"Neither “negro” or the other “N-word” are considered acceptable anymore, but one was never neutral."
1. There's the use of Negro, in a section of music known as "Negro Spirituals." There's worldwide foundations, festivals, and this art form has it's own section on iTunes. Academically, this music is taught in several music history and appreciation classes at universities across the country. Go ahead, and Google that.
2. Organizationally, the word is used in the United Negro College Fund, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (Kansas City). Strike One....
3. There are several people who embrace the use of the word. Some examples would include Vincent J. "Vinny" Del Negro, and Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez. A retired NBA player/coach, and a world famous Cuban drummer and percussionist.
But my main beef with Steve Gardner, is that if he's going to make an academic argument, using history, it needs to be one of high quality. Some call that using "peer reviewed" sources. I usually call this the Bucket of Chicken style of news reporting.
Slate, isn't one of those kind of sources, and it hasn't been around long enough to be one.
The NYT, has had one scandal after another for this type of reporting. Search Google, again, for plagiarism and retractions in the Times. That's Judith Miller on Valerie Plame, Jayson Blair, and most recently, Paul Krugman.
Slate, has it wrong. "...by the mid-1980s, even the most hidebound institutions, like the U.S. Supreme Court, had largely stopped using Negro."
Negro, as in United Negro College Fund, filed a brief with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, in August, 2012. Fisher V University of Texas at Austin.
What I'd like to see is a more balanced newsroom and editorial board at the Kitsap Sun. From what I see and read, it's mostly White.
It's time to stop writing about legalized marijuana, along with bars and booze at the Bremerton Ice Rink, and SEEfilm Cinemas. When a newspaper can't adequately report on the stewardship of taxpayer funds, by the schools, it has NO business deciding what words are acceptable in the schools. Just change the name of the publication to Fat, Drunk, & Stupid...