By Dr. Harold A. Black

A couple of years ago I wrote an article on why the progressive media insists that we capitalize the “b” in black when it refers to race. As was the case with the movement of DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) and the teaching of Critical Race Theory in our schools, the change was motivated by white guilt associated with the death of George Floyd. The Associated Press changed the case justifying it by saying “AP’s style is now to capitalize Black in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense, conveying 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. AP style will continue to lowercase the term white in racial, ethnic and cultural senses.”

What is interesting is that the so-called conservative media has meekly followed suit. Why? I haven’t a clue. The Wall Street Journal capitalizes “b” in its articles but still yields to the wishes of the writers on its opinion pages where some continue not to capitalize “b”. I sent the Journal a query as to why. What I got back was the same Associated Press nonsense. The Journal’s response in part was that “Black is an identifier that is about more than a skin color. The adjective white doesn’t define a cohesive ethno-cultural group in the way Black does, and therefore will remain lowercase in the Journal.” Excuse me? What is the ”cohesive ethno-cultural group” that the Journal is talking about? Certainly there is nothing cohesive about blacks in America, Africa, or anywhere else in the world. In fact, American blacks are perhaps the least cohesive ethno-cultural group in the world. We don’t look alike. We don’t think alike (much to the chagrin of the progressives). Our African ancestors came from hundreds of tribal groups with different cultures and different languages who were as radically different as the Navaho are from the Apaches. Southern blacks are culturally different from northern blacks. There are distinct differences in blacks in education, nuclear family, and church attendance by regions in the United States. Outside America, there is nothing virtually common about blacks in the Caribbean, those in South America, Central America, various African countries and those in Europe and Asia save having an African ancestor. So please point out the “cohesive ethno-culturalness.”

Another example of conservatives caving into the progressive nonsense is that of a conservative organization that contracted with me and others to write articles on whether systemic racism exists in education and in housing. In my piece on housing, I did not capitalize black. However, the two white writers capitalized both “black” and “white”. The other black writer capitalized “black” but not “white”. When the papers were edited, the editor capitalized “black” and not “white.” I insisted that my style should remain the same, as did the others. The editor responded that the conservative think tank was adhering to the University of Chicago style manual which had adopted the AP spelling. Needless to say, I am disappointed that those who claim to be on the right have succumbed to the dictates of the left. Next thing you know, they will be using their preferred pronouns and calling a trans “male” he and a trans “woman” she. Oh wait. They do that too.

Its whites who make these silly rules. Capitalizing blacks but not whites is an artifice. It is an attempt to elevate blacks above whites in a manner that does not alter any existing inequalities. It is an attempt by whites to feel good about themselves without changing anything material. Ask these progressives “How many blacks are in your country club, live in your neighborhood, go to your church, are in your fraternity or sorority, in your book club, in your poker game, in your life?” If progressives and the left really wanted to do something meaningful, they would address the lack of proficiency in reading and math amongst our school children by raising proficiency levels. They have done the opposite and dumbed down curricula and are deemphasizing math and reading. What is apparent is that the left has no interest in furthering the well-being of blacks. Changing our use of the language does not alter a thing. As George Orwell noted, certain word usage narrows the range of thought to the point that individuals in society are not as capable of a broader range of thought. It is time for conservatives to quit adopting the language of the left.