got a little tough.
Far from being the street-hardened guy who learned life's lessons by looking into dumpsters for his next meal, Dreamz came across as a frightened self-absorbed punk who's clueless about what it takes to be a man rather than a boy.
One of the jury members, Boo, ripped Dreamz a new one when he said that while Dreamz claims to be a Christian, he doesn't have the faintest idea what this entails. I don't usually like to see displays of religiosity on Survivor. But Boo was right on with this one.
Some other bloggers' takes on the final episode are here, here, and here. Dreamz comes off looking like a liar, cheat, and poor contestant. Which he most surely was.
Yau-Man was of interest to us, because he is a friend of a close friend of ours. They know him through the Concord Table Tennis Club. Because Survivor is filmed in advance, they were able to talk to him at a party recently, where of course, he was mum about the outcome. By his losing, it sure gives the wrong impression about wrong and right; good vs evil. Was the program fixed just so everyone would talk about it?
Posted by: Carol Ann | May 14, 2007 at 02:20 PM
Let's talk about the quality of people who continue to watch that show, regardless of the cheater/liar's color/race/religion/etc. It's the same "plot" every single time. Quit watching it!
Posted by: alan bluehole | May 14, 2007 at 02:28 PM
I can actually accept his "this isn't real life" justification, but it's absolutely true that he seemed to not get that he would be judged harshly for it--not to mention the fact that he screwed over three members of his old alliance, one by one. He would NEVER have gotten those three votes, and would have had to take 5 of the remaining 6. Not likely, as we saw.
Still, it was Yau-man's mistake (as he admitted) not to make sure of the transfer by pointing this out to Dreamz ("If you renege, you won't win anyway") or by sweetening the pot: if he'd simply promised Dreamz he wouldn't vote him out if he gave him the necklance, he could have gotten Cassandra voted off instead (him and Dreamz voting), and still won. Maybe he loses in that final 3 somehow, but he had to know that if he didn't get the idol, HE was going to be voted out (which of course he was). He would have been far better off making sure he made final three no matter what. He'd made no promises to Cassandra that I know of.
Posted by: torridjoe | May 14, 2007 at 04:06 PM
What Dreamz did had to do with Dreamz no one else. So why play the fucking race card? Everybody black or white is an indiviual. Judege each man for what he does, you racist son of a bitch.
Posted by: James Strickland | May 14, 2007 at 11:31 PM
Dreamz proved himself to be a little, shallow, ignorant man whose attitudes parrot the disappointing materialistic goals of many men and many countries.
You have proven yourself to be an insistent racist. Do you, as a 58 year-old rural Oregon white guy, assume the guilt resulting from the historically and insanely inhuman acts of those who spring from the white middle class?
You are an example of what is wrong with SOME men. You are thoughtless. illogical and opinionated. You are a dangerous man.
Posted by: Margo | May 15, 2007 at 07:39 AM
Gee, James and Margo, thanks for the politically correct but off-base comments. It's always easy to call someone a racist when you disagree with them.
I happen to be as progressive and open-minded as they come. I also believe in calling them as I see them. Which is what I did in this post.
Dreamz was the one who brought up his background, incessantly. Every episode he reminded viewers and the other contestants of his underprivileged background, and how he was struggling to overcome those hardships.
He sure needs a lot more work. I'm sorry--but each of us is both an individual and a member of a group. You just called me a middle class Oregon white guy, which I am. Why is it racist for me to point out that Dreamz is a black lower class East Coast guy?
If he hadn't stressed his membership in that group so much, I wouldn't have made such a big deal of how his sleaziness reflected on that group. I never had the feeling that the other contestants were playing the minority "pity me" card. Only Dreamz did. The sleaze.
Posted by: Brian | May 15, 2007 at 08:28 AM
You call yourself a christian? Open minded? are kidding? "Dreamz is a black lower class guy"? if being a christian means being like you tell me where I can sign up for ISLAM!!
