"What do you think about Bill Maher?" says my son.

"I think he doesn't get it."

"Why?"

Now I have to think. "He may have "honorary black" status with close black friends. That is, they can call each other nigger. But "honorary black" status in no way extends to using the word nigger in a public interview. That opens the door to every racist person saying "Well, Bill Moyer said nigger so so can I." So it's not ok."

"Hmmm." says my son.

"Think about it. When you and your friends were 12, you'd call each other gay or girl as an insult. But as a group of white boys, it was unacceptable to call each other nigger. That was beyond your group boundaries."

"That is true." says my son.

"Of course, it pisses me off that girl and gay were insults, but it takes a really long time to shut down discrimination. Women and homosexuals lag behind blacks, though being a black male gets you shot more often. Women and homosexuals get beaten up and killed too."

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