What is the Trump administration doing about government use of the word ‘Negro’ as a racial category?

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

The fact-checking website Snopes recently rated a claim that the Donald Trump administration is considering “bringing back” the government’s use of the word “Negro” as “mostly false.”

Articles from websites like the Truth Examiner have reported the claim:

“But it doesn’t seem that Trump is ready to forbid these words, even as he prohibits ‘diversity’ and ‘Science-based’ from other agencies. Since he seems to think that America was last great in the 1960’s, he probably wants the term to be used more frequently again.”

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The facts: You can’t “bring back” something that was never gone

The truth of the matter is that government agencies and reports have been allowed to use “Negro” as a racial category this whole time.

Although the Census and the Army have both stopped using the term as a racial category, the same is not true of the government broadly. There was, however, a law under President Obama that “modernized” some 1970s laws by replacing “Negro” with “African-American,” and “Oriental” with “Asian-American.”

But the final decision is up to the Office of Management and Budget at the White House. And that’s where the rumors seem to stem from: the OMB appears to be delaying a final decision on the word’s use.

Of course, a delay like this isn’t uncommon, especially under an administration that has only seen one major legislative victory and has still struggled to fill staff positions in key places like the State Department.

However, there is truth to the point that 2017 has seen other words “banned” from use. The fact that this term hasn’t made it onto that list doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll start seeing it on more government forms, but it is suspect.

Thus, the rating of “mostly false:” the term isn’t “coming back,” but it hasn’t been banned yet, either.