Posted by: James Strickland | May 15, 2007 at 09:23 AM
Wow! "Christian"!! You got slammed good!
Robert Paul Howard
Posted by: Robert Paul Howard | May 15, 2007 at 09:31 AM
First, it is never easy for me to call anyone a racist and the basis for doing so will never be a point of disagreement. There are few things more healthy than debate that hopes to improve communication between individuals. I called you a racist because you stated that Dreamz sleazy behavior epitomized what is wrong with black inner-city culture. Within a city there are many cultures and within certain sub-groups there are still yet varying cultures. My assessment of Dreamz and his behaviour is at least as harsh as is yours. The difference between us is that I don't lay the characterisitics of one despicable man at the feet of a people, or their culture. It doesn't matter that Dreamz brought up his background, incessantly. Dreamz used and abused a wise and sensitive man, robbing him of a car a the grand, grand prize. (I wish I was wealthy and had a million bucks to give to Yau-man. He deserves it) Dreamz would say and do anything to advance himself. But that's his private hell and racism is born of and feeds on generalizing what is simply particular. Dreamz, IMHO, epitomizes an unevolved human, nothing more and nothing less.
Secondly, I echoed your self-description as a middle class Oregon white guy. And it isn't racist for you to point out that Dreamz is a black lower class East Coast guy. What was racist was suggesting that his sleaziness reflected on anybody, but himself.
A fool like Dreamz can assign himself membership in and support from any group, play any card he likes. That doesn't say that any group will support his claims or actions. There are black lower class East Coast guy who have as much intelligence, integrity and courage as you or I and despise Dreamz behaviour just as much.
All I ask is that those of us who care to be better humans stay far away from the misconceptions and negatavisms that make this world a less wonderful place.
Posted by: Margo | May 15, 2007 at 09:39 AM
Prejudice, by defintion, is passing judgement on a group of people based on an interaction or experience with an individual.
"Dreamz, a twenty something who sleazed his way to the final three on "Survivor Fiji," epitomizes much of what's wrong ... with black inner-city culture."
Prejudice can also be defined as: "unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group."
Being, as you define yourself, a 58 year-old rural Oregon white guy, unless you have extensive experience with a considerable number of people from black inner-city culture, your opion is unfounded and unreasonable. If you do have such extensive experience, I stand corrected. Otherwise, you are, by definition, a person with a prejudiced point of view.
Enough said. All that's left is to find out if you have the strength of character to look in the mirror and face your weaknesses and shortcomings. And I don't mean for me or the rest of the world to find out. This is strictly between you and you.
By the way, if you are a "Big C" Christian,what are you doing judging anyone in the first place? Isn't that "someone else's" job? Please tell me you're not vying for the position! After your post, I'd expect you to be much more worried about how you will be ultimately be judged yourself than expressing your prejuced point of view about someone on a reality TV show.
Strike three. Over and out.
Posted by: Ian | May 15, 2007 at 11:20 AM
Ian, I am most certainly not a Christian--for precisely the reasons Boo exposed at the final jury grilling. Christianity, like all religions, is prone to hypocrisy. People say one thing and do another, just like Dreamz.
Regarding the supposed racism of decrying inner city black culture, there are plenty of blacks who do just that all the time. Including Rev. Sharpton and Bill Cosby.
Cosby has come in for both a lot of criticism (as well as a lot of praise) for pointing out how inner city black culture is holding back minority youth. See:
I echoed some of Cosby's themes in this post. And I held Dreamz responsible for playing into the stereotype of the black guy who is loose and cool, but doesn't have a firm moral foundation. Dreamz could have been a role model; instead he was a bad example.
We need to look at this country's problems openly. Consider the "no snitching" creed in the black inner city. It's ridiculous--a sell out to rap culture that glorifies violence and vilifies anyone who cooperates with the police. See:
Anyway, my main point is that no one else on Survivor played the race card like Dreamz did. He was the only contestant who constantly reminded people of his ethnicity--his deprived black childhood, and how he supposedly now was dedicating himself to improving conditions for kids in his situation.
