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Reply to "Teacher suspended for ten days, after calling student Nigga!"

Slurs often adopted by those they insult

Racial slurs such as "spic," "dago" and "mick" still are considered offensive by many people of Hispanic, Italian and Irish descent. But the words also are acceptable slang to many within those ethnic groups.

Use of derogatory words by the defamed group is not unusual, some linguists say. Dr. Philip Herbst, author of The Color of Words, says some disenfranchised people believe that taking ownership of offensive words saps them of their power.

In his book, Dr. Herbst says the n-word can sometimes be used within the black community to indicate solidarity or affection. However, he adds that African-Americans' attempts to demystify the word have not worked very well over the years.

....Garlinda Burton, author of Never Say Nigger Again: An Anti-Racism Guide for White Liberals, says no other racial slur is as derogatory as the n-word is to African-Americans.
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