Covering the Community: A Diversity Handbook for Media


Leigh Aldrich

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    Mentor and Friend

    About the Author

    LEIGH STEPHENS ALDRICH is Professor of Journalism and Communication Studies at California State University, Sacramento. She is the author of more than 500 articles, studies and desktop study guides. Her book, 12 Steps to Clear Writing, won a National Federation of Press Women first place instructional book award. In her business consulting work she has trained thousands of people in communications. She is a Fellow of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

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    Acknowledgments with Appreciation

    This book is the result of contributions from many who are interested in the diverse community in which we live. I want to thank Shirley Biagi and Ginny McReynolds for their thorough edit of the manuscript and for their support throughout the project. A special thank-you to my husband Bob Aldrich, an enthusiastic motivator and tireless researcher. Dr. Virginia Kidd, Suzanne Sommer, Cari Vinci, Christina Navarette, Lisa Trask, Reagan Wisham, and Jay Wisham all gave professional and personal inspiration throughout the work.

    My California State University, Sacramento students and State Hornet staff taught me the meaning of diversity. Our students' courage and success such as that of Giselle Fernandez and Joan Lunden have inspired me throughout the years to continue working on diversity and women's issues.

    A special thank-you to the professionals who made this book possible: Pine Forge Press Publisher Stephen Rutter, his assistant Jean Skeels, Wendy Westgate, Windy Just, David Nakamura, Art Nauman, Stephen Magagnini, Jade Moon, Kenneth F. Irby, Valerie Hyman, Don Fry, Roy Peter Clark, Joyce Mitchell, Dr. Ann L. Gerhardt, Dr. Ray Oshiro, Dr. Robert Humphrey, Marilyn Kern-Foxworth, Larry Dalton, Kit Cullen and Elaine Hussey. My deepest appreciation to the reviewers who molded the book and pushed my writing and editing skills to the limit:

    • Brenda Dervin, Ohio State University
    • Victoria Goff, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
    • Lauren Kessler, University of Oregon
    • Catherine Mitchell, University of North Carolina, Asheville
    • Barbara Straus Reed, Rutgers University
    • Pamela Shoemaker, Syracuse University
    • Antone Silvia, University of Rhode Island
    • Carol Stepp, University of Maryland, College Park
    • Bernell Tripp, University of Florida
  • Appendix A

    “American Indian School Far from Old ‘Institute’ Days”
    By StephenMagagniniSenior Writer for Ethnic Affairs and Race Relations

    The Sacramento Bee, February 5,1997

    RIVERSIDE—On a grassy campus here, 450 American Indian teenagers from throughout the United States study basket weaving, tribal government, Navajo and other subjects not found at most public schools.

    But Sherman Indian High School is not your ordinary public school. The 105-year-old institution is one of the last vestiges of the old Indian boarding school system—widely considered one of the worst abuses perpetrated against American Indians.

    At 10 a.m. today, Sacramento City College will host a Native American Cultural Council forum on Indian boarding schools.

    From the 1880s through the 1960s, hundreds of thousands of Indian children across the country were sent to government boarding schools, often hundreds of miles away from home, in an effort to “take the Indian out of the Indian.”

    Indian children were given haircuts, uniforms, non-Indian names and orders not to speak their native language—even though many arrived not speaking English. Those who violated the English-only rule were often beaten or assigned latrine duty. In the summers they were hired out as domestics or migrant workers.

    But the “Sherman Institute” once known for its reform school atmosphere—has undergone a remarkable metamorphosis. Its mission is no longer to eradicate, but to celebrate Indian culture and language.

    “We're trying to give back what was taken away,” said administrator Ken Taylor, a Creek who attended Haskell, an Indian boarding school in Kansas.

    Sherman, which once had 1,200 students, nearly closed in 1992 when local tribes wanted to turn it into an alcohol treatment center. But in the last five years, the school has retrained its teachers to meet the unusual needs of Indian students.

    “Man Indian children learn in different ways (than non-Indians) they are visual, hands-on learners; they learn better in groups,” said Superintendent Fayetta Babby, a Seneca Cayuga who attended Chilocco Indian School in Oklahoma.

    “I was very shy, and it gave me a chance to excel,” said Babby, 50. “If not for that experience, I would not be where I am today.”

    For decades boarding schools were the only way Indians could get a high school education. Indians were not allowed in California's public schools until 1935. The first public high school on the 25,000-square-mile Navajo Reservation didn't open until the 1950s, and by 1955, 81 percent of Navajo children were in boarding schools.

    Helen Waukazoo, director of Friendship House, an Indian drug and alcohol treatment program in San Francisco, said she was pulled off the Navajo Reservation at age 8 against her parents' wishes and sent to school in Utah.

    “This was another way to disrupt the American Indian Family system,” said Waukazoo, 55.

    “The only language I knew was Navajo, so I was always punished,” she said. “My punishment was to scrub the hallways, windows and floors … I couldn't attend any movies or activities.”

    Indian boarding schools were often at military outposts in isolated areas, where abuses could go unreported. At Stewart Institute in Carson City, which closed in 1980, people have claimed to see the ghosts of Indian children who were sent there and never heard from again.