He failed them. That deserves criticism. Not just for Dreamz the lying man, but also for Dreamz the self-professed ambassador from the projects.
Posted by: Brian | May 15, 2007 at 02:13 PM
Brian is right. Dreamz showed a disgusting lack of character and he milked his misfortune for sympathy.
Is it so bad to hope for a young black guy, who pretends to represent people like him, to stand up in the way he says he's going to stand up? If he didn't want to accept a real (not potential) benefit, he didn't have to. And then to say, in all sincerity, that he wanted his son to see what a man of his word was... it was a demonstration of exactly what is wrong with so much of our culture, including the particular demographic Dreamz comes from: a sense of entitlement based on victimhood not achievement, and an ostentatious expression of what one is worth without actual performance.
For all the whited sepulchres calling Brian a racist, would they be up in arms if Dreamz was a poor white and Brian was making the same point (which it's easy to imagine Brian doing)?
I'd like the unctiously sanctimonious Ian to explain why it is bad to point out what might be wrong with black inner city culture. Apparently it's just dandy to point out what's wrong with "rural Oregon" culture.
Let's not forget how Earl dealt with the idiotic question of whether Dreamz deserved to win because, basically, he was more of a victim. Why have the contest at all? Why not just pick the most pathetic member of some favored victim class? Earl relied on no such pity, despite having had his own disadvantages. Not unlike Brian.
Posted by: Idler | May 15, 2007 at 08:45 PM
Idler, good points. And not just because you agree with me. I was thinking along the same lines today, in this fashion.
Let's say I made it onto Survivor (my wife tells me I should apply, but since I'm a vegetarian, the bug-eating challenge would be a big problem).
Say I do. I become known as a vegetarian. And a guy who does Tai Chi. A meditator. In short, a certain gray-haired baby boomer stereotype--one not unknown in Oregon.
I'm shown doing Tai Chi a lot. I'm shown meditating on the beach. I'm shown refusing to eat fish.
I'm also shown lying and deceiving -- horribly. It wouldn't be surprising if viewers thought, "Gosh, I guess vegetarian meditating Tai Chi practitioners aren't as upstanding as I thought."
I'd have let down the "community" to which I sort of belong. I say "sort of" because it's a looser, less well-defined community than that of inner-city blacks.
But like I said before, we all are rightly or wrongly perceived as members of groups, as well as individuals. Some people, like Dreamz, play up that group membership. Others, like all of the other contestants, in my opinion, don't.
I never viewed the Japanese or Hispanic contestants as culturally bound in the same way Dreamz came across. That's because they didn't harp on their ethnicity like he did.
You're correct. Dreamz played the pity card. Poorly.
Posted by: Brian | May 15, 2007 at 09:03 PM
Well Brian, you hit the nail on the head. Dreamz could have handed over the necklace and been a hero with a $60,000 truck. Everyone would have wanted to interview him, praised his honor and integrity. His cause would have gotten alot of attention. Instead what America witnessed was "same type of guy from black inner-city culture, different day."
(and though that might not sound so pretty, its the truth. Just turn on the tv, go to any city, look at history. Some may call it racist, but its simple fact)
And then theres his son. What a lesson he will learn from this. Oh well.
Yauman deserved to win Survivor, and everyone knows it, and with or without the money and truck, he did win. He was a dignified man till the end. Yau will gain so muc more than money from this experience, and Dreamz, well, he will get whats coming to him too, and I hope its soon.
My final hope is that Dreamz is no longer permitted to work with children. If I had a child needing a roll model, it would certainly not be Dreamz, a self absorbed, lying, gutless, cheating bottom feeder.
