Am I Wrong to Think This???

is eskimo an offensive word or not?

i think it is...the inuit i know say so!

but when i argued that my inuit relatives found the term eskimo offensive i was told only some do that for others its just a word.

so which is it!

am i the only one who cares!

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11 Responses May 17, 2008

There are certain types of people that refer to themselves as Eskimos, like Yu'pik Eskimos of Western Alaska (like Robb22make3 said) and the Inupiat. My boyfriend is a Yu'pik Eskimo & he and his entire family and culture refer to themselves as Eskimos & have absolutely no problem with the term. As far as Inuits, I do not know if they find it offensive but anthropologically the word Eskimo means the indigenous people of the Arctic & sub-Arctic region.

Type your comment here...what I meant is that stuff like that should become a big deal.

Ahhh. I guess I've just never heard anyone one the word as a racial slur. I just thought it was a general name. Like "whites"

But, in the case of many racial slurs, that's exactly the point. It's not the WORD that is the problem... words are simply words, small things with no power. It is the INTENT, the HISTORY which causes pain.

I guess that makes sense, but I guess I would think people would transcend something so small. Lakota makes a little more sense, but even so it's been far too long to take something like that seriously.

Because of lot of the "names" people think are the names of Native American tribes, in reality, are what "others" called them. Some paleface decided to ask his guide "who are those people over there?" and the guide would respond "Oh, those are the Lakota." (Which, in his language, meant "Enemy.") Imagine how much restraint it must have taken to be called "enemy" constantly by people trying to establish trade and relations with you???? <br />
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For some groups, it's a matter of degrees. Some will mind, some won't.

Why is it an offensive word?

Just because something is in common use doesn't mean it's not offensive... look at the changes to the Aunt Jamima bottle over the last ten years.<br />
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Rob is pretty much dead on. Although I will add if you tell an Algonquin that he's an Eskimo.... you're likely to have a bad day of it.

I'd like to say thank you, I never knew that "Eskimo" was offensive until I read your story, so "thank you for educating me"

I guess it would sort of be like using the word "indian" for Native Americans--it's so widely used but its still offensive in a way.

Hmm... this got me thinking... what about a band called Eskimo blonde?