My view is very simple. There's nothing - nothing good at all about using a hateful slur and seeing it as cool, or "only for us to use among our people kind of thing". I hated the word back then before Martin Luther King and Malcolm. I hated any kind of negative remark. It was very painful and upsetting to be called "a you know what". I grew up in Brooklyn with Blacks, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians and Irish hearing alI kinds of things thrown around. I knew the "N" word was coming my way and I heard it almost on a daily basis. I could feel it in the air and there was never any good associated with it. I remember just last year at a friend's birthday party, I ran into a guy I hadn't seen in a while. A white guy and he said, "Hi "N" (acting cool, he thought). I have to you tell you, it went right through me and it hurt. I let him know right then and there that he was out of line. And today it's very potent still. I call it a kind of "casual bigotry," almost like it's acceptable.
"Don't Call Me Buckwheat" by Garland Jeffreys