Posted by: Barb H | May 16, 2007 at 06:18 AM
Well well, what was dreamz thinking. I know, alot of money. So much that he could not see past it. If he though about it he would had realized that he did not had the numbers to win. If he had realized he could not win, than that would leave the door wide open to loose with dignity, to be a good example. Oh well, he is a product of his enviroment, whether black, white, brown, who cares. The fact is that he's black, and like it or not you represent a group. He had the chance to make that group look good in front of millions. Example, I'm in the military, I'm in a Battalion, it falls under a Brigade, which falls under a Division, which occupies a Post. I'm not only representing my unit, I represent my Division, I represent the Post, I represent the Army, my rank, and because I'm Latino I represent that to, like it or not. So I'm going to do my best to make all those groups I represent look their best. So, is it fair to be group like that, steriotyped, that's another blog, fact is that's the way it is.
What was Yauman thinking, trusting the biggest wild card in survivor history. Why didn't he put an ego trip on dreamz. He could had said so much to win, he did not. Like he said, he could not be wrong, and he belived dreamz would do the right thing, like Yauman would if he was in that position. Oh well, why play and strategize so hard if you did not want to that last little bit to win.
In the end Earl wins, not my best choice but deserving. I was pulling for the Latinos, oh well, what you going to do.
One last thing, I know my grammar is horrible, english is my second languish. So back off. Oh yeah, get those chips of your shoulder and put your energy towards making things better instead of calling someone a racist and making excuses. Don't be confortable with being a looser. that last comment is going to get me into trouble. he he he. I'm a bastard but I meant well. For fuck's sake, leave religion out of this.
Posted by: Carlos | May 16, 2007 at 08:27 AM
I believe your argument based on the hypothetical situation you present where you poorly misrepresent baby boomers on the show is a bit of a fallacy. The problem with the argument is that there is no pre-conceived notion that vegetarian Tai Chi practicing people are untrustworthy. Probably quite the opposite. So if say you did go on the show and exhibit the behavior of both a baby boomer and a lying cheater that would not have any real effect on any stereotypes of baby boomers. Sure, maybe in the minds of a few who already aren't thrilled with baby boomers, but few else.
However inner-city blacks have an existing pre-conceived stereotype that is quite negative. Do you truly believe if Dreamz had given up the immunity necklace (which, by the way, I think we all agree he should have done based on his 'integrity' comments, etc.) it would have lifted or even eased the stereotypes of inner-city blacks? Maybe for those 'on the fence' about their feelings regarding this group, but who are they? At the end of the day you're either influenced by stereotypes or you're not. If you are and Dreamz gives it up, you simply shrug your shoulders and chalk it up as an anomoly. If you are and he doesn't, then you pretty much say all the things you said in your blog. If you're not influenced then his actions have nothing to do with his group, whether or not he pointed them out consistently. Are you saying that if he had never mentioned his upbringing, with everything else being the same, that wou wouldn't have held the same opinion? I don't know you but from what I've seen I highly doubt it.
That said, I honestly don't know where I fall personally. I bet my wife $100 just before the last elimination vote that Dreamz would renege, and I probably based that on all the stereotypes you laid out, to be perfectly honest. I know I'm influenced by stereotypes, and that's my character flaw. Apparently one I share with others. I was right that he didn't, but for the wrong reasons.
Posted by: Mike | May 16, 2007 at 10:52 AM
Dear Brian et al.,
Along these lines, one might wish to have a look at _unSpun: finding facts in a world of disinformation_ (2007) by Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Jamieson.
Robert Paul Howard
Posted by: Robert Paul Howard | May 16, 2007 at 11:17 AM
I don't fault Yau-Man for not having thought of everything, but it would have been better had he made the deal that Dreamz got the truck only if he yielded immunity if he happened to win it at the appointed time, but otherwise could have it (if he were eliminated earlier or didn't win immunity).
Regarding what Brian said re vegetarian meditating Tai Chi practitioners: everyone is expected to scheme in Survivor; the trick is doing it in the way that makes fewest enemies. What was bad about Dreamz was not only did actively screw people over (which is within the concept, but for which one must pay within the game) but he took a real benefit that existed outside the show and said any number of things which he meant to be taken sincerely, and which were meant sincerely, but were checks he didn't have the character to write, and which involved the empty pretension, narcissism and plain B.S. I and others have referred to above.
