In fact, the military organization has issued an apology two day after the policy was announced on Wednesday.
“The U.S. Army fully recognized, and promptly acted, to remove outdated language in Army Regulation 600-20 as soon as it was brought to our attention,” an Army spokesman said in a statement. “We apologize to anyone we offended.”
The regulation, until it was changed, stated that “terms such as ‘Haitian’ or ‘Negro’ can be used in addition to ‘Black’ or ‘African American.'”
You probably won’t be surprised to know that the in the new policy, the acceptable terms are “Black” or “African American.”
“The Army takes pride in sustaining a culture where all personnel are treated with dignity and respect,” the Army spokesman also said on Friday.
Meanwhile, newly elected South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, who became the first African-American from the South elected to the Senate since Reconstruction, was being interviewed on CNN when the Army’s original announcement was made, declined to directly respond when asked his thoughts about the Army’s then policy. He said he would “reach out” to the organization.
Senator Scott did indeed “reach out” to the Army and through his press secretary, Sean Conner, he released this statement to EURweb:
“I appreciate the U.S. Army’s quick action to revise the outdated terms previously contained in their “Army Command Policy.” The Army’s action today brings them in line with other federal departments and agencies that have previously stopped using such outdated racial and ethnic terms for African Americans. I hope the Army and other branches of our military uses this recent revelation to review other publications to ensure they are using the most appropriate language in all their official publications and manuals.”
It’s worth noting that Sen. Scott is the only elected official, black or otherwise, to speak on the issue … so far.
But why would the Army even use “Negro” in the first place is what a lot of folks are asking? Well, on Wednesday, Lt. Col. S. Justin Platt, an Army spokesman said the use of the word comes from an outdated section.
“The racial definitions in AR600-20 para. 6-2 are outdated, currently under review, and will be updated shortly.”