Dear Mik and Mike: Recently I was shopping in my local food store. There was a dwarf working there. When I put my goods up on the table she said, “Can you push them to me, I can’t reach them”. I felt like an idiot! Was I politically incorrect? Or what kind of incorrect was I? What I mean to say is, I obviously had no experience dealing with little people and made the same mistake everyone else does, or did. I felt guilty about it afterwards so I thought I would write for your opinion.
Mike: There are definitely dos and don’ts with little people. Political correctness is a must, and I am by no means making fun of those cute little midgets! I just don’t know what you are supposed to call them – or the current status of any of the rules, because I don’t really follow that type of thing much. But give everyone their due respect, I say!
You weren’t intentionally rude to her, so I don’t think there’s a problem. I’m sure she’s used to asking people to push her the groceries all day long. But since you brought up political correctness, not me, let me tell you what I really think. Political correctness was invented by liberal, rich, well-meaning, white people trying to avoid the “N” word, and other words like it. The practice has spread to include virtually everyone and everything, and we’re all so cautious about our speech we sound like fearful idiots. Doesn’t Native American really mean someone who is born in America? Apparently not. Does African American include white folks who immigrated from Africa? In fear of being judged we add the word “challenged” after a descriptive term. What’s wrong with saying someone is fat? They know it, you can be sure. Does saying size-challenged make them feel any better about it? Hell, no. Just be respectful and treat others the way you’d like them to treat you and you won’t have to feel like an idiot at the checkout line.
Photo by Chris Fritz