We seem to have a thing about words going here. Let's roll with it. In a comment on the previous post, Sam writes that he " feels that people are too sensitive over the "N" word. While Sam refrains from using it, he does not get bent out of shape when it is used by various hip hop artists. Regarding Huck Finn, leave Jim alone!"
Are people too sensitive about the N-word? That people are sensitive about it are clear. Sam notes Ebert's run-in with the word, and last August, Dr. Laura made a pretty big deal on one show about how it shouldn't bother anyone if she says the N-word because it is said on some HBO show quite frequently. She then said the N-word over and over. She ended her show shortly after.
The moral from the public is pretty clear: white people shouldn't say the N-word. Period.
Now let me float this by you. What if you are sitting in your class and your "white" professor says the N-word multiple times. Let's assume your prof is saying the word to talk about Huck Finn, the rhetoric of a particular HBO show or hip hop artist, the way people have used the word for hate in the past and present, or the way some people use it today to counteract its traditional use. Would you feel comfortable that your prof is saying that word? Is it no big deal, some kind of deal, or a big deal?
But even more general, are there just some things your professors cannot say in class without sending up major red flags? Or better yet, what have your profs said where you thought, "Damn, that's just wrong!"? (and maybe you even did something about it...)