The Redhead and I were on our way to lunch the other day. We crossed Belcourt on our way to Sam's. When we started across the street, traffic prevented this large white vehicle from turning left. As we got about 3/4 of the way across, said vehicle made a sharp left turn to squeeze between a gap in the traffic flow.
The black woman driving it yelled something. I didn't hear her. The Redhead said "And they call white people racist."
"What did she say?"
"Get your cracker a$$es out the way."
"I can't say ni**er without the fury of the NAACP and other assorted individuals coming down on me? Oh that's fair. You call me a cracker, and I have full rights to use ni**er. It is a good thing I didn't hear her."
The general concensus among my friends is that the woman was very much blessed that I didn't hear her. My brother's reaction was "Yeah... because I'd be bailing your cracker a$$ out of jail right now. Or visiting you in the hospital." Duke Diva said something similar - where she thought I might have called her every name in the book except ni**er.
Rights to use does not mean I would use it. I do believe in a certain level of civility when dealing with other humans, even though I don't particularly care for them. Society has gotten too coarse, disrespectful, and rude. I resent the fact that she would near pick a fight with me and I am not free to use the equivalent word as a response.
I don't want to hear anything about how it's different because she's a minority. It's respect, people. It's obeying the traffic laws. Pedestrians have the right of way. We weren't bothering her... other than apparently our presence on this planet.