I'm reminded of the Richard Rich character in Robert Bolt's "A Man for All Seasons." He makes some such facile promise to Sir Thomas More who replies, "You couldn't answer for yourself so far as tonight." Rich later demonstrates his lack of character by easily being bought off to be the star witness against More in Henry III's kangaroo court.
Anybody can spout off about what a great guy they are, how they are, say, committted to kids, how they will show what a good example is to their children, etc. A real man (or woman) says and then also performs.
When Yau-Man said during the jury questioning that it was his own fault, he might as well have said, "I should have known I wasn't dealing with a man, a person of character, a person who could answer for himself."
Posted by: Idler | May 16, 2007 at 12:21 PM
Dreamz has given all homeless a bad name. He could have left the island without the one million but with respect. Now he has neither but is still full of the same jive he arrived with. I hope his son doesn't see him as a role model.
Posted by: K. Conlan | May 16, 2007 at 02:25 PM
Brian is right on. I could not agree with him more. When Dreamz made his choice not to keep his word it became instantly clear that he was a stupid, greedy person. If he could see past the end of his nose he would have known that his sad display would alienate the jury and definetly keep him from winning the million dollars. Unfortunatly he knows nothing of the value of integrity. I thought he lost both ways but when it comes to integrity, I guess he couldn't loose what he never had! Race has nothing to do with it.
By the way Dreamz, a "million" has seven zero's
Posted by: John | May 17, 2007 at 11:50 PM
"By the way Dreamz, a "million" has seven zero's"
Posted by: FL | May 18, 2007 at 05:12 AM
Not really. I put in "seven zero's" to see if anyone really reads these comments and pays attention.
Posted by: John | May 18, 2007 at 06:37 PM
Well, now you know at least one person does!
Posted by: FL | May 18, 2007 at 07:23 PM
While I certainly don't condone Dreamz's behavior, I strongly take issue with Brian's assertion that his bad behavior has anything to do with "black inner-city culture". As other posters have pointed out, his race doesn't have anything to do with his being a jackass. What reason, other than your own racism, would there be for making an association between Dreamz's vile behavior and the existences of millions of other people who don't necessarily act like him. Brian (and everyone else who has jumped to his defense, how would you like it if every time Paris Hilton got into trouble, people accused white people of being stupid, crass, lowbrow, trashy, slutty, etc. Or if every time Britney Spears ended up in the news we made similar arguments. The fact is that in either case, those making such generalizations would be wrong, just as you are in blaming "black inner-city culture", a concept that you admit you know nothing about, for the behavior of one loser. You seem like an otherwise intelligent person, as do many of your defenders, so I hope that you will take a moment to ponder the implications of your opinions. If it helps, there are dozens of sites like this one where plenty of black inner-city people have voiced their displeasure towards Dreamz. It would do you good to learn about a culture you don't understand rather than spewing ill-informed bullshit. Thank you.
Posted by: fortaleza | May 20, 2007 at 02:09 PM
fortaleza, you don't seem to have read my post, nor my comments, very carefully. Dreamz himself identified himself strongly with "inner city blacks," not me.
At every opportunity he'd play up his deprived childhood and how he wanted to make things better for children like him, if he could win a million dollars.
So don't call me a racist. If you're going to accuse anyone of playing the race card, accuse Dreamz. He claimed that he wanted to show how people like him could rise above their upbringing and become solid ethical citizens.
But he could only talk that game, not play the game.
Posted by: Brian | May 20, 2007 at 08:37 PM
Dreamz is living proof that there is true reality in the "N", word.
Posted by: Zany | May 21, 2007 at 02:27 PM
While I entered this fray early in the game, many others have come after me to express themselves much more eloquently - Ian, Mike, Robert et al - and no one has been able to sway you at all from your and yur supporters' faulty thought processes.
