The term “negro” faded in the late 1960s, but U.S. Army regulations still allow for black soldiers to be labeled with it.
The archaic policy was spelled out as recently as Oct. 22, when the Army issued an update to some of its command procedures. But the review failed to strike the term from its books.
Negro is an acceptable classification for “a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa,” according to section 6-2 of the Army’s AR 600–20 regulations.
The same clause — part of the Army’s equal opportunity policy — also gives the OK to use “Haitian” in addition to the more common black or African-American.
The Army said it didn’t know how long the paragraph had been in its directives. It could stretch back decades.
A spokesman for the Army said that a change was already in progress. “The racial definitions in AR600-20 . . . are outdated, currently under review, and will be updated shortly,” Lt. Col. Alayne Conway told New York Daily News.
Thoughts on the word “negro” still being used to describe black soldiers?
Sound off below!