Croal brought up another example I thought was very good. Imagine setting a game during the time of WWII where the zombies are skinny, starved-looking white people. And, for example (I'm building on his example here), you're playing an American soldier who has to blast his way through them for some reason (virus, infection, take your pick)
That's something I'd feel very, very uncomfortable with, to be honest. Because the images that would invoke in my mind are those of people deported by the Nazis even if the game never made this specific.
I certainly agree that there is such a thing as being oversensitive in these cases. But I also think that we're still a long way from overcoming racism and the likes. And it's NOT because some people remember these images, it's because we still fail to tackle racism and similar problems on so many levels.
I agree that blasting away dark-skinned zombies in RE5 just like you did white zombies in RE4 SHOULD not be an issue. I just think we haven't arrived there yet. And frankly, a franchise like RE, as enjoyable as it may be, is far too shallow to even begin to approach the subject in a manner that would actually help in the process of fighting racism.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not out there demanding the game be banned or anything. If you enjoy it, that's cool. But I know I don't feel comfortable with it, and now I know why.
Frankly, I assume that the developers never even thought that they might evoke negative responses to the game on this level. It's hardly fair to assume they're all experts on history. And, what's more, they're working on a franchise that's not exactly known for being 'deep'.