- The Washington Times - Friday, December 20, 2019

The Seattle Times has issued a new style guideline instructing staff to capitalize the word “Black” when referring to a culture, ethnicity or group of people, the newspaper announced Thursday evening.

The word “white,” however, will remain lowercase when referring to people with “light-colored skin, especially those of European descent,” the newspaper said.

The publication explained that capitalizing the term “Black” is necessary because it is a reflection of shared cultures and experiences, like foods, languages and music.” The word “white” however will remain lowercase because it merely refers to the physical description of people “whose backgrounds may spring from many different cultures,” the guideline states, adding that “capitalized ‘white’ is often used by the white nationalist/white supremacist movement.”

The newspaper said that while it has chosen to make this change, many other style guides maintain that both versions are equally accurate and depend on personal preference.

“The time was overdue for this kind of reassessment,” managing editor Ray Rivera said in a statement. “We felt this was an important move. It is increasingly clear this is the preferred term among many Black publications and presses. It seems appropriate and respectful for us to follow suit.”

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