The Associated Press decided last month to capitalize the word “Black” when writing about race and culture.
On Monday, the AP chose not to capitalize the word “white” because “white people in general have much less shared history and culture, and don’t have the experience of being discriminated against because of skin color.”
I am at a loss for words. It takes a lot to make me speechless:
In some ways, the decision over “white” has been more ticklish. The National Association of Black Journalists and some Black scholars have said white should be capitalized, too.
“We agree that white people’s skin color plays into systemic inequalities and injustices, and we want our journalism to robustly explore these problems,” John Daniszewski, the AP’s vice president for standards, said in a memo to staff Monday. “But capitalizing the term white, as is done by white supremacists, risks subtly conveying legitimacy to such beliefs.”
If you’re going to assume I’m trying to legitimize white supremacy because I capitalize the word white then you are an ass.
The New York Times said it would not capitalize white because we don’t “represent a shared culture and history in the way Black does.”
The National Association of Black Journalists wants white capitalized. CBS News, Fox News, and The San Diego Union-Tribune all decided to capitalize white, “noting it was consistent with Black, Asian, Latino and other ethnic groups.” CBS News will not capitalize it when reporting about “white supremacists, white nationalists or white privilege.”
New York University philosophy professor Kwame Anthony Appiah said “capitalizing white would take power away from racists, since their similar use ‘would no longer be a provocative defiance of the norm.’”
University of Chicago sociologist of race and education Eve Ewing believes not capitalizing white is anti-Black since it makes it seem like white is the default race.
Does anyone else think people are thinking way too hard about this topic? My head hurts.
I have to admit the AP did well in its explanation, especially on the issue of skin color discrimination. But it still leads me to believe that people think skin color discrimination is the superior discrimination. I guess the Holocaust takes a backseat? The Armenian genocide? How about the discrimination Italians and Irish faced when they came to America? Don’t forget the largest lynching in America was against Italians.
Are they going to capitalize Gay, Queer, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Homosexual? Will straight and heterosexual remain lower case?
[Featured image via Twitter]
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Author: Mary Chastain