Zany writes: Dreamz is living proof that there is true reality in the "N", word.
Does that comment make you uncomfortable at all? It shouldn't because his logic isn't that distant from your own. If it does, take Ian up on his offer and take a long look in the mirror.
Posted by: Margo | May 22, 2007 at 09:07 AM
Margo, I look in the mirror of my own mind a lot. Almost obsessively so. I'm pretty darn aware of my prejudices and shortcomings.
I've watched every episode of Survivor over the years. There have been contestants from just about every culture and ethnic group. Rarely do I think, "That guy/gal is Hispanic, Japanese, Irish, or whatever."
Earl, for example, came across as an ad executive (if I remember correctly) who happened to be black. Like I've said before, he didn't play up his ethnic background.
Dreamz did. Incessantly. That made him a representative of his "race" (I don't like that word, but sometimes it fits) in a way that didn't apply to the other contestants.
So I don't feel uncomfortable about focusing on Dreamz' "inner city blackness" when he focused on that himself. Regarding other comments on this post, those commenters have to defend themselves.
Posted by: Brian | May 22, 2007 at 09:49 AM
Yes, Dreamz did. Incessantly. But that makes him no more representative of his race than Hitler was representative of his. I am black. Dreamz does not represent me or my race. Your insisting that he does simply describes something that you wish to be true. Shame on you, Brian. Shame on you.
Posted by: Margo | May 22, 2007 at 10:51 AM
Margo, I would suggest that you read Brian's post again, as clearly you have misread everything he said.
Read it carefully and not with preconceived anger.
Posted by: Heraklit | May 23, 2007 at 01:11 PM
Heraklit, thanks for your suggestion but Brian's post is not a complex one. Re-reading it will only feed my anger at those attitudes or actions, such as Dreamz' or Brian's, that serve to create a greater divide between races. What I will do is admit failure at any hope that a meeting of minds is possible and move on. I wish all of you well.
Posted by: Margo | May 23, 2007 at 03:05 PM
Brian was simply commenting on Dreamz' actions and on his attitude of being an inner city black man. The only one who was contributing to the divide between the races was Dreamz himself and that is Brian's point. He doesn't anywhere say that the black race is defined with such attitudes and actions, he merely points out that man like Dreamz give the black people bad represantation because of their actions AND because they are constantly telling the world that they are of black culture. It would be wrong of anyone to assume that their bad actions were a result of their ethnicity as it has nothing to do with it but that is the image that they show.
Posted by: Heraklit | May 23, 2007 at 11:39 PM
Heraklit, nicely said. I've been thinking, what if Dreamz was a used car salesman? That profession has a pretty sleazy reputation.
Let's say that instead of downplaying what he does for a living, used car salesman Dreamz talks incessantly about his work life. How it can drag you down ethically, but he's trying to rise up above the lies and deceptions.
Watching Survivor, naturally you'd look upon Dreamz as sort of a representative of used car salesmen. He is one; he knows the down side of being one; and he says he wants to show the positive side.
Then he ends up acting just like a sterotypical used car salesman: deceiving, telling half-truths, manipulating people into trusting him.
Viewers would be justified in thinking that he missed an opportunity to show that used car salesmen aren't as bad as they're usually made out to be.
Like I've been saying, a big part of how we come across to others is how we present ourselves to others.
If we play up a certain side of ourselves, and claim that we're a representative of that sort of person, it isn't a sign of prejudice to take us at our word.
Posted by: Brian | May 24, 2007 at 04:22 PM
As a Survivor viewer from outside the US, the whole Dreamz/YauMan saga and subsequent internet/media traffic on it, sadly reinforces the stereotypes of the black inner city youth. It is sad and unfortunate but that is the stereotype. Dreamz had a chance to change that perception but squandered it, worse, he reinforced the stereotype. I don't think Brian's comments are inherently racist at all; he simply make the astute observation that the individual Dreamz epitomises the problems of black inner city culture.
