Not really offensive says Chicago Tribune Staff Report.
It's hard to come up with an ethnic slur that has less of a sting than "whitey.".... Are there really white people... so threatened by minority grievances that they take genuine umbrage at the term "whitey"?
More a taunt than a threat, the word has no ugly history and hints at no particular stereotypes... it's never been used to keep a people down, to put them in their place, to rank them as subhuman.
To be truly offensive, a derogatory term needs to have an ominous context that "whitey" lacks.
Those who take offense are confusing prejudice.... with racism, which is prejudice in action. It requires them to imagine that "whitey" marginalizes, diminishes and therefore harms white people. And if they're really that dumb, then I guess they deserve to be insulted.
It was okay on Beaver.
Whitey is one of Beaver's safer friends. He's a good student and more conscientious than Beaver's other pals. Whitey is a bit nervous by nature, but that doesn't keep him from talking Beaver into crazy situations, like climbing into a giant soup bowl on a neighborhood billboard to see what's inside. -- Leave It To Beaver