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St. Louis Woman Says Merriam-Webster Will Edit Definition Of Racism After Email Exchange

A St. Louis woman has taken her fight of racial equality to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Kennedy Mitchum felt like the current definition of racism wasn’t inclusive of the black experience, which made it hard for her to have discussions about it with her peers.
“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,” is the current definition.

Mitchum decided to email an editor for the dictionary and after a long, and at time frustrating exchange Mitchum finally got the Merriam-Webster board to make changes and research different and more detailed definitions.

“A lot of people just think that racism is surface level and just anti-black. But really anti-blackness is deeply ingrained in so many different societal structures that we all participate in. It’s definitely a whole system of oppression,” says Mitchum.

Do you agree with Kennedy Mitchum that the current Merriam-Webster definition of racism doesn’t take account of systematic structures?



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