I honestly don’t think Kankri would call Cronus on it, or not in any productive way - you hit the nail on the head, he canonically goes for a bogus “fair and balanced” approach in Act 6 Intermission 3 Part 3 (de-quirked for your convenience):
KANKRI: I feel I should jump in here at this moment, before this escalates any further, and we start throwing around hateful rhetoric that we can’t take back.
MEENAH: [# aw shell no]
KANKRI: Mituna, I know you often struggle with this, but you just used an extremely derogatory and hurtful caste-specific slur, which you probably know was once commonly used to disparage sea-dwelling members of our society, or land-dwelling castes who were especially complicit in furthering the oppressive Fuscia-Down power structure. Now, we all need to realize that Royal-Vs and those rare few who are even higher such as Meenah, as members of this aristocracy enjoy a tremendous position of privilege over others, and therefore we cannot view such verbal transgressions against them as equivalent to those targeting the underprivileged, but it needs to be pointed out that such radioactive language is absolutely the worst kind of well-poisoning which is nothing but counterproductive when others are trying to pursue an honest dialogue about critically important social problems. [# slurs #hurtful #struggle #radioactive #well poisoning #counterproductive #problems]
KANKRI: And Meenah, while I can understand your frustration over being verbally assaulted under any circumstance, it is incumbent on me to remind you that Mituna requires a certain amount of special consideration and more than a little patience. Please try to resist taking his bait, which I’m guessing is mostly well intended(?), before its contentious undertow pulls you further into an exchange laden with deeply problematic expressions of ableism, ableist slurs, and other such manifestations of unconscionably unchecked ability privilege. [#ableism #ability privilege #bait #undertow #are the aquatic terms helping?]
Then he has some very backhanded and roundabout abuse of his own to give to Mituna
KANKRI: On the other hand, if I’m being honest, I’ve found Mituna’s entire existence to be a pretty problematic impediment to the advancement and overall awareness of ableism and its painful manifold consequences for unabilitied persons. The speech impediment, frankly, I could do without, and I’m by no means ecstatic over his torrential bigotry and hostility. On the one hand, I want to be sensitive to him as a person and as a friend, but on the other, what kind of message does his behavior send? And frankly, I’m not crazy about the helmet either.
MITUNA: what’s wrong with my helmet 8(
KANKRI: Nothing, friend, it’s a really cool helmet and it’s a good look for you. But are we now to assume that all those who are stricken with your particular disadvantage will be similarly prone to require such headgear, due to falling down and hitting their heads frequently?
MITUNA: but i do fall down and hit my head frequently
KANKRI: Oh, I know you do, and I think you should continue wearing it for your safety, particularly if you continue to insist on floundering about on your dangerous toy. It’s more about the unfortunate message you are sending overall, with certain aspects of your personality and existence, that’s all.
MITUNA: i’m sorry
KANKRI: As a friend, I wouldn’t want to change anything about you, well, not most things. I just think you may be doing yourself or those who are similarly disadvantaged any favors with, what I’m hoping, is a perfectly innocent array of traits and mannerisms. But again, I say this with all due sensitivity.
MEENAH: vantas youre being a shit dont talk about him like that
Kankri is all about looking good and using the right words. If anything, he’d probably lecture Cronus about using ‘problematic’ language and then make some helpful suggestions for backhanded compliments and passive-aggressive insults that are okay because they don’t use any taboo words.
(Check out the rest of the conversation, too; Kankri jumped in to lecture them about their language and concern troll about them ‘hurting the discourse’, and insinuate again that Mituna is too stupid to know what he’s doing with “it is incumbent on me to remind you that Mituna requires a certain amount of special consideration and more than a little patience.” This, even though Meenah engages with Mituna like an actual person. Sadly, she treats Mituna better than anyone we see interacting with him except for Latula, and at least they seem to be exchanging insults, not her just running him down with words like Kankri and Cronus do.)
What he would have done about the inappropriate touching… I’m honestly not sure, in the sense of “I don’t know if he’d actually be willing to admit how awful it is or not”. Would he actually be blowing his whistle and stepping in because Cronus violated Mituna’s clearly stated no, or would he give a lecture on consent that would amount to “don’t touch until you’ve annoyed a yes out of him”?
I’m not up to thinking about that at the moment, though. X(
Here’s what I think would happen.
KANKRI: *begins telling Cronus why it’s not okay to use that word, which sounds pompous but overall correct*
KANKRI: *starts down the road of agreeing that Mituna is retarded, in everything but name*
KANKRI and CRONUS: *spend next half hour listing Mituna’s various handicaps and why they’re offensive*
CRONUS: *gleefully unloads on Mituna using carefully loaded terminology that doesn’t quite make sense*
KANKRI: *congratulates Cronus for taking this important next step toward being socially just, is pleased with himself for Helping*