Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Ethnic diversity

It isn’t always what you think it is

Many years ago, when I was an undergraduate at the University of New Mexico, I was the news editor of the student newspaper, the Daily Lobo. One day, I got a letter to the editor accusing me of not having as much ethnic diversity on the staff as I ought. I responded: “I have three Navajos, two Apaches (one Mescalero, one Jicarilla), two Pueblos (one Laguna, one San Juan), a Hopi, a Kiowa, a Cherokee, and an Oneida. What do you mean, I don’t have enough diversity?”

For the record, in addition to all of those tribes, I had two Hispanics, one African-American, one Korean-American, one person of Irish descent, one Jew, and one generic American. The Oneida and the generic American, in addition, identified themselves as lesbians.

The writer of that letter, as far as I can tell, just looked at the bylines of the articles and then assumed that my news staff was “too white.” The basic accusation in the letter was that I had far too many white Anglo-Saxon protestant straight people on the staff, and therefore the reporting in the Daily Lobo was biased against minorities.

OK, you do the math. The person of Irish descent is Catholic. So how many white Anglo-Saxon protestant straight people did I have on my staff? And that’s too many?


Blogger Pat said...

And when I first heard about, "A day without immigrants", I thought, boy, oh boy, Native Americans are really going to be busy running the country.

Wed Jun 28, 11:26:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Zen said...

Ah hah!!, that person is right, I see no Kliglons or Vulcans listed, Yeah , what do you have against Vulcans!!!?????

Equality for all!!!!!!!!

Wed Jun 28, 01:33:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Adrift At Sea said...

I think Zen meant Klingons...which do have a spoken language, but no written one as far as I know.

The writer of that letter obviously never took the time to see what your staff looked like... now-a-days, many people of ethnicity have names that do not correspond to their ethnic background. The writer was making a very bad assumption.

One girl I know named Amy {long italian name} is actually 100% Korean, but was adopted. My sister's niece is also Korean, but all of her immediate family is Italian/Irish. Grace's only actual Korean relative is her aunt, my sister.

Thu Jun 29, 07:36:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous Adrift At Sea said...

BTW, I'd vote for some hobbits and dwarfs on the staff. :D

Thu Jun 29, 07:37:00 AM MDT  

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