Washington Post Capitalizes ‘White’ When Referring to Race

The Washington Post has begun capitalizing White when identifying Caucasian persons, saying that many white Europeans who migrated in mass numbers to the U.S. “were the targets of racial and ethnic discrimination.”

The Washington Post announced on Wednesday that in addition to making the B in Black uppercase to identify the many groups that make up the African diaspora in America and elsewhere, it would also begin capitalizing W in White, contrary to the Associated Press’ current style.

“Stories involving race show that White also represents a distinct cultural identity in the United States,” multiplatform editing chief Jesse Lewis, deputy multiplatform editor Courtney Rukan and multiplatform editor Brian Cleveland explained.

Also Read: AP Stylebook Updated to Capitalize ‘Black’ and ‘Indigenous’

“In American history, many White Europeans who entered the country during times of mass migration were the targets of racial and ethnic discrimination. These diverse ethnicities were eventually assimilated into the collective group that has had its own cultural and historical impact on the nation. As such, White should be represented with a capital W.”

It continued, “In accordance with our style change, people who do not want to be recognized as a color also have the choice of representing themselves by their cultural background, as they currently do, identifying as German American, Irish American, Italian American or other representations of national heritage.”

Also Read: Ryan Reynolds Launches Diversity Program for Mentorship on His Movie Sets (Video)

Last month, Associated Press announced it updated its stylebook for race-related coverage, capitalizing “Black” when used “in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense” and “Indigenous” when referring to “original inhabitants of a place.” The news agency, however, said that “white” would continue to be in lowercase.

That decision was rebuked by many on social media who said the distinction “tosses red meat to real racists” and it was “entirely symbolic and meaningless.”

AP didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

15 Stars Whose Blackface Blunders Backfired, From Ted Danson to Jimmy Kimmel (Photos)

Don’t even think of mimicking these celebrities.Joni Mitchell  The singer posed in blackface on the cover of her album “Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter” in 1977, and later went on to justify it by saying, “I have experienced being a Black guy.”Ted Danson  The “Cheers” star appeared at a New York Friars Club Roast in 1993 with then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg wearing blackface makeup to perform an offensive N-word-filled comedy routine.Tom Hanks   The Oscar-winning actor came under fire in 2012 when video surfaced of a 2004 school fundraiser featuring Hanks and another man wearing blackface and stereotypical African clothing. Hanks later condemned the bi…Jane Krakowski   The actress appeared in blackface in two episodes of the 2006-13 sitcom “30 Rock,” in one case dressing as a Black man while co-star Tracy Morgan, who is African American, appeared as a white woman. Ser…NBC
Tyra Banks   The host of “America’s Next Top Model” took heat, as did her show, for a photo shoot in 2009 in which competing models were made to look “biracial.” Styling techniques included the darkening of contestants’ skin.Paula Deen  Following the epicure’s ouster from the Food Network in the wake of her infamous N-word controversy, Deen posted a photo on Twitter from her show’s 2011 Halloween episode featuring her son, Bobby, dressed as Ri…Beyoncé   The diva took heat for a 2011 L’Officiel Paris cover with an “African Queen” theme for which the pop star’s skin was darkened.Jon Hamm  In a 2012 episode of “30 Rock,” Hamm teamed with Tracy Morgan to re-create a parody version of a dated old TV show modeled on the stereotype-laden “Amos and Andy.” Hamm doesn’t so much blacken his face as dirt…NBC
Julianne Hough   The singer/dancer/actress drew criticism over a 2013 Halloween costume for which she donned dark makeup to masquerade as Uzo Aduba’s “Orange Is the New Black” character Crazy Eyes.Shane Dawson     The YouTuber known for his outrageous characters in 2014 was forced to apologize for the use of blackface in some of his videos, including a parody of talk show host Wendy Williams.Kylie Jenner   Fans of the reality star jumped all over a photo she posted to her Instagram account from a 2015 shoot, outraged that her skin appeared to be darkened. “This is a black light and neon lights people lets all …Luann de Lesseps   The former countess and “Real Housewives of New York” star apologized for her 2017 Halloween costume as Diana Ross — even though she insisted that she didn’t actually do blackface. “I had bronzer on tha…Oliver Peck  The longtime “Inkmasters” star announced he was departing the show in 2020 after an old photo resurfaced of him wearing blackface while portraying an NBA player.Jimmy Fallon  The late-night host came under fire for a 2000 “Saturday Night Live” sketch in which he impersonated former “SNL” cast member Chris Rock — in full makeup.NBC
Jimmy Kimmel  In June 2020, ABC late-night host apologized for a series of sketches from earlier in his career when he darkened his skin to impersonate Black stars such as NBA player Karl Malone and Oprah Win…Comedy Central

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