Diversity Style Guide
Congratulations to Rachele Kanigel, associate professor of journalism at San Francisco State University, for the launch of a new diversity style guide for journalists.

The guide is filled with contemporary definitions and is well organized, listing terms alphabetically and by area. More than 700 terms are included. The guide revives one created at San Francisco State’s Center for the Integration and Improvement of Journalism in the 1990s. Its latest update had been in 2002. This update was needed.

The guide is intended for journalists but can be used by anyone, of course.

The Michigan State Journalism School is proud to have supported the project by allowing Kanigel to use content from our student-produced Bias Busters series (10 guides and counting) for about 100 items. The project draws in information from a dozen other guides, as well.

New take on Asian-American studies

By Joe Grimm

In March, a new book will provide a new take on Asian-American history.

Book cover, "Asians in Michigan: Voices from the Midwest," edited by Sook Wilkinson and Victor Jew
Book cover, “Asians in Michigan: Voices from the Midwest,” edited by Sook Wilkinson and Victor Jew
Curious about how that history might be different in the heart of the country from circumstances on the East and West Coasts, I asked Sook Wilkinson if she could get together a collection of essays about people’s experiences. I met Wilkinson when, as president of the Detroit area’s Council of Pacific Asian Americans, she asked me to join the group’s advisory board. Her work and dozens of essays have become Asian Americans in Michigan: Voices from the Midwest And, yes, the story is different in the middle of the country.

Victor Jew, lecturer in Asian-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, helped edit the essays and bring in the context that gave the collection structure.

The essays are at turns warm, funny, sad and angry. There are slices from everyday lives and academic backdrops that show how they fit together. The Detroit area’s reputation as the birthplace of a pan-Asian consciousness in the United States is well documented; “Asians in Michigan” shows how it developed.

Wilkinson wrote the introduction for “100 Questions and Answers About East Asian Cultures,” part of this Bias Busters series.

Fall reading list includes Bias Busters series

Diverse reading list for fall includes Bias Busters, book about Bill Cosby and one by Charles Blow.

Thank you to Richard Prince of Journal-isms for listing our series as a best bet in his fall reading list.

Prince writes for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and regularly reports on issues affecting the media and news consumers.

Some of his other picks for fall include “Cosby: His Life and Times” (video trailer above), Charles Blow’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” and Charles E. Cobbs’ “This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible.”

Public schools are now mostly minorities

Diverse human pile.For years, we have known that the United States will become a country in which no racial or ethnic group is in the majority. The Pew Research Center reports why, when schools open, non-Hispanic white students will no longer be the majority.

Using U.S. Department of Education projections and Census data, Pew attributes the tipping point to the birth rate of Hispanic and Asian children. Birth rate was one subject covered in “100 Questions and Answers About Hispanics and Latinos.” Thoughts:

* The no-majority prediction has been out there for a long time. It makes sense that it will begin with young people and ripple as they grow up.
* How tolerant will the first no-majority generation be?
* Will pundits give this generation a name?
* Will we finally dump the term “minority?”
* For years I have felt that to see a community’s future, you should watch kids being dropped off or picked up at school.
—Joe Grimm

Hawaii’s diversity made election hard to call

Nate Silver’s elevated his reputation as a rock star statistician in the 2008 presidential electinby predicting the winner in 48 of 50 states. That brand helped him create the the website FiveThirtyEight.com, where he works with other numbers-minded writers. But Saturday’s Democratic primary in Hawaii threw them for a loop, in large part because of demographics.

Hawaii gubernatorial primary winner David Ige
Hawaii gubernatorial primary winner David Ige
FiveThirtyEight.com’s Harry Enten wrote, “Hawaii’s diversity has troubled pollsters in the past and looks to wreak havoc in 2014. Unlike in most states in the continental U.S., the majority of Hawaiians are non-white. Native Hawaiians, people of Asian descent and those of mixed origin make up about 70 percent of the state’s residents. People of Chinese, Filipino and Japanese descent make up the vast majority of Hawaiians.”

Later in his report, Enten wrote, “I’m not aware of any reliable statistics on the racial makeup of Hawaii’s Democratic primary voters. The state and outside groups have done a terrible job at keeping records on who votes and who doesn’t …”

Incumbent Gov. Neil Abercrombie lost to state Sen. David Ige in the primary, but the winner of the Democratic spot on the ticket for the U.S. Senate was still unresolved Monday.

