No lads, @Jimmywhack is 100% correct here and any deviation from his opinion is definitely incorrect.
"intent" is irrelevant. If i think it's ok to call someone a pikey because it seems to be what is said amongst my peers and the someone who i've called it takes offence (because they're a romany gypsy or a traveller) then yes, it's fucking racist.
the colour of MY skin is irrelevant.
It is racist if:
- The person saying it intends it to be racist.
- The person hearing it things it's racist.
- A random fucking person walking past hears it & thinks it's racist regardless of what the 2 people having the conversation thinks.
The current backlash of "just because you're offended doesn't mean you are right" is correct. But that doesn't apply to being able to directly insult somebody about something they have no direct control.
It's not racist as it wasn't meant as an insult and he's the same skin colour as the guy saying it. By the sound of it he's used it in the same way as people use 'brother' or 'mate', he's just misjudged the other guys thoughts on it. Ridiculous to even suggest it's racist in that context.
The history of the word and the reasons why the majority of black people in western society feel it's ok to use it amongst another each other tells you enough. Its completely and utterly different to your 'pikey' argument.
Edit: all this is assuming it's in the above context. If a black lad called another lad the N word as an insult, then ye, it's racist.
For some reason I thought the first scenario actually happened in the pub in front of Jimmy (bit late when I first read it)