The PJ Tatler

Army Removes 'Negro' Directive from Command Policy

The Defense Department has changed course on a policy that said a service member can be called a “Negro” when describing “black or African American” personnel.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the Office of Management and Budget is looking into the use of the term in other areas of the federal government.

CNN reported yesterday that the director was contained in the Oct. 22 Army Command Policy known as regulation AR 600-20. The regulation defines black or African-American as so: “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.'”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said yesterday he would be on the phone with the Army to find out what’s going on.

Today, the Army removed the language.

“I appreciate the U.S. Army’s quick action to revise the outdated terms previously contained in their ‘Army Command Policy,'” Scott said in a statement. “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action today brings them in line with other federal departments and agencies that have previously stopped using such outdated racial and ethnic terms for African Americans.”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,” Scott added.

Earnest said at today’s briefing that “the military has updated the policy as of today, and that that language that’s in question is no longer being used.”

“We believe that’s an appropriate step. But as it relates to its application, other areas of the government, that’s something that OMB is still reviewing,” Earnest added.