October 1 2020
In recent times, there has been a major push to change the definition of certain words. The AP Stylebook, often regarded as the go-to resource for learning about the accepted norms of English-language media, is now attempting to change the definition of the word “riot.”
Acknowledging the dictionary meaning of the word, which is “wild or violent disturbance of the peace,” AP suggests that the word can’t be used for “stigmatizing” the groups that are protesting for the sake of “racial justice.”
Using riots to describe a protest for “racial justice” is not appropriate, as it “suggests uncontrolled chaos and pandemonium.
“Focusing on rioting and property destruction rather than underlying grievance has been used in the past to stigmatize broad swaths of people protesting against lynching, police brutality or for racial justice, going back to the urban uprisings of the 1960s,” wrote AP.