Hey, It's Cheryl...

Hey everyone, it's Cheryl Corley...I'm sitting in for Michel while she takes some time off...so let's chat.

We've all heard about those studies that try to determine whether race is a factor in the type of medical treatment patients receive. Some researchers at Harvard say they have actually devised a way to measure a person's preference for African-Americans, people of European descent and other races. It's maybe a wakeup call for the medical profession. Dr. Mahzarin Banaji says the test is fairly simple — it just takes a few minutes of your time and a few clicks on the computer.

So what type of preference may you have? Go ahead and take the test yourself...I did. Let's us know your ranking.

Here's another question for you: how big is your closet? I ask because one of our guests today, Dr. Pietra Rivoli, said we buy clothes like crazy and when we pass along our old clothes to a charity, most often they end up for sale in a foreign country. She should know...she tracked a t-shirt for five years and saw how its journey impacted the global economy. It's all in her new book The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy.

...For Macy's department stores, it was less of journey and more of a blooper after it pulled some T-shirts off its shelf. The tagline on the T-shirt, "brown is the new white" didn't sit too well with some Latina shoppers.

What were they thinking?

Macy's says it didn't mean to offend; it was just looking to put out some hip merchandise. So that got US thinking...have you ever worn a T-shirt with a slogan that some considered offensive? What did it say?

Tell us more...and if you have a photo...direct us to that, too.

Nice chatting with you.

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No really strange t-shirts in my closet, but I was feeling in a vacationing mood this morning despite the fact that I had to go into the office. I reached in the closet and picked up this bright red shirt with a really cool huge dragon on it and some Chinese Kanji symbols. So I asked my girlfriend who's Japanese what the symbols meant. She said it means "dragon." "And, oh," she said, "it's the symbol of the Japanese yakuza (mob). And not high level yakuza either." So apparently what I had was a Japanese street punk shirt with a big a#$ dragon on it. I decided to save the shirt for the weekend.

Apparently, t-shirts with English sayings are all the rage in Japan. I've seen a picture of a middle aged Japanese man wearing a jacket that said on the back, "From the Planet of Dope Sh*t" and I've see a picture of a Japanese school girl wearing a trucker's cap that said, "I lost my virginity in Madagascar." Apparently, they were just as likely to be unable to understand the English on their clothes as I was unble to understand the Chinese kanji on mine.

Sent by Stanley | 9:56 AM | 7-27-2007

Oh, and here's the link to the picture of the Madagascar hat: http://outpostnine.com/editorials/picture3.html

Sent by Stanley | 9:58 AM | 7-27-2007

At the end of each season I purge. I go through my closet and rid myself of those items I only wore once that season or did not wear at all. By doing so, my closet is not overloaded and I don't "lose" anything in there.

I'll admit, it is a difficult to task. I sometimes try to convince myself to keep items because I like it or think I may wear that season next year. In the back of my mind, I know that is not the case and I have to get rid of it.

Sent by ernise | 10:00 AM | 7-27-2007

Travels of a T-Shirt

I traveled to Nigeria five years ago and spent about 10 days there. I saw what Dr.Rivolli talked about donated clothes to charity during my stay. One of my habits when I travel out of the U.S is to see how the locals really live rather than stay in a nice hotel or house the whole time. Although my father (who's African) would prefer I wasn't so inquisitive. He told me the locals could spot me a mile away and know I was from a difference place. But he also knew I could be very stubborn and as an adult, there was little he could do to change my mind.

So I went to one of Lagos' big market places along with a family relative and saw tons of American jeans, dresses, t-shirts and shoes been clamoured for only because it was "made in America." I knew right away the apparel were used but what shocked me more were the ridiculous prices that were been charged for the outfits. I started calculating the exchange rate between the "Dollar" and the "Naira" in my analyst head. Most of these outfits been sold at these prices would not have been sold at U.S. thrift stores at those rates. What a ripoff! I had a few emotions raging inside me. As an American-born individual; I didn't feel so proud of my country at that moment and a couple of years later when I saw a documentary about donated clothes. My travel experience and the program I saw made me change my ways about how I bought and donated clothes; I give them to individuals who really need them. And by the way, my Dad was right about his notion because not once did the market handlers try to sell me the American goods; they showed me the locally made crafts.

Sent by Moji | 2:25 PM | 7-27-2007

Stanley --

That hat is so wrong...

I'm glad I'm on vacation so nobody can ask me what's in my closet...

Sent by Michel Martin, Host (on vacation) | 11:03 PM | 7-28-2007

Hmmm. So we'll have to ask when you return, Michel...

Hope you're enjoying your time off.

Sent by Stanley | 6:05 PM | 7-31-2007

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