Mongol Identity’s current campaign is related to clarification on the word’s meaning in the dictionary which Max Verstappen uttered during F1 Portuguese GP.
In an incident during the second practice session in F1 Portuguese GP, Red Bull’s Verstappen uttered the word ‘mongol’ along with ‘retard’ to show his displeasure against Racing Point’s Lance Stroll, for their near collision at Turn 1.
The two patched up post the practice session but the incident didn’t go down well with many, especially the Mongol Identity organisation. There was immediate demand of an apology, as Christian Horner and Helmut Marko played down the incident.
The duo agreed that the word wasn’t to be used by Verstappen, as they handled the matter internally. There was no response per se from F1 and or the FIA, despite the organisation and Lundeg Purevsuren – Mongolia’s Ambassador to the UN – wanting some action.
Moving on from the incident, Mongol Identity has started a new campaign, which wishes that the modern dictionaries to expand on the definition of the word. They think that the word cannot be interchanged with ‘idiot’, as it is far more derogatory and even racist.
The medical definition relates to Down Syndrome, which creates confusion too, as per Mongol Identity. The campaign has brought light to issues, such as:
- The misuse of the term “Mongol” as described above is against the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
- Since 1965, the World Health Organization disapproved the use of the term “mongoloid”, which is considered offensive to people with Down syndrome and to people of Mongol ethnicity.
- United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur drew attention to the … “discrimination in popular speech which stigmatize particular ethnic groups. For example, the terms “Mongol”, “Mongolian” or “Mongoloid” are used inappropriately in the French language to denote a person who is mentally feeble or insane; this gives rise to discrimination against persons of Mongolian origin, who are very hurt by this usage.“ (UN document E/CN.4/2005/18, para. 43).
A statement from Mongol Identity with regards to Verstappen goes:
“Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen caused uproar when he called a rival a ‘Mongol’,” said a statement from Mongol Identity. The social media response which followed showed that many had no idea why this use of the word Mongol was offensive and saw it merely as interchangeable for ‘idiot’. There was little recognition that using the term as an insult is both deeply racist and discriminatory.
“When Max Verstappen made his comments, we found a lot of people on social media were saying ‘Mongol is in the dictionary and it means someone who is stupid or someone who has Down’s Syndrome’. Mongol Identity aims to work with dictionary publishers to ensure that the definitions provided are clear and complete.”
Author Uuganaa Ramsay, the director of Mongol Identity, added: “We want publishers to consider what they put in their definitions. For example, if a dictionary is for language learners, is it really necessary to include in a definition of Mongol reference to Down’s Syndrome as this is archaic, or to stupidity as this is racist, ablest and offensive?”
Here’s the website: https://www.mongolidentity.org/
Here’s Mongol’s UN ambassador’s statement then
Here’s Max Verstappen on not meaning to offend anyone