ESPN college broadcaster Bill Walton is the latest attempted victim of the woke mob’s cancel brigade after he used what people are calling a “deplorable and inexcusable” term to describe people with dwarfism.
During halftime of a PAC-12 tournament matchup between Arizona State University and USC, Walton referenced the term “midget” to his broadcasting partner Dave Pasch. Pasch was clearly taken aback and suggested Walton had consumed something at halftime.
“He does not need a little chair, because he is a giant in a world of shriveling midgets. And speaking of shriveling midgets, what was your name again?” he asked play-by-play announcer Dave Pasch.
“What’s wrong with you,” Pasch replied, later adding he wasn’t sure “what you consumed at halftime.”
Take a look at the exchange for yourself:
"I don't know what you consumed at halftime."- Dave Pasch to Bill Walton 🏀🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/MsuxaVnLnR
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) March 10, 2023
One of the leading non-profit voices for little people, The Little People of America, said they provide “support and information to people of short stature and their families,” responded to Walton’s comment, and issued a strongly-worded statement.
“Those who use the term midget or any terminology that further stigmatizes people born with dwarfism are asked to educate themselves to eradicate this word,” the organization said, even adding his use of the m-word was “deplorable and inexcusable.”
Fox News wrote that “the organization added it wants the former NBA player to apologize and not use the word again. It also challenged Pasch to ‘speak up.’”
“Little People of America is asking Bill Walton to issue an apology and vow to use appropriate terminology rooted in respect and dignity going forward,” the organization said. “We hope that in the future Dave Pasch will speak up against disparaging language in solidarity with our organization fighting for disability equity and justice.”
Perhaps Little People of America have a point in seeking to use new language, but the problem with the language police is that acceptable terms are always changing and it’s impossible nowadays to keep up. By pushing for the wildly impossible “equity and justice” narrative too often seen today, one can’t but think this organization cares less about actual little people and more about asserting some level of power in the broader culture.
Lecturing supposed violators isn’t a strategy to win anyone over; it’s merely a flex of muscles.
What’s more, the fact they felt comfortable throwing Dave Pasch under the bus underscores how ridiculous their position is. Did they not watch that video? Pasch clearly reacted with horror at the term used by Walton.
Of course, this is not a new fight for the LPA. In 2015, the same association issued a lengthy statement seeking to “abolish the ‘m’ word, saying:
The word “midget” was never coined as the official term to identify people with dwarfism, but was created as a label used to refer to people of short stature who were on public display for curiosity and sport. Today, the word “midget” is considered a derogatory slur. The dwarfism community has voiced that they prefer to be referred to as dwarfs, little people, people of short stature or having dwarfism, or simply, and most preferably, by their given name.
On the website Understanding Dwarfism, they provide a brief history of the word “midget.”
While these days, the word midget is employed all too frequently mostly as an epithet to taunt short-statured individuals, that was not always the case. Part of the problem in attempting to discourage the use of the word midget currently is that it was once used both routinely and comfortably in the entertainment world. In fact, the organization now called Little People of America was previously called “Midgets of America” during the first two days of existence after actor Billy Barty and a group of approximately twenty short-statured performers founded the organization in 1957. The name was changed in 1960.
Featured image: JAYZWELLING, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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