I think that in the wake of recent racist comments by public figures, more needs to be said than simply - "These guys are assholes."
I think that as much as we try to tell one another that these names are simply words, somewhere along the way, we forgot to tell ourselves that words to us, are everything. Ask anyone on the street about the popular Verizon commercials, and they'll tell you about the ad campaign "Can you hear me now?" Or Nike's legendary "Just do it." Words are influencial. Beyond simply brands, words can incite, insult, and inflame.
I've attached an article that was in the Houston Chronicle today by John Lopez, and it's a pretty great article, but I'd like to extend it some. Yes, racial slurs are awful - any type, and I'm not trying to lessen their negative impact on society and its individuals. However, I would like to add - because I've seen several blogs dealing with this sort of thing - the c-word and "bitch" are also very denigrating to women. Many of the feminist websites I visit daily are in the habit of offhandedly calling one another bitches or addressing the readers as bitches.
It's not ok. It's not funny. It's demeaning, and it encourages others to use the titles as well. Read the article. Lopez argues his point very well, I believe.
So - stop it. I think we, as women and individuals, have enough to face without lowering ourselves to the ranks of others who use these words to degrade us.