    “This was operated similar to a POW camp when it opened in 1890,” said Suzi Lisa, director of the Stewart Cultural Center. “They were innocent victims of a war being waged against them and their culture.”

    While many Indians in their 40s and 50s forged lifelong friendships and used boarding school as a springboard to decent jobs or college, their parents often endured much harsher treatment. Waukazoo remembers an elderly Indian woman describing how a nun bathed her in water and bleach to try to whiten her brown skin.

    Tom Hyde, a Viejas Kummeyaay elder from San Diego, went to Sherman in 1943, then served in World War II. When he and 47 other veterans returned to Sherman, they began to question the teachers.

    “They were not qualified—some were matrons out of state prisons and reformatories,” said Hyde, who was kicked out for probing teachers' backgrounds.

    Hyde said he was recruited for Sherman at 12 by a federal agent who got $125 per child.

    Sherman was mostly a trade school, and Hyde spent mornings learning leather work and carpentry. The most important thing he learned, he said, was “responsibility to keep your word and fulfill your commitments.”

    Boarding schools were the defining experience for generations of Indians.

    “Most reservation Indians over age 30 went to boarding school,” said Sherman Museum curator Lorene Sisquoc, who also teaches weaving. “It changed our whole lives.”

    The nation's 30 off-reservation Indian boarding schools produced thousands of intertribal marriages that spawned generations of mixed-blood Indians.

    “There's a lot of bittersweet memories—they tore apart families and some kids never got to go home,” Sisquoc said. “You don't know how to function as a family unit.” Some elders believe the high rate of Indian domestic abuse can be traced to oppressive boarding school experiences.

    After World War II, as a part of the government's push to close reservations and assimilate Indians into “mainstream society,” thousands of Indian boarding school grads were funneled into jobs in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities.

    Today children from 64 tribes attend Sherman, one of five remaining Indian boarding schools. This year, 65 students left because of homesickness, but 90 will graduate and more than a dozen will go on to college.

    For information on today's forum, call 558-2155.

    Copyright 1997, The Sacramento Bee; article used by permission.

