The Washington Post

Hank Johnson foreswears the word ‘midget’

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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.”

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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