Yes, I fear rationalisation as well. I firmly believe anything can be explained away.
But the question cannot be “would you publish this piece with these words switched”. It just doesn’t make sense, would you publish a physics peer reviewed paper where you’d switch m with E all over the formulas?
The question then becomes: why would you do it?
And yes the term gypsy is a racial slur, but in the case of the French by applying it to Romanian nationals it is then more likely the case of xenophobia than racism :)