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mcconnehey_9's avatar

Is calling people migits racist to pygmys?

Asked by mcconnehey_9 (5points) March 29th, 2008 from iPhone
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

4 Answers

iSteve's avatar

I don’t know but you need spellcheck!

sndfreQ's avatar

Problem is that neither midgets [sic] nor pygmys are terms that refer to race. A little wiki-ing will help:

Midget

”...In the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, midget was a medical term referring to an extremely short but normally proportioned person, and was used in contrast to dwarf, which denoted disproportionate shortness.”

and

Pygmy

“Pygmies (singular: Pygmy) refers to various peoples of central Africa whose adults have an average height of 150 centimetres (4 feet 11 inches) or shorter.”

The term Pygmy, while considered pejorative by today’s standards, is still used to refer to a group of ethnicities from that central coast region of Africa, but the term has not been replaced in language by another more proper identification (gleaned that from the wiki).

By contrast, I have been in situations where I have interacted with dwarfs and midgets, and believe me, they do want to be distinguished by their correct name.

Haven’t met a pygmy though, so suffice it to say, I’m coming up short in that area…

squirbel's avatar

Racism, no. Derogatory or discriminatory – yes, depending on the individual. Proper spelling is midget.

sndfreq is pretty on the ball there – love the pun also. :)

gailcalled's avatar

The next time I hang out either with Pygmies or midgets, I will ask them.

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