As one of professor Henry Yu's students, I read with interest his perspective on the media representation of Tiger Woods' racial and ethnic identity (Commentary, Dec. 3). Yu's suggestion that we eschew racial labels and instead see ourselves as cultural hybrids implies that race in our society is simply an idea, a way of thinking that can simply be unthought.
Replacing the idea of race with the idea of human complexity will not solve our problems with inequality and exclusion as long as our institutions continue to uphold a hierarchy of skin color. All of us are cultural hybrids, but we are cultural hybrids with different skin colors, and not all skin colors are treated equally in our society. To seriously challenge racism, we must insist on change in both ideology and practice.
Excuse me for being skeptical of Yu's statements--it seems he wants everyone to know that Woods is more Chinese tiger than African cat.
Sadly, we humans, across the world and not just in the United States, judge a book by its cover. I will be a generalist when I say, the only good thing about charitable religions across the globe is that they follow God's advice to Samuel when David was chosen king, "For man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart."
Until the day we ask people how they are driven and not what kind of car they drive, what they are instead of what they do, and see their human soul and not their human hide, we will all be caught in the human folly of judging by looks alone.