In this world I think it is vitally important to get a grasp of socially acceptable behavior as well as the fact that we are all made to be unique…. Each of us may not be able to achieve what the other can…. I may not be able to win an Olympic medal.. or have the intellect of a Nobel peace prize winner. It is what it is. There are some things I can do that you can’t and things you do that I won’t. It is what it is. Such is the use of the word N(ga) or N(er), this boils down to connotation, use, and user. Now… I continually hear the argument from non blacks. “Well they use the word why can’t we?” A few things from my top: First of all…. It’s a black thing. It has been argued to be a term of endearment between black people (hence why it causes utter outrage if used by someone else), Secondly if you happen to live in the same world I live in… you understand the connotation of this word.. you understand that if you are not black and using it, it can and will be perceived as offensive. In reality, we as black people know you use it.. we know in the privacy in your homes and among your friends, we know you laugh and mock blacks because we do the same thing too, lol.. however the issue is that you do not have the etiquette or discretion to know that you are not wise to use it.. in anyway… around people of color, period. Let me kindly tell you, if you have not been aware yet in life, that our lives are comprised of wise or unwise choices….. So tell me, why, if you understand the nature of the word, and are not black, would you push the envelope and potentially cause havoc.. simply because you want the option to use it without others being offended? Racial slurs have been around since the beginning of time, and their initial intent was to be offensive.. Perhaps it would be wise to just avoid using it if you understand these truths. Now to address folks of color on this issue: If someone uses this word against you, either in attempt to think they are your friend or to be offensive, I would respond accordingly. If they are a friend and are aloof, simply warn them that it would be in their interest not to get comfortable using it. If they are trying to offend you, say it back to them, keep your cool and don’t lose your composure. People will use what they can to push your buttons…. Don’t be such an open book.