Let’s say, for the sake of this story, you’ve offended someone by calling them a name they didn’t like. You later apologized to them, but referred to them by another term they didn’t like either. What do you do then?
That was the situation Congressman Hank Johnson was in when he was apologizing for using the word “midget”. While on the floor of the House of Representatives, the congressman apologized for rhetorically asking yesterday: “What happens when you put a giant with a midget in a cage fight?” He was using an analogy to explain how unfair a fight he felt the Michigan unions faced against the forces in favor of a “right-to-work” state.
During his apology, he was trying very hard to avoid using the “M-word”, so he started to refer to them as “little people”. He then explained what “little people” are, saying:
“When we say little people, I’m not talking about the Helmsley little people; I’m not talking about the 47%; I’m not talking about the takers instead of the makers as some would describe them; I’m not talking about the middle class, working people, poor people, working poor people — that’s not what is meant by the little people term. It really refers to a medical condition, dwarfism is the name of that medical condition, and sometimes I guess one can even say abnormally small people, abnormally small people which to me is — I like that term better than dwarfism.”
The worse part of his apology is when he drifts away from using “little people”, and then uses the term “abnormally small“. He even prefers calling little people, “abnormally small”. He starts to say it around the 3:00 mark.
Congressman Johnson needs to learn the first rule of apologizing to an offended group: When expressing your remorse, you should never refer to the group you’ve offended as “abnormal”.
Check out the video and let us know what you think.