Word Searches About Racism Spike After Charlottesville, Merriam-Webster Says

After the violence in Virginia and Trump's reactions to it, the dictionary said that top lookups this week included "fascism", "neo-Nazi" and "bigot."

Amid last weekend’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and President Donald Trump’s incendiary reaction to it, online searches for words about racism have spiked. 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary reported the uptick in traffic searches for the definitions of racist-oriented terms, which have included “fascism,” “neo-Nazi” and “bigot.”

Of special interest, the word wizards say, is the distinction between “white nationalist” and “white supremacist.”

In a blog dedicated to this topic, the dictionary’s editors explained that the difference between the two terms:

″‘White nationalist’ is defined as ‘one of a group of militant whites who espouse white supremacy and advocate enforced racial segregation,’ while a ‘white supremacist’ is ‘a person who believes that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races.’”

Trump is also causing people to look up the meaning of the word “repugnant,” but not the way you may think.

On Monday, Trump used the word while publicly discussing the violence in Charlottesville: 

“Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” 

After his usage, Merriam-Webster said searches for the word increased 72,113 percent.

For the record, “repugnant” means causing a strong feeling of dislike or disgust.



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