A day after CNN reported that an Army regulation stated that “negro” was an acceptable term for “black or African American” service members, officials have scrubbed the word from the rule.
“The U.S. Army fully recognized, and promptly acted, to remove outdated language in Army Regulation 600-20 as soon as it was brought to our attention,” Lt. Alayne Conway, a spokeswoman for the Army, said in a statement to the Military Times.
She added, “We apologize to anyone we offended.”
The regulation, which is intended to “provide [equal opportunity] and fair treatment for military personnel and family members without regard to race, color, gender, religion, national origin,” was last updated on Oct. 22. Army officials couldn’t say how recently the word “negro” was added, however.
The word appeared in a section of “race and ethnic code definitions.” The full quote was a definition of the terms “black or African American”:
A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. Terms such as “Haitian” or “Negro” can be used in addition to “Black” or “African American.”
An unnamed source told CNN that the term may have been included in the rule so someone could “self-report” as the racial term they wanted to use. Lt. Col. S. Justin Platt, an Army spokesman, said the word was from an outdated section.
On Twitter, there was widespread astonishment that the term was still being used in 2014.
— PJBHAMPTONU98 (@PJBHAMPTONU98) November 7, 2014
— Robert D. Bullard (@DrBobBullard) November 7, 2014