‘Racism’ Gets Revised Definition, Thanks to a Black Woman

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Jun 11, 2020

In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, racism is defined 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," but that will change, thanks to protest from a Black woman in St. Louis, the Associated Press reported yesterday (June 10).

“A couple weeks ago, I said this is the last argument I’m going to have about this,” Kennedy Mitchum told the AP. “I know what racism is; I’ve experienced it time and time and time again in a lot of different ways, so enough is enough. So, I emailed them about how I felt about it. Saying this needs to change.” 

And the dictionary giant agreed. The editor wrote Mitchum back an acknowledgment that omitting mentions of systemic racism is an unsaid promotion of a certain viewpoint. "This revision would not have been made without your persistence in contacting us about this problem,” the dictionary’s editor Alex Chambers wrote, KMOV reports. “We sincerely thank you for repeatedly writing in and apologize for the harm and offense we have caused in failing to address the issue sooner. I will see to it that the entry for racism is given the attention it sorely needs.” 

KMOV confirms that users can expect to see a revision to upcoming publications in the coming months.