    Appendix B

    AIDS victim or AIDS suffererperson living with AIDS
    all chiefs and no injunstoo many bosses and not enough workers
    alumni/alumnaalums, graduates, former students
    amputee (disabled)one who has lost a limb(s)
    AngloAnglo-American, white
    assemblyman, assemblywomanassembly member
    babean attractive woman
    bachelor's degreeundergraduate degree
    old bagan older woman
    bag ladya homeless woman
    ball and chainwife
    barriopoor Hispanic neighborhood
    basket case (disabled)eliminate
    bastard (classist)born out of marriage
    better halfwife
    be your own manbe your own person
    beanera Mexican, Mexican American
    best man for the jobbest person for the job
    Bible thumperconservative Christian
    bimbo (woman)eliminate
    birth defectborn with …
    blindvisually impaired
    blind as a bateliminate
    boyuse for under 18 years; use man for over 18 years
    boy friendfriend, companion
    bravea (tribal name) warrior
    bucka young male
    bumsomeone without work
    businessmenbusiness people
    canuckFrench Canadian
    camera girlphotographer
    cavemancave dweller
    chairmanchair, chairperson
    ChicanoMexican American
    Chinaman, chinkChinese, Chinese American
    not having a Chinaman's chancenot likely
    churchmanchurch member
    city slickercity dweller
    cleaning ladyhousecleaner, housekeeper
    old codgeran older man
    coed (woman)student
    coloreda black person
    confined to a wheelchairperson who uses a wheelchair
    congressman, congresswomancongress member
    coolieChinese laborer
    councilman, councilwomancouncil member
    cracker (classist)eliminate
    craftsmanskilled worker or crafts worker
    crazymental disorder
    crewmancrew member
    cripple (disabled)one who walks with difficulty
    crone (older woman)eliminate
    dancing girldancer
    deaf as a doorknob (disabled)eliminate
    deaf and dumbhearing impaired
    deaf mutespeech impaired
    Dear Sir (letter salutation)Dear Mr. or Dear Ms.
    deformedone who has a disability
    delivery boydelivery person, deliverer
    distaff (women)eliminate
    doll (woman)eliminate
    dragon ladyeliminate
    druggiea drug addict
    DutchmanDutch citizen
    dutch treateach pays own way
    dwarflittle person
    elderlyolder adults
    enlisted manenlistee
    EskimoInuk, plural is Inuit
    fag or faggotgay, homosexual male
    fairygay, homosexual male
    fair sexwomen
    fallen womaneliminate
    family of manhumankind or humanity
    feeblemindeddevelopmentally disabled
    female doctor, lawyer, engineer,, lawyer, engineer, etc.
    feminizeto soften
    filly (woman)eliminate
    fishwifea quarrelsome woman
    four-eyeswears glasses
    fraternal twinsnonidentical twins
    FrenchmanFrench citizen
    freshmanfirst-year student
    gentleman's agreementhonorable agreement
    getting senileage stereotype (unless it is a medical condition)
    ghettoa poor ethnic neighborhood
    ghetto blasterportable stereo
    gimp (disabled)eliminate
    girluse for under 18 years; use woman for over 18 years
    girl friendfriend, companion
    grandfather clauseescape clause
    gringo (white)eliminate
    gyped me out of it (Gypsy)cheated me out of it
    half-breedperson of mixed heritage
    handymanrepair person or repairer
    handicappeddisabled or physically challenged
    haolea white person
    harelip (disabled)eliminate
    hatchet manhatchet person
    hickan ignorant person
    high classdescribe behavior
    hillbillyperson who lives in Appalachia
    honest injunit's the truth
    holy rollera conservative Christian
    honkerswomen's breasts
    honkya white person
    hooterswomen's breasts
    homeroom motherhomeroom parent
    homogay, homosexual male
    idiotdevelopmentally disabled
    imbeciledevelopmentally disabled
    Indiantribal name: Navajo, Native American
    indian givertaking something back you have given
    Indian maidena young Native American woman
    injungive tribal name: a Navajo
    illegal alienundocumented worker
    insane (disabled)mental disorder
    invalidbedridden or house bound
    Jack of all tradesgood at all things
    JAP, Jewish American princesseliminate
    Jesus freaka conservative Christian
    jewed him down (Jewish)bartered the price down
    kingpintop person, leader
    knockerswomen's breasts
    lady luckluck
    lame (disabled)one who walks with difficulty
    lawmanname position: sheriff, judge, etc.
    in layman's termsin nontechnical terms
    leading ladylead
    left-handed complimentambiguous, doubtful
    lesbolesbian, a homosexual woman
    libberliberationist, feminist
    little ladywife
    little womanwife, woman
    low class (classist)describe behavior
    low man on the totem polelast in line
    low riderMexican youths who drive altered
    lumbermanwood chopper
    lushan alcoholic
    madam (woman)eliminate
    madam chairmanI address the chair
    maidhouseworker, room cleaner
    maiden ladysingle
    maiden nameformer name
    maiden voyagefirst voyage
    mailmanmail carrier
    maintenance manmaintenance person
    manholemaintenance hole
    man the stationstake the stations
    manhandleto handle roughly
    man hoursstaff hours
    manhunta search
    manmadeartificial, synthetic
    man overboardperson overboard
    man-sizedbig, large
    manslaughterhuman slaughter
    man-to-man (sports)player-to-player
    masterhead, expert
    master of ceremoniesleader of ceremonies
    mastermindcarry out project skillfully
    masterpiecegreat work
    medicine manshaman, a healer
    Mexican standoffa standoff
    midgetlittle person
    Miss or Mrs.Ms.
    Mooniemember of the Unification Church
    morondevelopmentally disabled
    Mother Naturenature
    Near EastMiddle East
    Negro or niggerblack, African American, person of color
    newsmannews person
    night watchmannight guard
    normaldon't use with disabled; use nondisabled
    okie (geographic)slang for poor from Oklahoma—eliminate
    old biddyolder woman
    old geezerolder man
    old goatolder man
    old maid (woman)single
    old wives' talefolklore, superstition
    oldstersolder adults
    one-man showone-person show
    OrientalAsian, name by country: Japanese
    paddy wagon (Irish)police van
    papooseNative American baby
    patrolmanpatrol officer
    Piga law enforcement officer, a sexist man
    plain Jane (woman)eliminate
    policemanpolice officer
    projectsubsidized housing
    queengay, homosexual man
    queerhomosexual man or woman
    rapedonly use literally
    red manuse tribal name, Native American
    redfaceuse tribal name, Native American
    redneck (classist)one who has ignorant behavior
    reformed alcoholicrecovering alcoholic
    retarddevelopmentally disabled
    right-hand manright hand
    rug rata child
    saleslady, salesmansalesperson
    servicemanservice person, servicer
    sexual preferencesexual orientation
    shanghai (geographic)to take someone against their will
    shrew (woman)eliminate
    Siamese twins (disabled)joined twins
    significant otherpartner, companion
    worked like a slaveworked hard
    slum (geographic)poor economic area
    spase or spastic (disabled)one who has cerebral palsy
    spinstera single woman
    squawNative American woman
    straight manstraight person
    stewardessflight attendant
    tart (woman)eliminate
    trailer trash (classist)eliminate
    tramp (woman)eliminate
    trash (classist)eliminate
    tribename group: Cherokee Nation
    tricka person who solicits a prostitute
    Uncle Tom (black)stereotype—eliminate
    underdeveloped nationdeveloping nation
    unwed mothermother
    vamp (woman)eliminate
    vixen (woman)eliminate
    waitresswaiter, server
    WASPWhite Anglo-Saxon Protestant
    weaker sex (women)eliminate
    weathergirlweather reporter
    welsh on a promise (Welsh)not keep a promise
    wetbackMexican laborer
    wheelchair bound (disabled)uses a wheelchair
    whore (woman)a female prostitute
    wimpa weak person
    yes manyes person


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