Low turnout caused by storms did not help and the Senate race could turn on absentee ballots in the Puna District of Hawaii’s Big Island, where the primary was postponed.

Ted Nugent’s race remarks cost him concerts

Rocker Ted Nugent has had a controversial concert tour, having venues canceled or protested coast to coast over his remarks about Hispanics, Asians, American Indians and Trayvon Martin.

Ted Nugent protested/Licensed under Creative Commons
Ted Nugent protested/Licensed under Creative Commons
* The City of Longview, Texas, paid Nugent to not perform at its Fourth of July festival.
* More than 100 protested his concert in Montclair, New Jersey, July 22.
* An online petition was started and then removed over his July 26 concert in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
* The Puyallup Tribe canceled Aug. 2 and 3 shows at its Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington.
* The Coeur d’Alene Tribe canceled his Aug. 4 concert at its casino in Worley, Idaho.
* Protestors petitioned and then clashed with Nugent fans in an Aug. 5 concert in New Haven, Connecticut.
* People protested his Aug. 6 gig in Sturgis, South Dakota.
* A Native American group protested his Aug. 8 concert in Maumee, Ohio, and the owner of the Toledo Blade said he regretted sponsoring it.

Many protesters were American Indians objecting to remarks and his wearing of a feathered headdress as part of his act.

Nugent told Radio.com, “These sick, sick, stoned, hygiene-challenged Michael Moore fans, they call in and complain that I’m a racist, they claim I’m a pedophile, that I dodged the draft. They call all the promoters, the call all the venues, they call all my sponsors, every day.”

Top 10 countries in international high school enrollment

A new report shows that U.S. high schools are experiencing enrollment changes similar to those seen in colleges.

International enrollment in U.S. schools is up and being driven by students from East Asia.

The Institute of International Education reports that 73,019 international students were enrolled at U.S. high schools in October 2013, a record.

The top 10 countries for enrollment were:

  1. China, 23,562
  2. South Korea, 8,777
  3. Germany, 7,130
  4. Mexico, 2,659
  5. Brazil, 2,292
  6. Vietnam, 2,289
  7. Spain, 2,125
  8. Japan, 1,959
  9. Thailand, 1,827
  10. Italy, 1,718

100 Questions and Answers About Americans was created to help international students in the U.S. and its companion, 100 Questions and Answers About East Asian Cultures, was created to help students understand their international classmates.

See Grace Lee Boggs documentary for free

This month, watch for free the new documentary “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs.”

Political and social activist Grace Lee Boggs of Detroit
Grace Lee Boggs/ Kyle McDonald photo used under Creative Commons license
Now almost 100 years old, the Chinese-American Detroit activist recounts stories from as far back as when the FBI had her and her husband watched up to living in today’s Detroit. The documentary, by filmmaker Grace Lee, is interspersed with 30-second primers.

You can see a trailer or, this month, the full film, or get more information on its PBS POV web page.

You can also read a writeup about the film on Read the Spirit, which published 100 Questions and Answers About Asian Americans.

How positive are positive stereotypes?

CNN recently featured an opinion piece calling attention to the issue of racial bias against Asians in the United States. After a study released by Wharton, Columbia and New York Universities revealed discriminating perceptions of Asian students in academia, Helen Wan, author and advocate for diversity and inclusion, wrote on the matter in her CNN article The Surprising Racial Bias against Asians.

Researchers from the universities experimented in a mass student-to-professor email to test racial and gender bias in the classroom. Researchers wrote a message that was uniformly distributed to over 6,500 faculty members, omitted their identities and instead signed with names of students, using ones that can be affiliated with race or gender.

Results showed professors were most likely to respond to white males and frequently ignored emails that were signed from Asian students.

“The study highlights the pernicious nature of the ‘model minority’ stereotype of Asians, and the fact that Asians are still viewed as the most foreign ‘other’ in our American culture,”wrote Wan. “Perhaps the biggest outsiders in the politics of ‘not like us.’”

Asian students are assumed naturally ahead of the academic curve and don’t require the same mentoring as others groups may need. So, many lack the educational backing to advance their studies.

While few stereotypes portray minorities favorably, it can still disadvantage members of the group. The cultural gap in the scholastic community is widening and stranding minorities in academic moratorium.

The Model Minority myth is of the issues addressed in 100 Questions and Answers About East Asian Cultures. Among other topics, the cultural competency guide delves into complicated matters and offers readers an opportunity to have questions answered at their own discretion.