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Posted at 02:16 PM ET, 12/13/2012

Hank Johnson forswears the word ‘midget’


(Alex Wong - Getty Images)
Turns out, the language one uses in speeches on the House floor is no small matter. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) today apologized for using what he terms “the m-word” during a speech the previous evening.

What is this shocking term? Midget.

The Georgia Democrat used the word — offensive to some, who prefer the term “little people” to describe those with dwarfism, he noted today — in a metaphor about the Michigan labor situation in which he made a point about an unfair matchup. “What happens when you put a giant with a midget in a cage fight?” he asked rhetorically.

Today, he said he has since learned that the language is “no longer socially acceptable,” much like the “n-word,” which he said used to be widely used but is no longer. “It was out of ignorance, not spite or hatred,” he said. “I will never use that term again.”

He called it a “learning moment.”

By  |  02:16 PM ET, 12/13/2012

 
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