Thanks to the determination of Kennedy Mitchum, a recent college graduate from Missouri, Merriam-Webster will be updating its definition for the word “Racism.” Mitchum told CNN, “I kept having to tell them [Merriam-Webster] that definition is not representative of what is actually happening in the world. 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.”
After the exchange of several emails between Merriam-Webster and Mitchum, to which Mitchum argued, “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,” representatives from Merriam-Webster replied in agreeance, and that the definition for the word “racism” would be made more clear.
In the final response, Merriam-Webster noted that the revision would not have happened without Mitchum’s persistence, along with an apology for not addressing the issue sooner. The email ended with Merriam-Webster’s editor Alex Chambers’ pledge to “give the entry for racism the attention it sorely needs.”
In other news, Magic: The Gathering bans sevens cards with racist imagery.
Alumna Kennedy Mitchum knew there was more to racism than what appeared in @MerriamWebster's dictionary.
“It’s not just disliking someone because of their race,” she said.
Read the dictionary’s full response below. pic.twitter.com/0Yen4TrvuJ
— Drake University (@DrakeUniversity) June 9, 2020