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Are you offended by the term Negro?

 
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tatee View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan 11 2014 at 4:30pm

New York Juror Form Asks People To Identify As 'African American, Black, Or Negro' ... And It's 2014 (PHOTO)

Posted:   |  Updated: 01/10/2014 1:51 pm EST


Raeana Roberson doesn't think of herself as "Negro."

So when the 25-year-old New York City teacher, who is black, was asked to identify herself on a prospective juror form Monday at the Queens County courthouse as either "Black, African American or Negro," she was aghast.

"Is this an old form?" she said she thought to herself. "From the 1950s?"

"I felt shocked and upset and totally disrespected," Roberson said.

Roberson crossed out the word "Negro" on the form, and wrote "offensive! it's 2014!" She then snapped a photo of the form, which she posted to Facebook with the caption, "REALLY? 'Negro' ... that I am not. Hello 2014? ... jury duty.."


Roberson said she returned the form to a court employee -- a black woman -- and waited for a reaction, but got none. She said there were probably 300 prospective jurors in the room that day, of different races. No one else, she said, seemed upset by the form.

Roberson said the word stirs memories of segregation. "My grandfather is from South Carolina. He grew up in the Jim Crow South," she said. The history of "Negro," and the context in which the word has been used in the past, makes it offensive," she said.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary states that the term "Negro" is "sometimes offensive."

In the 2010 census, only 36,000 people self-identified as Negro. Samuel Roberts, a Columbia University associate professor of history, said in a phone interview that the word has gone out of date.

"I would probably say it’s an oversight. I don’t think it was meant to be an offense, per se," said Roberts. "If a white person wanted to insult you in 1965, they had a much wider variety of choices to pick besides 'Negro.'

"Keep in mind that [the term] 'black' came around because of the black power movement," Roberts said. "Stokely Carmichael was one of most vocal advocates for calling ourselves 'black,' and he was reacting to people who were slightly older, maybe eight or 10 years older than him, like Martin Luther King, who talked about a Negro revolution."

Carmichael argued that the term "implied black inferiority." In 1967, following the publication of his book, Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America, many black activists and black publications quit using the word.

Still, in 2014, "Negro" isn't just on juror forms in Queens. The word appears on forms across New York state.

Arlene Hackel, spokeswoman for the New York State office of court administration, explained that the race classification categories come from the U.S. Census Bureau.

"We don't have expertise in classification, so we follow their language, their classification, which is explained on the information card," Hackel said in a phone interview with The Huffington Post.

Hackel pointed to Section 528 of state judiciary law to explain why courts collect data on race and gender when someone is called for jury duty.

Section 528 was created in 2010 to ensure that New York complies with the Constitution's Sixth Amendment, which guarantees a right to a fair trial before a jury that represents a cross-section of the community where the crime occurred.

"It's good that Queens is collecting that data," said Greg Hurley, an analyst at the National Center for State Courts, noting that many courts across the country don't ask jurors to identify their race and gender on a form.

The NCSC, at the behest of seven states in 2010, created its own version of a form for prospective jurors. That form, which used the 2010 Census demographic categorizations, did not include the word "Negro."

"We thought it would give the courts the information it needed without creating discomfort," Hurley said of the organization's form.

Although New York's data collection forms look to the Census Bureau for race categories, the state may be a little behind the Census. An uproar from the black community after the inclusion of the term "Negro" on the 2010 Census prompted an apology from the bureau, which said it would cease using the term, effective in 2014.

"Some of the commentary on the question comes from people offended by the term. I apologize to them," Robert Groves, the Census Bureau director at the time, wrote in a 2010 blog post.

"I am confident that the intent of my colleagues in using the same wording as Census 2000 was to make sure as many people as possible saw words that matched their self-identities," Groves continued. "Full inclusiveness was the goal."

Several news outlets reported last year that the Census Bureau would officially drop the term in 2014, and Americans would first see the change in an annual American Community Survey released by the Census Bureau to 3.5 million households.

New York, however, still hasn't made the change.

"We are aware that it is an outdated term and we will be changing it as they change it," explained Hackel. "I can't give you a specific date, but I know that we have plans to make that change."

Roberson, meanwhile, after waiting 2 1/2 hours Monday at the courthouse, wasn't selected as a juror.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/09/juror-form-negro_n_4556506.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular


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maysay1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote maysay1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 11 2014 at 4:35pm
I use negro and colored all the time.

I don't really like the terms african american and black.

Anyway, I don't see what there is to be offended by.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (7) Thanks(7)   Quote Sang Froid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 11 2014 at 4:38pm
Negro was never an offensive word.
It's dated, but not offensive.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote yaya24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 11 2014 at 4:38pm
Am I offended- Not really. But it does look weird for it to be listed on that form.

Maybe it's on the form for the older patrons. Some older people still call themselves that. I've heard my SO's 98 year old grandmother say it.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 11 2014 at 4:38pm
this chick went through 5 stages of grief because she saw it on a formConfused LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (7) Thanks(7)   Quote BeatriceBean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 11 2014 at 4:40pm
I find it bizarre that the category for black people only consists of Black, African-American or Negro when the category for Asian breaks down by country. At the least they could break Black down by region of origin, i.e. Afro-Caribbean, African-American, African, so on and so forth,.
 
I'm not really offended but I grew up with the term.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FarraFace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 11 2014 at 4:43pm
Not really, no. It would be nice to have a specific African country to claim though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote f8dagrate Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 11 2014 at 4:48pm
Originally posted by maysay1 maysay1 wrote:

I use negro and colored all the time.

I don't really like the terms african american and black.

Anyway, I don't see what there is to be offended by.


LOL and you don't hang around other blacks? So you say colored and negro with your white friendsLOL. Do they also use those terms too?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote india100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 11 2014 at 4:50pm

Yes if a white person would call me that due to the history behind the word . I recall the signs in Woolworth as a child . The sign below from 2012 . I would not check that on a Form . Black would be ok with me .

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote Princess Grace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 11 2014 at 4:51pm
I say colored and negro but not in front of white people. Wink 
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