Army Apologizes For Outdated, Racist Regulation That Said The Word ‘Negro’ Is Acceptable

No one seems to have figured out for certain how the offensive term even came to be in a recent version of an Army regulations handbook, but the backlash was swift once the word “negro” was discovered within its pages. The Army was quick to address the explosive situation, and has now removed the distasteful word.

As reported by the Inquisitr, a document recently surfaced stating that Army policy says it is acceptable to use the term “negro” whenever describing a person who is black or African-American. The term “Haitian” is also acceptable, according to the language of the “race and ethnic code definitions” of AR 600-20, which is the Army Command Policy regarding general personnel.

The manual underwent a “rapid action revision,” dated October 22, 2014, which made a number of updates and clarifications to policies. Somehow, the word “negro” was missed during the revision. When it came to light, CNN reports that Army spokesperson Lt. Col. S. Justin Platt, quickly addressed the issue on Wednesday.

The racial definitions in AR600-20 para. 6-2 are outdated, currently under review, and will be updated shortly. The Army takes pride in sustaining a culture where all personnel are treated with dignity and respect and not discriminated against based on race, color, religion, gender and national origin.”

By Friday, the regressive language was edited, the regulation was changed, and an apology was issued “to anyone we offended.”

USA Today reports that another Army spokesperson, Lt. Col. Alayne Conway, issued a statement on Thursday.

The U.S. Army fully recognized, and promptly acted, to remove outdated language in Army Regulation 600-20 as soon as it was brought to our attention. The Army takes pride in sustaining a culture where all personnel are treated with dignity and respect.”

Ironically, the document in question was written, according to Conway, to codify the Army’s commitment to “provide (equal opportunity) and fair treatment for military personnel and family members without regard to race, color, gender, religion, national origin, and provide an environment free of unlawful discrimination and offensive behavior.”

The new wording in the Army Command Policy AR 600-20 reads defines a “Black or African American” as a “person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.” Commenter Jumpinjack posted on the Daily Mail‘s article about the Army’s apology for using the term “negro,” and subsequent revision, “Why not just call people American? Or is that too offensive nowadays?”

What do you think? Should we be able to get past racist terminology and accept people as people?

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