The Post has had some articles discussing the status of the "n-word". Their piece today found 4 football coaches: the white head coach at 40 had prohibited the word in the past, but reluctantly gave up on his prohibition. The older black assistant coach (60's and black) absolutely forbade it, the young black assistant coach was mostly okay with it--lots of nuance in the article so I may be missummarizing.
While reading the articles I thought of other words which once were lightning and now have loss their meaning. For example: "God damn" used to be full of meaning; not so now. Lots of ethnic slurs are just ancient these days, dusty from being kept in the attic.