The Foreign Service Journal, April 2024

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | APRIL 2024 11 A Capital OŠense? I was enjoying reading Harry Kopp’s article, “AFSA’s First Hundred Years,” in the January-February edition of e Foreign Service Journal until I reached the section on austerity and diversity. Shortly after the author quotes the section of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 that mandates “equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment” without regard to “political a liation, race, color, religion” (emphasis added), he refers to “white males” and “Black o cers.” e reasons for capitalizing “Black” are understandable, and I am not writing to argue against that practice. e problem is not capitalizing “white.” e fact that uppercasing “Black” and lowercasing “white” is now the practice in many publications doesn’t change the fact that it is blatantly racist, o ensive, and infuriating. It is discrimination based on skin color. e AP style guide [used by this magazine] contains several reasons for the practice, all of which, in my opinion, are awed. For example, “White people generally do not share the same history and culture, or the experience of being discriminated against because of skin color.” Is their history and culture, in mainly Europe and North America, a historical and cultural void? Why should a period of discrimination be a prerequisite for capitalizing this word? AP further states that “capitalizing the term ‘white,’ as is done by white supremacists, risks subtly conveying legitimacy to such beliefs.” What about the majority of us who are just as committed to racial equality as the authors of the style guide? Is insulating the AP and its imitators from the possibility of this linkage so important that they think it acceptable