This week's news has reported how Seeka Lee Veevee Parsons, an Inuit visiting New Zealand, took offence at Eskimo lollies, a favourite of kiwi kids for as long as I can remember. As Parsons explained, the word 'Eskimo' is racially offensive, and disappeared out of the Canadian lexicon some decades ago. According to my dictionary, it means 'eater of raw meat' - hardly a compliment. Parsons' complaint seems to have unleashed a torrent of crap behaviour from some of local rednecks, who've called on her to just pack up and go home if she doesn't like the way we do our racism.
Parsons' concerns have also met with very little sympathy from the lollies' makers. Cadbury, who produce Eskimos and other Pascal's lollies, said, "We have no intention to rename, reshape or remove the product, and trust that consumers will continue to enjoy Pascall Eskimos".
Would Cadbury use a racial slur that offended a large group of New Zealanders? Probably not. The difference seems to be that racism matters less when it's directed at far-away, exotic-seeming people.
I call that bullshit, Cadbury.