Heather Ann Thompson

Thompson on language messaging around national civil unrest

an In The Media Reference

"'A War of Words.' Why Describing the George Floyd Protests as 'Riots' Is So Loaded" - Time. 6/8/2020.

Heather Ann Thompson, PSC Researcher, comments in Time magazine on use of language to describe recent civil unrest.

"In speeches and newsrooms and social media posts, people have had to make choices about how to characterize widespread, evolving unrest. Are cities in the midst of uprisings? Rebellions? Riots?

'There's kind of a war of words as to how we should understand what they're doing,' says Heather Ann Thompson, a professor of history and Afro-American studies at the University of Michigan. Each term sends a vastly different message about precisely what is going on in America's streets and why."

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