Posted by: Outside In | June 02, 2007 at 09:11 AM
I only watched the final from outside of the USA. I have no experience of American inner-city blacks other than from newspapers, newscasts, films but I do have experience of inner-city blacks from Liverpool (having lived my time at the Uni in that district) and London.
I would say that I would not (from stereotypes gained in the aforementioned media) dare to drive in these areas or to be in these areas during the day, let alone after dark. But that is the information I have gained - hip-hop bling bling, drugs, gun violence, robberies, murders etc.
Unless you are from the inner-city culture, how many from middle-class backgrounds, or tourists, would freely go into these areas?
I have to say I agree with Brian. I saw no racism in his comments. It seems this world has gone crazy in PC so much so that one cannot mention reality if it involves a subject 'hijacked' to be sensitive such as Jews, Blacks, Homosexuals, Abortion etc.
It's so bad that in some schools a 'blackboard' (which is black in colour) can no longer be called a blackboard but must be called a chalkboard. One cannot celebrate Christmas but must (in some schools) celebrate 'Happy Holidays'. Crazy.
Anyway, my point is that, though I did not watch previous episodes, and assuming that Dreamz played his 'poor' background card often (as brought out by Boo - for the sympathy vote), then it would seem that he highlighted, underlined, underscored, bolded that fact that he is a representative of the hard ghetto life and ergo - his behaviour/ morals/ ethics will be an example of it. Unfortunately, it left a strong taste of bile for many people.
Posted by: Mark [HK] | June 10, 2007 at 03:43 AM
I just wanted to clarify only because people kept mention Yauman was Japanese, he's not ethnically Japanese but from Chinese descent, otherwise I wouldn't feel the need to post this comment.
Japanese and Chinese although both of Asian race have very different histories and ethical beliefs and practices. Personally, I have had quite a number of business dealings with both ethnicities and The Chinese have never disappointed me, as well as always lived up to their word, the Japanese on the other hand are another story altogether.
Sorry, I'm not racist, but an assessment through countless personal experiences. I still do business with the Japanese but I have them sign a contract first before starting any business dealings with them, their word isn't always the gospel truth at the end.
All my best to all of you and ultimately hopefully one day all of us will consider ourselves as one race and the only thing separating us is whether we do good acts or bad acts, base it on character, not by our outer appearance, backgrounds, religion, economic status, or sex, etc.
Peace and love for all of us.
Posted by: Skylar Jones | June 15, 2007 at 10:20 PM
The final episode of survivor was shown here in South Africa last night. I was shocked and dissapointed in the end result and felt really sorry for Yau man. Dreamz is a scumbag and it makes me sad to think that he will probably make more money with the exposer he will receive from being just that. He is however a perfect example of the inner city black "Gangster" type and I am glad that everyone can now see what "they" really are.
Posted by: John Barrack | October 29, 2008 at 12:46 AM
The last post is not a fair, measured criticism of black inner city culture - It is a bitter, truly racist rant, as indicated by his use of "they". Covering all blacks, in all situations everywhere.
As a S.African myself, I have to say it is a poor reflection on whites here. Unfortunately all too typical.
Posted by: Will Summer | October 29, 2008 at 02:34 AM
As a South African, I am not at all surprised by John Barrack's reference to inner city blacks as "they". In fact I am inclined to think that had Dreamz fulfilled his promise, John Barrack would think of him as a "better black". In the privacy of his house he probably would've said "hy word wit". John B is just relieved to be in the company of fellow racists.
Posted by: gugulethu | October 29, 2008 at 07:45 AM
Like most of you - hats off to Yau. Once again its clear ‘You dont MAKE choices, choices MAKE you’.
Here are some lmao t-shirt ideas…
“I went all the way to Fiji & all I have is my intergrity… and this T-shirt”
“Not even for a Billion!”
