Merriam Webster to redefine the definition of racism to reflect the reality of oppression

Merriam Webster
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Shikha Chaurasia

Pune, June 10, 2020: The devastating death of George Floyd which has triggered nationwide outrage in the United States of America has caused the entire nation to rethink and change many existing patterns and frameworks which have been in practice since decades. The USA is considered as an epitome when it comes to free thinkers, open-mindedness and liberalisation but it’s deeply saddening to know that despite all these excellent merits, racism still exists.

Amidst the ongoing protests, a graduate from Iowa, Kennedy Mitchum decided to contact one of the most widely used and trusted dictionary Merriam Webster and asked them to change the definition of racism as the current definition doesn’t reflect the reality of oppression that a group of people and especially people of colour face. She told a local news outlet, “I told them that they need to include that there’s systematic oppression upon a group of people. It’s not just, ‘Oh I don’t like someone.’’’

The editorial head of Merriam Webster, Peter Sokolowski told the AFP, a news agency that the request of Kennedy Mitchum will not go unheard and the meaning of racism will be redefined and will soon be updated.

He admitted that the current definition in the dictionary does not reflect the segregation and atrocities faced by a group of people, especially people of colour. The existing definition does not touch the facts of oppression. He apologized publicly on behalf of the company and said that the dictionary will not only update the definition of racism but will also change the definitions of those words which are associated with racism.  The dictionary has been in the field since 1847 and is now accepting change readily.