Lisa Ling Says Carmichael 'Not Diverse'

Del Campo HS alum tells Entertainment Today about growing up here.

Carmichael was not an ethnically diverse community when TV reporter Lisa Ling was growing up in the area, the Del Campo High School alumnus (Class of 1991) told Entertainment Today.

"I grew up in a community outside of Sacramento, California, called Carmichael," Ling, who hosts "Our America," a documentary series on Oprah Winfrey’s new cable network OWN, said in an interview. "There were five Asian kids in my school and two were in the same family, mine. So it was not the most diverse community.”

She told Entertainment Today that when she was a little girl she always had a conflict of identity.

“I never felt comfortable or totally American, because I had black hair and slanty eyes," Ling said. "And I couldn’t connect with people from China, because I didn’t live there. So I always felt different.”

Ling is now endorsing Del Campo's fundraising efforts for a new athletic stadium.


916Native October 28, 2011 at 02:20 PM
If ethnic diversity is the pure definition, than she has a point. If you're looking at the many factors that make us different - recent immigrants, age group, employment - than she isn't exactly correct. We have a rich combination of cultures in Carmichael that combine immigrants from former Russia, Middle East, and many other different parts of the world. We're also a good mix of small business entrepreneurs, state employees and professionals. Take a look around, meet a few people here and you'll realize that we're as different, and diverse, as most any other place in the region.
Kevin Hellon October 28, 2011 at 03:41 PM
Wow! I have to respectfully disagree with Ms. Ling on this one. I was a delivery driver for UPS(United Parcel Service) from 1975-1988 and I covered every route in Carmichael. While there were some areas that may have been less diverse,overall I would agree that Carmichael without a doubt have a rich combination of cultures and factually a very good mix of small businesses, state employees, and professionals.(I delivered to them) As an African-American driver I would also like to say that I found the people of Carmichael to be very warm and friendly. I am sure that all of my fellow delivery drivers, doing the Carmichael routes, then and now would agree.
Sanford Kozlen October 29, 2011 at 09:29 AM
I have lived in Carmichael since 1978 and have watched it become a very diverse community. We are still a great community with excellent services, utilities, shopping and schools. We do have a bi-modal economy with a disproportionate number of lower rent apartments and also some of the greater Sacramento area's more expensive homes. I do not think Ms Ling's comments were critical of the community but a personal disclosure about what it is like to feel different. My perception is that for Ms Ling, the experience of feeling different was more character building rather than hurtful. If true, that probably is a compliment to her family and the people who were/are her friends. I appreciate her candor.
Joe Hungary April 07, 2012 at 01:33 AM
I know the neighborhood Lisa grew up in and I went to Del Campo a few years before her. She's right. You could count the asian and black students on your fingers.
Victor Calderon (Editor) April 09, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Thanks readers for sharing your thoughts. There are some who might say they Carmichael is still not that diverse but different people have different opinions.


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