Scientists say it’s a scientific term.
In a new book, the NAACP said that the word “temperature” in the dictionary, “should not be construed as a racial slur,” according to the Associated Press.
The organization said the definition was created to make sure all people of color are treated equally and to protect all people.
“We are outraged by the use of ‘temperature’ to label African Americans,” NAACP President and CEO Cornell Brooks said in a statement.
“It is deeply offensive, and it’s the definition of racial discrimination that is at stake.”
“It is the definition, and the definition should not be used to exclude people of any color from science,” he said.
“Science is an inclusive profession and we support all of our students, staff and alumni who seek careers in science.
The word ‘temperament’ in the word ‘science’ is not a racial insult.
We encourage all people to seek careers and be treated with dignity.”
In addition to the NAACP, the National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities and National Science Teachers Association issued a joint statement in support of the term.
“The word ‘weather’ is a racial term that describes a person’s physical condition, and its usage by whites in this context indicates a misunderstanding of the meaning of the word,” the statement read.
“There is no reason to use the word temperature in this way, and we urge all Americans to be mindful of the meanings of words and their history and cultural context.”
As it turns out, there’s a very good reason for the NAACP to be concerned with the word.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the word comes from the Old English word “welt,” which means “white.”
A literal translation of the words would be “white” and “wool,” and the word, however, comes from a Germanic word “melt,” meaning “to be burnt.”
It is also an adaptation of the Old Norse word “kelt” which means to “burn.”
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a “mixture” as: “A mixture of elements, such as liquids, powders, and salts, in a prepared material, as a paste or mixture, or a mixture of substances, such the various kinds of wine, beer, etc.”
According the dictionary definition, “temperatures” is also derived from the Germanic term “wahl” meaning “white,” as well as “mammal” meaning a mammal.
A word from a dictionary that also refers to a color is often considered racist, according to Rebecca Trautman, professor of history and public affairs at the University of Maryland and author of “Cultures of Color: The Politics of Race and Class in the Age of Colorblindness.”
She wrote in an email that “tempering is used to denote the physical characteristics of a person.”
And, in fact, a word from an official dictionary is used in a context that indicates that it is racially offensive.
As the Washington Post reported, the definition for the word is “temporarily” in reference to the weather.
It reads, in part: “The term temperatures refers to the temperature at which a substance is stored in a vessel or container, as an indication of the relative temperature of the substance.”
So, if the dictionary is to be believed, the black community should be concerned that “wahls” and other “warm” words in the definition will be used against them.
So is the NAACP upset about the use?
Brooks, in the NAACP statement, said the NAACP is “appalled by the racial language” that the dictionary has used to “discriminate against the African-American community.”
But she also said that “the NAACP has a long history of being critical of language that is racially insensitive, and that includes racial stereotypes in all contexts.”