The AP Style Guide Promotes Editorial Discrimination by Choosing to Capitalize Only Some Races

(AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP featured image
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)


In the time where many call for unity the largest news syndicate has elected to have more-equal spelling standards.

Upon the initial announcement that the Associated Press had made an alteration to its editorial standards regarding the racial unrest in the new emergence of Black Lives Matter it was an eye-roll inducing moment. The news supplier was virtue signaling and pandering to the movement in a fashion that sounded as impotent as it did ridiculous.


One month ago the AP made the bold declaration that it was making it described as an ”important’’ change to its stylebook —  going forward they would be capitalizing the word ”Black’’.

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. We also now capitalize Indigenous in reference to original inhabitants of a place. 

That was fine. If the syndicated outlet wanted to make a decision that ultimately had little impact and would probably evade notice by most, what is the harm? They were electing to formalize an adjective into a title, an action that would have no discernable impact on society. If they want to feel better there is no reason to stop them, but now The AP has come out with a follow up announcement. It has announced that while there is an importance to heed respect for races they do not feel the need to do so for all races.

AP style will continue to lowercase the term ‘’white’’ in racial, ethnic and cultural senses. This decision follows our move last month to capitalize Black in such uses. That includes the shared experience of discrimination due solely to the color of one’s skin. There is, at this time, less support for capitalizing white. White people generally do not share the same history and culture, or the experience of being discriminated against because of skin color.


Again this is all a ridiculous enterprise, but once they go to the length of downplaying one race they have undercut the entire purpose of signifying a race in this fashion. In the announcement to capitalize ”black’’ last month The AP stated it recognized, ‘’the need to be inclusive and respectful’’, and then one month later it is declaring that they do not see a reason to include all races in its striving for inclusivity. 

Not sure exactly how that works. Also unclear is how the Vice President of standards can reconcile his comment made last month, when he stated, ”The lowercase black is a color, not a person”. Lower case ”white’’ however can be a person. Seems to miss the mark in meeting the announced need to be ”respectful”.

This only serves to underscore how ridiculous so much of this racial designation effort has been. In the case of The AP resorting to what becomes capitalized segregation, that requires the use of an upper case ”Stupid’’.



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