” … relax, it could be worse - you could be Dreamz”
Posted by: Justin - South Africa | October 31, 2008 at 03:07 AM
you know, while i may agree with quite a bit of what you said in this post, i really didn't agree with the tone. I'm not going to go into detail about what i think about the racial issues of the post and comments, but i think your criticism of Dreamz is a bit harsh. You may not think he's a man of moral fibre, but give the kid a bit of a break. He's what 22, 23, 25? Sure, alot of people from Dreamz' background might manage to appear rosier on national televison than him, but I don't think you can EVER write anyone off (especially a guy that young, I don't think ANY guy I knew at that age would measure up to your standards, and then only if they had the support, healthy environment and opportunities which Dreamz may have not). Raising oneself without the support of actually nurturing parents is exhausting. Sure, people will laud you for it maybe, but that doesn't mean it's not easy, doesn't become a major focus of your life (thus maybe ya talk about it a bit more than other ppl would like you to), or change the fact that you are probably facing things that alot of ppl won't face till they are in their 30's and 40s. I'm guessing that Dreamz real growth may not occur for another decade, once he's processed all that stuff. Give him a chance to get there. And i don't happen to think every member of a minority or gender on television or in "real life" is 100% responsible for measuring up to everybody else's standards or "representing" their group. Let them be individuals and human beings first, and representatives second. Oh, and by the way, I'm a "white" female raised in a single parent household, well-educated but from the poor side of the equation, where unfortunately, as much as i've struggled against it and would like it to not matter, the poor part still smarts and turns up socially more than i'd like.
Posted by: alex | July 01, 2010 at 07:27 PM
dreamz you are a fuckwit
Posted by: des Q - Australia | July 14, 2011 at 05:09 PM
I just wanna punch that dreamz face! i can't take his voice, face and his lies. what a classless, worthless, piece of shit!
Posted by: patrick | February 10, 2012 at 06:47 PM
For all those says play the race card. He was one of my favorites at first for his history. Then he start showing his own personality when play between alliances. I was expecting more from him, I expect him to stand up and say with his actions " black people is not like that". He disappointed me and all his race with his actions.
Posted by: yiyi | June 20, 2014 at 10:10 AM
Dreamz is actually what he played like. A sorry ass trashy lying nigger.
Posted by: tracy boo | June 25, 2014 at 06:03 AM
Dreamz biggest deficiency was his lack of foresight. Being so short sighted cost him many other opportunities to play Survivor in the future as the "Man" who's word meant more to him than the grand prize. Many lies are told during the game but as said before, the truck wasn't a lie. Dreamz got that. Yau man was too short sighted to have actually believed him.
Posted by: Jim | November 19, 2014 at 02:41 AM
Dreamz is actually a great person. Im in wilmington nc and grew up with them in a way. By them i mean him and his family. Yes his character was different but that does not define who he really is. Its just TV. He takes GREAT care of Gio and Luca and they are the brightest/happiest of kids and very loving like their father. He looks out for his family and friends. His whole family has great character. They are all loving and despite trials and tribulations presented they were raised well.
Posted by: facts | February 13, 2015 at 07:48 AM
I hate to write a comment about a family member, but I am disgusted by what Dreamz did back in 2008. I ride in this truck with him on an almost daily basis, and I can tell you this man has no concept of morals. He is the sort of negro that compliments the propagation of black stereotypes.
God help him and my family...
Posted by: Dreamz Wife | March 05, 2015 at 02:35 AM
I knew Yau man made a big mistake when he offered the truck to Dreamz. Any person making such a deal with a black man is a fool and should pay the prize as Yau man did. Not all of them are bad but the chances to find a good one is slim. I know, I have worked with them for more than forty years. Does not matter how you treat them they will, sooner or later stab you in the back.
Posted by: John | April 05, 2015 at 07:18 AM
dreamz didn't make the black community look any better to the world did he ? it must be a mentality thing,
Posted by: [email protected] | July 03, 2015 at 11:46 PM
Perhaps the worst blog ever written.
Posted by: Daron | April 18, 2020 at 01:02 AM