The Army has announced that it will remove the term “Negro” in reference to black people in an official policy document. The term was used in a document called Army Command Policy, and was considered to be an acceptable alternative for “black” or “African-American.”
According to the Associated Press, the term was found in the lengthy document that covers personnel standards and policies. A section on equal opportunity policy defined black or African-American as “a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa,” and continued to say “terms such as ‘Haitian’ or ‘Negro’ can be used in addition to ‘Black’ or ‘African American.’”
The Army said in a statement on Thursday that they would edit the document to remove the term “Negro” after various media publications shed light on the dated guidelines. The statement did not say when the word first appeared in the document but did say it was a long time ago. The Army also offered an apology to those who were offended.
“The racial definitions in AR600-20 para. 6-2 are outdated, currently under review, and will be updated shortly,” Lt. Col. S. Justin Platt, an Army spokesman said prior to the changes. “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.”
Stars and Stripes reported the document’s usage of the word “Negro” to still be included in the document as late as Oct. 22. An updated version of the document was published on Nov. 6 omitting the offending phrase.