The November issue contains a letter to the editor about the article about Professor Jacob Dlamini, published in September. The letter is from Bruce C. Johnson ’74 and raises the question about capitalizing “Black” but not capitalizing “white.” I have to say that I believe the issue to be important. 

The Associated Press Stylebook is your reference for PAW’s reason for capitalizing black and not capitalizing white. Your handling of this issue is insufficient. 

I believe that it could easily be argued, and I so argue, that the stylebook is racist in recommending that usage. You should have gone against the stylebook — that would have been to take the moral/ethical high ground. But you follow the recommendation of The Associated Press Stylebook without question. As an editorial decision, you should have gone against the stylebook, and use consistency for these references: Neither of the terms should be capitalized or both should be. Anything else is de facto racist, whatever the excuses. 

I hope you will learn something from this issue and learn to do the right thing in this respect in the future.  

Stephen William Foster *77
Portland, Ore.