I've witnessed some disturbing language among some young folks I care deeply about. I'm deeply distressed when I read this word, for instance, as part of FB exchanges among a group of young white teenaged boys.
I've done a fair bit of reading and thinking about who is using the word and how. I'm particularly worried about the ways white youth are using the word as part of their own local vernacular.
I've weighed in on several conversations in communities with whom I discuss these things about my feelings about the word, it's use, who uses it and how, reclamation, and avoidance. I think Tim Wise's position from a Boston College talk is pretty darn close to my position. Of course, he articulates it better. (Yeah, I'm a Tim Wise groupie). I am interested in his distinction between the written word and the spoken word - it's something I'm still thinking about myself.
This is a conversation I think is best left to the community who has suffered at the hands of white oppression. It's not my conversation except to pledge: I will NOT use that word. Ever. Period.