What is really in a Name?

Many people have taken offense at this article written about the U.S. Army saying a service member can use the word Negro when referring to a black or African-American.  Me personally, I take no offense to it and the question becomes why is it offensive in the first place, I mean what’s really in a name?

Friends and family call you much worse than Negro and many of our current idols use the slang of this very word and it appears that no one has a problem with it unless it is used by anyone other than those who could easily be called black or African-American.  Why is it okay for us to use the derogatory derision of the word Negro to other Negros but get all worked up when others use it?  That is as about hypocritical as you can get, isn't it?

The article states that “a newly published U.S. Army regulation says a service member can be referred to as a "Negro" when describing "black or African American" personnel. The Army confirmed the language is contained in the October 22 "Army Command Policy," known as regulation AR 600-20. The regulation is periodically updated but the Army could not say how recently the word was added to the document.  In a lengthy section of the document describing "race and ethnic code definitions," the regulation states under the category "Black or African American" that would include, "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".  One Army official familiar with the document said it's possible the word was added so when forms are filled out, a black or African-American person could "self-report" and choose to identify themselves as a Negro. But a military officer specializing in personnel issues for the Defense Department called that "the dumbest thing I have ever heard," noting the Pentagon does not use the word in any of its extensive collection of demographic data.  Lt. Col. S. Justin Platt, an Army spokesman, said the use of the word comes from an outdated section.  "The racial definitions in AR600-20 para. 6-2 are outdated, currently under review, and will be updated shortly," he said. "The Army takes pride in sustaining a culture where all personnel are treated with dignity and respect and not discriminated against based on race, color, religion, gender and national origin."

Who cares what others call you because it only sticks if you answer to it.  If you call me any name, I have the choice of answering to it or getting offended period but to assume that I can only be called a certain name by a certain segment of society is ignorant.  If I take offense at anyone else calling me a particular name, it should apply to all and not just a few.   Personally, I detest the slang version of the word Negro and would prefer that over the other but it is not within my power to dictate by which vehicle anyone would stand to answer to God for the choice of calling me that.  The only authority I have is to choose how I react and that is a choice I refuse to relinquish that power to anyone including those of my own race and especially to Satan.  Control that which you have the authority and right to control and all other things let go.


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