Did you know that, as recently as last month, the official Army regulatory policies allowed commanders to refer to African-Americans as “negroes”? Sadly, if you’re a racist who wants a sanctioned reason to refer to African-Americans as “negroes,” that policy was just reversed.
A section of AR 600-20, titled “Army Command Policy,” laid out terms commanding officers could use to refer to soldiers of different “race and ethnic origins.” According to this document, “terms such as ‘Haitian’ or ‘Negro’ can be used in addition to ‘Black” or ‘African American'” to describe people “having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.”
According to the Military Times, the policy was quickly updated after CNN pointed it out on October 22. In a statement, the Army said that the section was meant to uphold the Army’s commitment to equal opportunity and diversity.
“The U.S. Army fully recognized, and promptly acted, to remove outdated language in Army Regulation 600-20 as soon as it was brought to our attention,” said Lt. Col. Alayne Conway, an Army spokeswoman, in a statement Thursday. “The Army takes pride in sustaining a culture where all personnel are treated with dignity and respect.” (We’re assuming that this policy was written before 1970.)
The relevant section now just refers to black or African-American personnel as “a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.”
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