First of all, let me begin by stating how much I hate the phrase “the N-Word.” It makes me feel like I’m infantilizing everyone I talk to. We are adults; we can use adult language when appropriate. But I also know that lots of people will not be very happy if their blog feeds suddenly flash the word “nigger” on their screen. Kids, bosses, and many others may be looking over readers’ shoulders. The word is poison and people should be prepared for the controversy they are about to encounter.
But look at what I did. I used the actual word in the first paragraph. Am I allowed to do that? My short answer is “sometimes,” although as we shall see, the brilliant and very funny blogger at Yo, Is this Racist? is going to disagree with me.