OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Remember when words used to have meaning? We as a society could have intelligent conversations using common language. Even if we didn’t agree on positions and solutions, at least we could agree on the definition of words.
It seems those days are gone.
Six months ago, I told you that Merriam-Webster chose “they” as its 2019 Word of the Year – after redefining the term to include its usage by the woke LGBT+ mob as a singular personal pronoun.
Now, it’s happening again. This time, Merriam-Webster is redefining “racism.”
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary first 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.
That seems like a reasonable definition. If you believe that one is defined by the color of their skin, and certain skin colors are inferior, you’re racist.
But wait there’s more! That definition isn’t inclusive enough, something a recent college graduate from Missouri was all too happy to point out:
[Kennedy] Mitchum, who recently graduated with a degree in law, politics and society, said that definition was too simple.
“So, a couple weeks ago, I said this is the last argument I’m going to have about this. 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,” she said.
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Consequently, apparently at the behest of this single individual, Merriam-Webster added a second definition of “racism.”
Peter Sokolowski, editor at large at Merriam-Webster, said in an emailed statement to The Associated Press that the dictionary’s second definition is “divided to express, first, explicit institutional bias against people because of their race, and, second, a broader implicit bias that can also result in an asymmetrical power structure.”
“This second definition covers the sense that Ms. Mitchum was seeking, and we will make its wording even more clear in our next release,” he said. “This is the kind of continuous revision that is part of the work of keeping the dictionary up to date, based on rigorous criteria and research we employ in order to describe the language as it is actually used.”
Here’s Merriam-Webster’s updated definition:
Am I the only one who finds the new, second definition nonsensical? How can you define “racism” as “a system founded on racism?” It’s circular logic to use a term to define that same term.
Meanwhile, we have Democrats, including elected officials, telling us that the slogan-of-the-day, “Defund the Police,” doesn’t actually mean “defund the police.” Leftists are conflating the concept that black lives matter (which, duh) with support for the organization Black Lives Matter (which promotes all sorts of far-left policies which have nothing to do with supporting people of color). We as a society cannot agree on what a “woman” is, what constitutes a “human life,” or what is “speech” versus what is “violence.”
This is untenable and Orwellian. If we can’t even agree on basic definitions of our language, how can we as a society survive?