In a time of heightened racial awareness when companies everywhere are retiring dated and stereotyped brands, one popular island restaurant is questioning its own name after someone argued it contains an ethnic slur.
Owners of Gypsy Joynt, which has two downtown locations, posted on social media that someone brought to their attention that the word "Gypsy" is an ethnic slur.
"We are using it as traveler, not a slur but if it comes across that way we are definitely up for changing our name!! What do y'all think?”
So far, the restaurant has gotten support for the name. But Eva Weller, whose family owns the restaurant, said in a phone interview Thursday that if more people said they were offended, owners would consider a name change.
The Romani people have a problem with the word Gypsy, according to this 2017 article. “Romani people are an oppressed ethnic minority whose diasporic roots date back to 10th-century India and are currently in the midst of a centuries-long human rights crisis — one that is, in part, perpetuated by the stereotypes of the Gypsy.
“The mythos of the Gypsy is a stew of stereotypes — the thief, the fortune teller, the free spirit, the seductress and the liar … ,” the article goes on to say.
(I'm compelled to note the irony in the fact that bitchmedia.com, publisher of the above-referenced article, bills itself as a provider of "snappy feminist news and analysis" and has in its name what is increasingly being called out as a sexist slur.)
But back to Gypsy Joynt and its question.
This article goes on to say: "Gypsy" is commonly used to describe the Romani people. But the term carries many negative connotations, and its derivative carries even more: when somebody is "gypped," they are, according to Merriam-Webster, "defrauded, swindled, cheated."
What do you think? Should Gypsy Joynt change its name?