Societies at large have sets of unwritten rules that determine appropriate behavior. Proper etiquette steps in to put some of those guidelines on paper, other actions are a matter of respect. For years, the imaginary lines in the sand have created problems for people of various cultures. As for hearing Dr. Laura N Word playback, she makes valid points regarding what is acceptable and by whom.
This is a topic which grows in popularity as minorities of all kinds feel comfortable using slang words toward people who come from similar situations. However, these exact same individuals get upset when someone outside their circle interrupts the smooth lines that are simply understood. In this case, celebrities, especially musicians, use words often regarding themselves and people like them without ever upsetting anyone. During the audio coverage where the Dr. Laura N word conversation comes front and center, the entire nation is in a fury this morning moaning and re-examining where that imaginary line actually lies.
In the long run, use of words of slang that carry derogatory meanings are often overlooked in situations where the words are spoken as part of the discussion. The fact that a very large radio personality used a word 11 times over the course of five minutes leaves even the most skeptical listeners wondering what she was trying to prove. Most of the media this morning agree that the conversation creating controversy for Dr. Laura N word use could have easily been averted had she simply made her point and moved on instead of literally slugging it out with a listener with words.