KMOV4, June 9, 2020
While thousands of people have taken to the street to protest, Kennedy Mitchum, who recently graduated with a degree in law, politics and society, took to email.
She said it all started when people would argue with her about the definition of racism and she realized the problem was in the pages of Merriam Webster’s dictionary.
The dictionary defines racism as “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”
“I basically told them they need to include that there is systematic oppression on people. It’s not just ‘I don’t like someone,’ it’s a system of oppression for a certain group of people,” Mitchum explained.
And after a few back and forth emails, the editor of Merriam Webster Dictionary agreed and wrote back, “While our focus will always be on faithfully reflecting the real-world usage of a word, not on promoting any particular viewpoint, we have concluded that omitting any mention of the systemic aspects of racism promotes a certain viewpoint in itself.”
Alex Chambers, the editor of Merriam Webster Dictionary said a revision to the entry for “racism” is now being drafted.