Zico, a well-known and respected Korean hip-hop artist and producer, posted a photo of himself on Instagram the other day. In his photo (which can be found below), Zico is posing, as innocent can be, in a parka. The caption of his post? “Rainy eskimo.”
Zico’s post is a problem for two major reasons: 1) He used a derogatory term 2) He claimed another ethnicity as his own.
Using “Eskimo,” a Racial Slur
“Eskimo” is a word that has commonly been used by Americans and other Westerners to describe and label indigenous peoples from Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Siberia (i.e., Inuit). It is also a term that is viewed by many as being derogatory and a racial slur as it is a name that was placed upon Inuit by non-Inuit people and the name was thought to mean “eater of raw meat” (linguists now believe that “Eskimo” is derived from the Ojibwa word for “to net snowshoes”). It is thus incredibly offensive (not to mention messed up) that Zico not only used this racial slur...