I think I've said the "N" word once in my life. I was alone, and I said it out loud just to hear it, as I remember.
Cooking Guru Paula Deen has been fired from the Food Network for using the word in the past, according to a legal deposition. She has asked forgiveness.
A prominent preacher I used to hang out with and I were talking one day in South Carolina about 2005, and I told him that I was not proud of being educated in a Bible College where the leadership had said the "N" word. He said, "You mean, nigger?" (a big grin on his face). I replied, "Yes, that's the word." I knew at that moment that I had no interest in him from then on.
I do not think it should be taken out of our American literature of Samuel Clemens and so forth. It tells a story all its own.
However, Paula Deen's use seems to be far in the past and not something she now endorses. This word is a violence to some and until it is no longer a violence to any, I suggest we not use it in everyday discourse.
Tolstoyan-Gandhian Libertarian for Texas Governor
(Endorsed by Dr. Noam Chomsky)