So went a-Googling this morning to find out when the change happened (no trouble figuring out the WHY) and found Politically Correct Oompa–Loompa Evolution. A pity. A pity that adults think that way and immediately assume that kids do too. They don't ... it never would have occurred to the juvenile me to think of the Oompa-Loompas as slaves, second-class, or the victims of racism (if I'd even thought of it, I would have figured that any Oompa-Loompa who didn't like the land of Wonka could walk out the gates any time he/she wanted to and go ANYWHERE he/she wanted to). The only reason for even specifying their race in the story was for a rather lovely bit of humour (which later readers shan't get to giggle over) ... the factory visitors immediately assuming that the magical Willy Wonka had found a way to bring chocolate to life.
Ah well. Like I said, I understand the reasons for the change. But I sometimes can't help thinking that the best way to eliminate racism and bigotry on this planet would be to keep the adults away from the children for a generation.
***makes mental note to tell Mom to change her will to state that the old edition in her possession must be kept in the family, generation to generation***