Racism: Merriam-Webster set to change definition

THE American dictionary Merriam-Webster is set to change its definition of the word racism after receiving an email from a young black woman.

Kennedy Mitchum, a graduate of Drake University in Iowa, suggested that the definition should include a reference to systematic oppression.

“I kept having to tell them that definition is not representative of what is actually happening in the world,” she told CNN.

“The way that racism occurs in real life is not just prejudice – it’s the systemic racism that is happening for a lot of black Americans.”

Merriam Webster’s definition

Merriam-Webster’s editorial manager Peter Sokolowski in response to Mitchum’s request told the AFP news agency that the second definition will be updated to reflect the request.






     

     

    “We will make that even more clear in our next release,” Peter Sokolowski said.

    “This is the kind of continuous revision that is part of the work of keeping the dictionary up to date, based on rigorous criteria and research we employ in order to describe the language as it is actually used,” he added.

    The decision comes amid international anti-racism protests after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

    Floyd died after a white police officer held a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

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