Consistency sacrificed for the sake of kowtowing

That’s Discriminatory — with a capital D.

A month ago The Associated Press edited its Stylebook to declare that the word black, “when referring to people in a racial, ethnic or cultural context,” should be capitalized in news stories. The Stylebook is almost universally followed in newsrooms. It is gospel.

John Daniszewski, AP’s vice president of standards, said at the time that this change conveys “an essential and shared sense of history, identity and community among people who identify as Black, including those in the African diaspora and within Africa. The lowercase black is a color, not a person.”

The AP said it would decide within a month whether to also capitalize white when referring to people.

On Monday, the AP announced it would not capitalize white when referring to people.

Daniszewski’s rationale was contorted.

“We agree that white people’s skin color plays into systemic inequalities and injustices, and we want our journalism to robustly explore these problems,” he wrote in a memo to staff Monday. “But capitalizing the term white, as is done by white supremacists, risks subtly conveying legitimacy to such beliefs.”

Legitimacy to white supremacists? What about consistency? What about equal treatment?

The dithering and navel gazing began shortly after the death of George Floyd, a Black man, while being arrested by police. This resulted in protests and riots and the tearing down of statues and the near universal presumption of systemic racism, though evidence of this was entirely lacking.

What’s fair is fair. This decision by AP is kowtowing to the blindly stampeding herd and distorting the language in an Orwellian manner, conveying editorialization instead of fair and objective reporting.

The definition of racism is: “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.”


This is tantamount to capitalizing Woman to recognize the gender’s significant contributions and hurdles, but lower casing man lest one propagates systemic and malignant masculinity.


9 comments on “Consistency sacrificed for the sake of kowtowing

  1. […] Source: Consistency sacrificed for the sake of kowtowing […]

  2. Anonymous says:

    If you don’t see evidence of systemic racism it’s only because you’re closing your eyes.

    Let’s pretend that all men were created equally as one of this country’s most revered and racist founding fathers once wrote; how to explain the difference in their stations in life in this country?

    Just one reason is that they were held back at the starting line whichever ace whites a head start and while that long period of time constitutes a big head start, even that advantage doesn’t account for what the differences we see in this country between the standing of whites, and that of blacks.

    Redlining, discrimination in hiring, and in education and pretty much in every area of endeavor exists systemically to keep whites in power, and blacks subservient at best.

    And as a white male, who wouldn’t love that, least ways unless you had some humanity.

  3. Rincon says:

    Since Latino is capitalized, then it isn’t a big stretch to do the same for Black People, but I think we’re obsessing about trivialities. Arguing about whether we white people (small w for some odd reason) are holding Black People back (Capital B, but should the P be capitalized?) is much less important than the elephant in the room. African Americans are far more likely to be born into poverty, be raised by a single mother, have a thoroughly lousy education, be brought up in a crime infested neighborhood, etc. These are huge disadvantages, so isn’t it most important that we address them?

    Philosophically though, I wonder why a Black Woman from a loving middle class family in a nice neighborhood with a good educational system should be considered disadvantaged when competing for a job with a white man brought up by a drug addicted single mother in a crime infested neighborhood, “educated” within an inferior school system. I think addressing these factors for everyone affected would be far better than helping only people with a certain skin color.

    I tend to push back when presented with pseudoarguments “proving” that we are still a highly racist society. I believe these arguments alone exacerbate racism in some cases. Specifically, I bristle when presented with the true fact that 32% of the people killed by police are Black, while they represent only 14% of the population, because it is almost never accompanied by the game changer – that 41% of the people who kill police are Black. This renders the 32% figure worthless, but liberals just look the other way, and go on with their biases. The other pregnant question is why we don’t scream discrimination against men, since they represent about 95% of the people killed by police as opposed to only 5% for women? Why are we so ready to jump on the statistics in this case regarding race, but conveniently ignore those regarding gender?

  4. Steve says:

    Interesting the style book does not appear to address the word “Caucasian” at all.
    But the automatic spell checker capitalizes it.
    Google searches capitalize it.
    Definitions from various sources say it is a term used for “white” people though it originates from
    Caucasus. All of those also capitalize the word.
    The US Census lists it at a racial designation for white people.

    Maybe the word describing people should not be “white” and this is not an issue?

    Last time I looked in the mirror, my skin appeared to be pink with a bit of a brown tan, no doubt due to my being in my pool at least once every day.

  5. My 2008 AP Stylebook simply lists the word “Caucasian” with no explanation at all. Has no listing for black, brown or white.

  6. Steve says:

    An online AP Style book search for the word Caucasian produces zero results.

    All the rest are easily found with online google searches.

    Caucasian is used to describe what are considered “white people”

    My skin is still pink with a brown tint from the tan.

  7. Steve says:

    Sorry, my error.

    Need an account to do a search like that.
    From your 2008 copy, that word is not even addressed/defined by the AP Style Book…thanks for the clarity.

    Seems the AP needs to take a closer look at their words.

  8. Mistrbill says:

    What color are AMERICANS? Why don’t we just use AMERICANS and quit being race bated?

  9. Athos says:

    If only we could elect a black man as president then I believe all this inherent racism (that’s systemic, don’t you know) Would disappear!

    Where in the world can we find “ I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

    If only such a guy was out there!

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